Universal Power Drives
Universal Power Drives was a British truck manufacturer which branded its trucks with the Unipower marque. Universal Power Drives was founded in 1934 with a factory in Perivale and its head office in Aldwych, London. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s it specialised in producing 4x4 forestry logging trucks. In 1972 it launched the 4x4 Unipower Invader suited to construction use. Todd Motors in New Zealand produced the TS3 Commer Truck, in the early 1970s, with a Unipower tandem drive assembly as a factory option. In January 1966 they exhibited the Unipower GT at the Racing Car Show. Another car they produced was the Quasar-Unipower, built in 1967 and 1968. In 1977 the company was acquired by Caterpillar Inc and production was moved to Thames Ditton, Surrey. In 1988 the company started a new enterprise in Watford to provide continuity of support for Scammell trucks following the closure of the Rover Group owned Scammell plant that year. In the 1980s it launched a range of military trucks. Alvis plc acquired the company in 1994 and named their new subsidiary Alvis Unipower Limited, the trucks began to be branded as Alvis-Unipower.
Following their elimination from the bidding process for the UK Ministry of Defence's Heavy Equipment Transporter project, Alvis announced their intention to seek a new owner for Alvis Unipower. Davies, Peter J.. The World Encyclopedia of Trucks. Lorenz Books. ISBN 0-7548-0518-2
Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation and categorization, among others. This article details used classification schemes in use worldwide; this following table summarises common classifications for cars. Microcars and their Japanese equivalent— kei cars— are the smallest category of automobile. Microcars straddle the boundary between car and motorbike, are covered by separate regulations to normal cars, resulting in relaxed requirements for registration and licensing. Engine size is 700 cc or less, microcars have three or four wheels. Microcars are most popular in Europe, where they originated following World War II; the predecessors to micro cars are Cycle cars. Kei cars have been used in Japan since 1949. Examples of microcars and kei cars: Honda Life Isetta Tata Nano The smallest category of vehicles that are registered as normal cars is called A-segment in Europe, or "city car" in Europe and the United States.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines this category as "minicompact", however this term is not used. The equivalents of A-segment cars have been produced since the early 1920s, however the category increased in popularity in the late 1950s when the original Fiat 500 and BMC Mini were released. Examples of A-segment / city cars / minicompact cars: Fiat 500 Hyundai i10 Toyota Aygo The next larger category small cars is called B-segment Europe, supermini in the United Kingdom and subcompact in the United States; the size of a subcompact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of between 85–99 cubic feet. Since the EPA's smaller minicompact category is not as used by the general public, A-segment cars are sometimes called subcompacts in the United States. In Europe and Great Britain, the B-segment and supermini categories do not any formal definitions based on size. Early supermini cars in Great Britain include Vauxhall Chevette.
In the United States, the first locally-built subcompact cars were the 1970 AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto. Examples of B-segment / supermini / subcompact cars: Chevrolet Sonic Hyundai Accent Volkswagen Polo The largest category of small cars is called C-segment or small family car in Europe, compact car in the United States; the size of a compact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of 100–109 cu ft. Examples of C-segment / compact / small family cars: Peugeot 308 Toyota Auris Renault Megane In Europe, the third largest category for passenger cars is called D-segment or large family car. In the United States, the equivalent term is intermediate cars; the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a mid-size car as having a combined passenger and cargo volume of 110–119 cu ft. Examples of D-segment / large family / mid-size cars: Chevrolet Malibu Ford Mondeo Kia Optima In Europe, the second largest category for passenger cars is E-segment / executive car, which are luxury cars.
In other countries, the equivalent terms are full-size car or large car, which are used for affordable large cars that aren't considered luxury cars. Examples of non-luxury full-size cars: Chevrolet Impala Ford Falcon Toyota Avalon Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles which are designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row, have reconfigurable seats in two or three rows; the equivalent terms in British English are people carrier and people mover. Minivans have a'one-box' or'two-box' body configuration, a high roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers and high H-point seating. Mini MPV is the smallest size of MPVs and the vehicles are built on the platforms of B-segment hatchback models. Examples of Mini MPVs: Fiat 500L Honda Fit Ford B-Max Compact MPV is the middle size of MPVs; the Compact MPV size class sits between large MPV size classes. Compact MPVs remain predominantly a European phenomenon, although they are built and sold in many Latin American and Asian markets.
