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Pontiac of the Month

Debbie Harris's 1969 Grand Prix

2022 September
of the Month

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Think the one that got me was that "the inventor of the cruise control was blind" :lol:

Actually Ringo, this is true. While I worked at AC Spark Plug, we built cruise control systems for GM, so I know a little history here. Google the name Ralph Teetor.

Primitive cruise systems existed on cars using governors dating back to the turn of the 19th century. The modern (electro-mechanical) cruise system Teetor invented and patented in 1945 was named the "speedostat". It measured the speed of the driveshaft, and through the use of a bi-direction electric motor connected to the throttle, managed the speed of the vehicle. He installed it commercially for the first time on the '58 Chrysler Imperial.

Teetor was blind since age 5 but he was inspired to build the speedostat since his lawyer had this tendency to speed up and slow down a lot in the cars of the 1930s and 1940s. Teetor was a gifted mechanical and automotive engineer, inventor, and business man. He is even in the Automotive Hall of Fame.


The one statement that I am not certain I believe is the last one, about modern engines being so quite that they have to simulate noise through the radio. I would argue that any running, internal combustion engine will make some level of audible noise despite how well it is muffled, dampened, and sound insulated. Making an engine 100% quiet is just cost prohibitive in my opinion.

I will agree with this statement with an electric or hybrid vehicle running on the batteries only. I know this since a fellow Widetracker is a lead engineer on the Volt/Ampera program at GM. He has told me that they had to simulate noises, especially at start-up, to let the driver know the car is on and ready to roll.

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Simulated starter grinding noise? Ya already pushed the on button dummy! :lol2:

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