Sure that more than once, probably while you desesperabas looking for parking in the center of a big city, you will have wished that your car could be stored in a suitcase, so that you can get to your destination, package it, and take it with you. With a little – or a lot – of imagination, and the frustration, or rather, the weariness of repeating the same procedure on his travels, landing in an airport, and queue to take the taxi, an engineer from Mazda had a brilliant idea, but extravagant. And thus was born in 1991 this Mazda that fits in a suitcase.
This madness of Mazda maybe not so much, if we look at the current landscape and the number of systems of personal transportation that each day you are presenting, as the famous hunter hoverboard.
The idea that he was chasing, and exposing Mazda more than twenty years ago on the Oprah Winfrey show, was to get your car you go to any site. And that, of course, meant to create a car extremely compact, so as to be able to be packed in a suitcase.
The first decision that had to be taken, and the most obvious, was to find a bag appropriate. Its creators opted for the suitcase Samsonite largest found at that time. A bag that, if it is true could not fly in the cabin, at least it could be, so that the owner only had to pick it up on the tapes of baggage when landing. As a frequent flyer, I have to say that I don’t know if their designers were valued at one time that bothers me most when landing at an airport, go to the queue for the taxi, or to wait for your suitcase for the tape collection. But we’re not going to get to appreciate this point.
The second decision, and also very obvious, it was to find a motor suitable for such an undertaking. We opted for the mechanics of a moped, a block, a very compact 33.6 cm3, 1,7 CV and two times. Also needed wheels, and then we opted for a very compact, 4-inch, so that the two rear could be removed and stowed in the suitcase in a few seconds, and a third, solidarity to a small handlebar-directional, it could be folded quickly and easily. The rear wheels were connected to the differential, which also had installed a small motor.
With that, and a small bracket that did the times of his seat, the driver could assemble your own car in a few seconds, and head to your destination. It does not seem that comfortable, nor safe, but this car of Mazda embedded in a suitcase could exceed 30 km/h (and they say that it exceeded 40 km/h in the tests that were done in those days). Which, frankly, already seems to us like a real stupid notion. This car become suitcase or, better said, suitcase converted into a car, had even, with a few headlamps in the front.
Its autonomy was around 2 hours of use, that under the terms of its benefits would go an amazing distance. And its operation can be seen perfectly in the video you see above, which in its day, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show that I already mentioned.
As you may have imagined, and although Mazda what to build, this idea I would never be able to prosper, and to be placed on the market. Despite the fact that in those years it was said that the cost of the prototype was $ 5,000 and that, of aim their production in series, would cost around 2,000 dollars of the time, as considered in the Popular Science January 1992.
Finally not to come to be marketed, but managed to clinch the award Fantasyard in 1991, something as well as an internal contest of Mazda designed to encourage the creativity of their employees when it comes to designing “a machine that has the ability to move” innovative and imaginative.
According to Mazda, the first prototype they created was destroyed by accident, we do not know if the fault of an operator not tried the checked-in baggage with care. Jokes aside, is still preserved – and it works – a second prototype of this suitcase transformed into a car in the collection of the specialists in preparations of Road/Race Engineering in Santa Fe Springs, California. That is the reason why in these photos you can see two cars-suitcase, one red, and one blue.
despite the fact that you have spent more than 25 years since its introduction, imagine that our impression when you see it, and our doubts, will be the same that targeted those who in the nineties saw this contraption on the Oprah Winfrey show. Who would dare to move in a thing how this? Where do we moveríamos in him?
In any case, and if we look at it with the current perspective, the idea in reality was not so far-fetched. Today we are not surprised to see no one moving on a Segway, scooters, or in the famous hunter hoverboard that is so fashionable have been made in the last year, and at the same time have generated so much controversy.
Not surprising to us that many car manufacturers present us, from time to time, different solutions for personal mobility, which while they are not designed to replace our car, yes have been designed to complement the private car, public transport, and the bike, and somehow make us a little less dependent on these.