Examples of Compact MPVs: Renault Scenic Volkswagen Touran Ford C-Max The largest size of minivans is referred to as'Large MPV' and became popular following the introduction of the 1984 Renault Espace and Dodge Caravan. Since the 1990s, the smaller Compact MPV and Mini MPV sizes of minivans have become popular. If the term'minivan' is used without specifying a size, it refers to a Large MPV. Examples of Large MPVs: Dodge Grand Caravan Ford S-Max Toyota Sienna The premium compact class is the smallest category of luxury cars, it became popular in the mid-2000s, when European manufacturers— such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz— introduced new entry level models that were smaller and cheaper than their compact executive models. Examples of premium compact cars: Audi A3 Buick Verano Lexus CT200h A compact executive car is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. Compact executive cars are equivalent size to mid-size cars and are part of the D-segment in the European car classification.
In North American terms, close equivalents are "luxury compact" and "entry-level luxury car", although the latter is used for the smaller premium compact cars. Examples of compact executive cars: Audi A4 BMW 3 Series Buick Regal An executive car is a premium car larger than a compact executive and smaller than an full-size luxury car. Executive cars are classified as E-segment cars in the European car classification. In the United States and several other coun
AC Cars Ltd. known as Auto Carriers Ltd. is a British specialist automobile manufacturer and one of the oldest independent car makers founded in Britain. The first car from what became AC was presented at the Crystal Palace motor show in 1903; the Weller Brothers of West Norwood, planned to produce an advanced 20 hp car. However, their financial backer and business manager John Portwine, a butcher, thought the car would be too expensive to produce and encouraged Weller to design and produce a little delivery three-wheeler. In 1904 a new company was named Autocars and Accessories; the vehicle caught on and was a financial success. In 1907, a passenger version appeared, called the A. C. Sociable, it had a seat in place of the cargo box. The A. C. Sociable was described in a review of the 1912 Motor Cycle and Cycle Car Show as "one of the most popular cycle cars on the road, both for pleasure and business", A. C. displayed six for pleasure and two for business. The single rear wheel contained a two-speed hub, the single-cylinder engine was mounted just in front of it, with rear chain drive.
The company became Auto Carriers Ltd. in 1911 and moved to Ferry Works, Thames Ditton, Surrey—at this time they began using the famed "AC" roundel logo. Their first four-wheeled car was produced in 1913. Only a few were built. During the Great War, the Ferry Works factory produced shells and fuses for the war effort, although at least one vehicle was designed and built for the War Office. At the end of the First World War, AC Cars started making motor vehicles again and building many successful cars at Ferry Works, as well as expanding into an old balloon factory on Thames Ditton High Street. After the war, John Weller started on the design of a new overhead-cam 6-cylinder engine; the first versions of this design were running by 1919. The Weller engine would be produced until 1963. In 1921, Selwyn Edge was appointed governing director, he did not get along with Portwine, who resigned less than a year later. In customary fashion Edge sought publicity for the company through motoring competition.
In 1921 Sammy Davis joined A. C. as a driver, competing in the Junior Car Club 200-mile race, for cars up to 1,500 c.c. at Brooklands. In 1922, the name changed again to AC Cars Ltd. In 1923 and 1924 J. A. Joyce won the Brighton Speed Trials driving an A. C. In May 1924, at Montlhéry, near Paris, T. G. Gillett broke the continuous 24-hour record in a 2-litre A. C. fitted with special streamlined bodywork. In 1926 the Honourable Victor Bruce, an AC employee, won the Monte Carlo Rally in his 2-litre AC. In 1927, Victor Bruce, with his wife Mildred, assisted by J. A. Joyce, set a 10-day endurance record at Montlhéry. Selwyn Edge bought the company outright for £135,000 in 1927 and re-registered it as AC Ltd but sales, falling, continued to decline; the company went into voluntary liquidation. Production ceased for a time, the company was sold to the Hurlock family who ran a successful haulage business, they wanted the High Street factory only as a warehouse, but allowed the service side of AC to continue.
