The origin of locomóviles and the first cars in history
In 1784, James Watt patented the steam engine in England. From the time the steam engine was introduced to the various industrial activities that were developed at the time, the so-called era of the first Industrial Revolution began. Thanks to the use of this engine for transportation, the first locomotives appeared and the railroad industry’s popularity and expansion grew at a rapid pace. Little by little, the railroad became the means of transport par excellence and a very hard one to beat as it ran at a good speed and could carry large volumes of passengers and cargo at the same time. However, locomotives required the construction of a track system and consumed significant amounts of water and coal, which jeopardized their autonomy and the availability of required supplies.
Parallel to this development, the first self-propelled steering vehicles and the first internal combustion engines were created. The former competed with the railroad as they could travel freely over existing roads, while the latter were intended to be used for industrial activities and vehicles alike. Internal combustion engines used primitive fuels that produced unpleasant odors and high levels of noise, which scared away anything that crossed their path, from people and animals to carriages. For these reasons, people began to call these dreadful machines locomobiles. It turned out that these vehicles, of dubious future success, were the actual predecessors of our modern cars. At the time, no one could have imagined that they would give rise to our present and huge car industry, on which millions of people depend.
The railroad and locomobiles of that time competed head to head for dominance and power, not knowing that in the future both would be indispensable and irreplaceable for land transport.
Cars trigger passions and feelings that are often difficult to understand and explain. In our personal case, we want, first of all, to inspire these same feelings and interest in children and this is why we have decided to make cars customized to their size. Ours are half-scaled cars with component design and driving characteristics similar to those of real-sized models, so that children can learn not only to drive these vehicles but also to cherish them and take care of their maintenance. After all, it will be children the ones who will design, manufacture, drive and enjoy the models of the future.
Secondly, we want to pay a humble tribute to the automobile itself and all the pioneers and visionaries this fascinating industry had, who achieved the long awaited dream of self-propelled vehicles encouraged by an incredibly curious spirit. Their big effort and fierce determination helped them offset the inadequacy of knowledge and technology, and they did not hesitate to expose themselves to multiple and sometimes dangerous experiments, even to the point of losing their lives.
As we saw how fascinated the kids from the neighborhood where we live and their parents were about a pedal car that belonged to one of our children and reproduced a Formula One automobile from the 1950's, we set to build two electric cars for them as a hobby.
We began to draw different designs and components, and to select and develop car parts to build. As the prototype was taking shape, it aroused increasing interest in our children, friends and followers.
This led us to think enthusiastically about the idea of boosting this "hobby".
We finished the first prototype chassis. At the same time, we developed and built the car body manually, as craftsmen, while we adapted it to the 1950’s AR 158 model driven by Juan Manuel Fangio.
While the car electronics was still work in progress, we decided to take the prototype to the largest exhibition of classic cars in Latin America, Autoclásica, which was held at the San Isidro Jockey Club in October to confirm the interest that our ideas sparked in our followers. Fortunately, our presentation was a roaring success and received the support of a highly enthusiastic audience.
In January, we tested the car for over 600 kilometers (about 375 miles) and drove it under different conditions: dirt, grass, gravel and asphalt roads. The car autonomy exceeded 25 km and speeds reached from 16 to 18 km/hour. These distances and speeds were extremely interesting for our potential clients.
After these successful tests, we set to work on the final car body. We chose to design a half-scale, three-dimensional (3D) replica of the MBW 196 driven by Juan Manuel Fangio when he won his second and third world Formula One Grand Prix titles. We then machined this design with a central numerical control (CNC) machine-tool to make a true-scaled model. Finally, we manufactured the car matrices to put together the first car body and start mass production.
When we finished this car, we showed it again at Autoclásica 2012, where it was fully accepted by a very excited audience. The design, development and production of the car’s 300+ components had been properly documented by Auto-Cad drawings. When we built the car, we prioritized the use of materials and supplies of Argentine origin and in all cases we sought to optimize their construction quality.
From 2013 on, we started to mass-produce the first units and continued with car tests, improving the chassis and electronics even more to optimize construction and performance characteristics.