Lowell Overly in the Soybean Car,1941

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    Weighed about 1000 pounds (450kg) less than steel Ford.

    Update from a Henry Ford Museum site:

    The exact ingredients of the plastic panels are unknown because no record of the formula exists today. One article claims that they were made from a chemical formula that, among many other ingredients, included soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie; while the man who was instrumental in creating the car, Lowell E. Overly, claims it was "…soybean fiber in a phenolic resin with formaldehyde used in the impregnation"

    3Cobras, HarborIndiana, Heywood_15inch, and 2 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Blue387 63 months ago | reply

      Is it a Ford concept car?

      License plate says Dearborn, missing the driver side mirror and people standing behind the car makes me think it's an auto show.

    2. Hugo90 63 months ago | reply

      It is a Ford concept car. It looks pretty light from the small tires. No door window frame or door handle. There is something that makes this quite unique from other cars of the time.

    3. glen.h 63 months ago | reply

      Basis for the French Vedette?

    4. Angelo Bissessarsingh 63 months ago | reply

      I can see the vedette in the grille

    5. Hugo90 63 months ago | reply

      There is something very unique about this car. It is different from cars made in any country and will not become a production car.

    6. glen.h 63 months ago | reply

      Did the body use soy bean based plastic ?

    7. Hugo90 63 months ago | reply

      Glen, you are on the right track. There is some dispute that the plastic body was made from Hemp, sisal and wheat straw. Ford wanted to use as many agricultural waste products as possible, and experimented with soy products, too. Ford used soy for paint and plastic parts like knobs. This car didn't see it's ideas put into production.

    8. Blue387 63 months ago | reply

      What happened to the car? Was it preserved in a museum?

    9. Hugo90 63 months ago | reply

      It's not at the Henry Ford, as far as I know. Probably would have deteriorated over the years since it is organic.

    10. nlpnt 56 months ago | reply

      Very advanced styling for 1941, let down by awkward detailing. I wonder if they were seriously considering this body shape (in whatever material) and would've gone there had the war not intervened...

    11. Hugo90 52 months ago | reply

      Just found new information on this car. Apparently the ingredients used to make the plastic are not recorded. From a Henry Ford Museum site:

      The exact ingredients of the plastic panels are unknown because no record of the formula exists today. One article claims that they were made from a chemical formula that, among many other ingredients, included soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie; while the man who was instrumental in creating the car, Lowell E. Overly, claims it was "…soybean fiber in a phenolic resin with formaldehyde used in the impregnation"

    12. Hugo90 27 months ago | reply

      The Henry Ford has posted more pictures they have of this car and the making of the panels.
      www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/sets/72157627139933658...

    13. Heywood_15inch 27 months ago | reply

      I believe the Trabant was made of this exact material for many many years after.

    14. Hugo90 27 months ago | reply

      Trabant was on a similar track, but their body used some paper and was about fifteen years later.

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