A single car was made for William Hurlock in 1930. He liked it and agreed to restart limited production using components left over from previous models. An agreement was reached with Standard to supply new chassis, the ancient three-speed transaxle was replaced by a modern four-speed gearbox, by 1932 a new range of cars was launched. Production continued on this small scale, averaging less than 100 vehicles per year, until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939; the final pre-war car was delivered in June 1940, after which the factory was involved with war production. After the war AC secured a large contract with the government to produce the fibreglass-bodied, single seat, Thundersley Invacar Type 57 invalid carriages with Villiers 2-stroke engines; the invalid carriages continued to be built until 1976 and were an important source of revenue to the company. Production of cars restarted in 1947 with the 2-Litre, using the 1991 cc engine from the 16; the 2-Litre used an updated version of the pre-war, underslung chassis, fitted with the AC straight-six engine and traditional ash-framed and aluminium-panelled coachwork, available in saloon or convertible versions.
They built an aluminium-bodied three-wheeled microcar, the Petite. They produced "Bag Boy" golf carts. In 1949, AC Cars produced four trains, each consisting three power cars and four coaches, for the Southend Pier Railway in Essex; these remained in use until 1976. In 1953, the firm began production of the AC Ace, based on a lightweight chassis designed by John Tojeiro and Hand built Aluminium Body designed and built by Eric George Gray with the venerable Weller-designed 2-Litre engine. For 1954, a new aluminium-bodied closed coupe was unveiled at the AC Aceca, it was only heavier than the convertible Ace, because of better aerodynamics was slightly faster. Today, Acecas are popular at historic racing events. Arch McNeill, a factory Morgan racer from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s told fellow Texan and Aceca owner Glenn Barnett that "the Morgan team spent two years campaigning to b
The Mini is a small economy car produced by the English-based British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of 1960s British popular culture, its space-saving transverse engine, front-wheel drive layout – allowing 80% of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers. In 1999, the Mini was voted the second-most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, ahead of the Citroën DS and Volkswagen Beetle; this distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park/Zetland British Motor Corporation factory in Sydney and also in Spain, Chile, Malta, South Africa, Uruguay and Yugoslavia; the Mini Mark I had three major UK updates – the Mark II, the Clubman, the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van, the Mini Moke, a jeep-like buggy.
The performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper "S", were successful as both race and rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, 1967. In 1966, the first-placed Mini was disqualified after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car's headlights were against the rules. On its introduction in August 1959, the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor; the Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980, it once again became the Austin Mini, in 1988, just "Mini". BMW acquired the Rover Group in 1994, sold the greater part of it in 2000, but retained the rights to build cars using the MINI name; the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, the market for German bubble cars boomed in countries such as Britain, where imported cars were still a rarity.
The Fiat 500, launched in 1957, was hugely successful in its native Italy. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC detested these cars so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a'proper miniature car', he laid down some basic design requirements - the car should be contained within a box that measured 10×4×4 feet. Alec Issigonis, working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 with a brief from Lord to design a range of technically advanced family cars in the same innovative spirit as his earlier Morris Minor to complement BMC's existing conventional models. Issigonis had set out design projects for three cars – large and small family cars and a small economy car, his initial work was on the largest car, designated XC9001, with the smallest car, XC9003, having the lowest priority despite it being Issigonis' greatest personal interest. With Lord's dictum to produce a bubble car competitor and his revised design requirements being laid down in October 1956, work on XC9001 stopped and XC9003 became the priority.
The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small. Together, by July 1957, they had designed and built the original XC9003 prototype, affectionately named the "Orange Box" because of its colour. Leonard Lord approved the car for production on 19 July and XC9003 became project ADO15; the ADO15 used a conventional BMC A-Series four-cylinder, water-cooled engine, but departed from tradition by mounting it transversely, with the engine oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, by employing front-wheel drive. All small front-wheel drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration, except with the transmission separately enclosed rather than using the engine oil; the radiator was mounted at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so that it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This location saved vehicle length, but had the disadvantage of feeding the radiator with air, heated by passing over the engine.
It exposed the entire ignition system to the direct ingress of rainwater through the grille. Early prototypes used the existing 948-cc A-Series unit, but this provided the ADO15 with performance far greater than its price and purpose required – a top speed over 90 mph; the engine was reduced to a new 848-cc capacity with a shorter stroke. This reduced power from 37 to 33 bhp and caused a significant drop in torque, so provided more realistic performance when the ADO15 body was widened by 2 inches over the XC9003 prototype, which blunted the car's top speed while improving its stability and roadholding. So, the ADO15 had a top speed of 75 mph, better than many other economy cars of the time; the suspension system, designed by Issigonis's friend Dr. Alex Moulton at Moulton Developments Limited, used compact rubber cones instead of conventional springs; this space-saving design featured rising progressive-rate springing of the cones, provided some natural damping, in addition to the normal dampers.
Built into the subframes, the rubber cone system gave a raw and bumpy ride accen
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines, like the internal combustion engine, burn a fuel to create heat, used to do work. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air, clockwork motors in wind-up toys use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create forces and motion; the word engine derives from Old French engin, from the Latin ingenium–the root of the word ingenious. Pre-industrial weapons of war, such as catapults and battering rams, were called siege engines, knowledge of how to construct them was treated as a military secret; the word gin, as in cotton gin, is short for engine. Most mechanical devices invented during the industrial revolution were described as engines—the steam engine being a notable example. However, the original steam engines, such as those by Thomas Savery, were not mechanical engines but pumps.
In this manner, a fire engine in its original form was a water pump, with the engine being transported to the fire by horses. In modern usage, the term engine describes devices, like steam engines and internal combustion engines, that burn or otherwise consume fuel to perform mechanical work by exerting a torque or linear force. Devices converting heat energy into motion are referred to as engines. Examples of engines which exert a torque include the familiar automobile gasoline and diesel engines, as well as turboshafts. Examples of engines which produce thrust include rockets; when the internal combustion engine was invented, the term motor was used to distinguish it from the steam engine—which was in wide use at the time, powering locomotives and other vehicles such as steam rollers. The term motor derives from the Latin verb moto which means to maintain motion, thus a motor is a device. Motor and engine are interchangeable in standard English. In some engineering jargons, the two words have different meanings, in which engine is a device that burns or otherwise consumes fuel, changing its chemical composition, a motor is a device driven by electricity, air, or hydraulic pressure, which does not change the chemical composition of its energy source.
However, rocketry uses the term rocket motor though they consume fuel. A heat engine may serve as a prime mover—a component that transforms the flow or changes in pressure of a fluid into mechanical energy. An automobile powered by an internal combustion engine may make use of various motors and pumps, but all such devices derive their power from the engine. Another way of looking at it is that a motor receives power from an external source, converts it into mechanical energy, while an engine creates power from pressure. Simple machines, such as the club and oar, are prehistoric. More complex engines using human power, animal power, water power, wind power and steam power date back to antiquity. Human power was focused by the use of simple engines, such as the capstan, windlass or treadmill, with ropes and block and tackle arrangements; these were used in cranes and aboard ships in Ancient Greece, as well as in mines, water pumps and siege engines in Ancient Rome. The writers of those times, including Vitruvius and Pliny the Elder, treat these engines as commonplace, so their invention may be more ancient.
By the 1st century AD, cattle and horses were used in mills, driving machines similar to those powered by humans in earlier times. According to Strabo, a water powered mill was built in Kaberia of the kingdom of Mithridates during the 1st century BC. Use of water wheels in mills spread throughout the Roman Empire over the next few centuries; some were quite complex, with aqueducts and sluices to maintain and channel the water, along with systems of gears, or toothed-wheels made of wood and metal to regulate the speed of rotation. More sophisticated small devices, such as the Antikythera Mechanism used complex trains of gears and dials to act as calendars or predict astronomical events. In a poem by Ausonius in the 4th century AD, he mentions a stone-cutting saw powered by water. Hero of Alexandria is credited with many such wind and steam powered machines in the 1st century AD, including the Aeolipile and the vending machine these machines were associated with worship, such as animated altars and automated temple doors.
Medieval Muslim engineers employed gears in mills and water-raising machines, used dams as a source of water power to provide additional power to watermills and water-raising machines. In the medieval Islamic world, such advances made it possible to mechanize many industrial tasks carried out by manual labour. In 1206, al-Jazari employed a crank-conrod system for two of his water-raising machines. A rudimentary steam turbine device was described by Taqi al-Din in 1551 and by Giovanni Branca in 1629. In the 13th century, the solid rocket motor was invented in China. Driven by gunpowder, this simplest form of internal combustion engine was unable to deliver sustained power, but was useful for propelling weaponry at high speeds towards enemies in battle and for fireworks. After invention, this innovation spread throughout Europe; the Watt steam engine was the first type of steam engine to make use of steam at a pressure just above atmospheric to drive the piston he
A manual transmission known as a manual gearbox, a standard transmission or colloquially in some countries as a stick shift, is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications. It uses a driver-operated clutch engaged and disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever, for regulating torque transfer from the engine to the transmission. A conventional 5-speed manual transmission is the standard equipment in a base-model vehicle, while more expensive manual vehicles are equipped with a 6-speed transmission instead; the number of forward gear ratios is expressed for automatic transmissions as well. Manual transmissions feature a driver-operated clutch and a movable gear stick. Most automobile manual transmissions allow the driver to select any forward gear ratio at any time, but some, such as those mounted on motorcycles and some types of racing cars, only allow the driver to select the next-higher or next-lower gear; this type of transmission is sometimes called a sequential manual transmission.
In a manual transmission, the flywheel is attached to the engine's crankshaft and spins along with it. The clutch disc is in between the pressure plate and the flywheel, is held against the flywheel under pressure from the pressure plate; when the engine is running and the clutch is engaged, the flywheel spins the clutch plate and hence the transmission. As the clutch pedal is depressed, the throw out bearing is activated, which causes the pressure plate to stop applying pressure to the clutch disk; this makes the clutch plate stop receiving power from the engine, so that the gear can be shifted without damaging the transmission. When the clutch pedal is released, the throw out bearing is deactivated, the clutch disk is again held against the flywheel, allowing it to start receiving power from the engine. Manual transmissions are characterized by gear ratios that are selectable by locking selected gear pairs to the output shaft inside the transmission. Conversely, most automatic transmissions feature epicyclic gearing controlled by brake bands and/or clutch packs to select gear ratio.
Automatic transmissions that allow the driver to manually select the current gear are called manumatics. A manual-style transmission operated by computer is called an automated transmission rather than an automatic though no distinction between the two terms need be made. Contemporary automobile manual transmissions use four to six forward gear ratios and one reverse gear, although consumer automobile manual transmissions have been built with as few as two and as many as seven gears. Transmissions for heavy trucks and other heavy equipment have 8 to 25 gears so the transmission can offer both a wide range of gears and close gear ratios to keep the engine running in the power band. Operating aforementioned transmissions use the same pattern of shifter movement with a single or multiple switches to engage the next sequence of gear selection. French inventors Louis-Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor are credited with the development of the first modern manual transmission, they demonstrated their three-speed transmission in 1894 and the basic design is still the starting point for most contemporary manual transmissions.
This type of transmission offered multiple gear ratios and, in most cases, reverse. The gears were engaged by sliding them on their shafts, which required careful timing and throttle manipulation when shifting, so the gears would be spinning at the same speed when engaged; these transmissions are called sliding mesh transmissions or sometimes crash boxes, because of the difficulty in changing gears and the loud grinding sound that accompanied. Newer manual transmissions on 4+-wheeled vehicles have all gears mesh at all times and are referred to as constant-mesh transmissions, with "synchro-mesh" being a further refinement of the constant mesh principle. In both types, a particular gear combination can only be engaged when the two parts to engage are at the same speed. To shift to a higher gear, the transmission is put in neutral and the engine allowed to slow down until the transmission parts for the next gear are at a proper speed to engage; the vehicle slows while in neutral and that slows other transmission parts, so the time in neutral depends on the grade and other such factors.
To shift to a lower gear, the transmission is put in neutral and the throttle is used to speed up the engine and thus the relevant transmission parts, to match speeds for engaging the next lower gear. For both upshifts and downshifts, the clutch is released; some drivers use the clutch only for starting from a stop, shifts are done without the clutch. Other drivers will depress the clutch, shift to neutral engage the clutch momentarily to force transmission parts to match the engine speed depress the clutch again to shift to the next gear, a process called double clutching. Double clutching is easier to get smooth, as speeds that are close but not quite matched need to speed up or slow down only transmission parts, whereas with the clutch engaged to the engine, mismatched speeds are fighting the rotational inertia and power of the engine. Though automobile and light truck transmissions are now universally synchronized, transmissions for heavy trucks and machinery, motor