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nick8086

1950 cars..

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How many cars in  1950  have power steering?

 

 

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Cars maybe but trucks had one as early as 1903 and was common in military vehicles in WWII. The stifling of power steering in the '30s is one reason I do not care for the patent system.

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Chrysler came out with "Hydraguide" PS in 1951.

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Posted (edited)

In 1950, no car had power steering. First car to offer power steering was Chrysler in 1951. The system was invented in 1926 by a Pierce engineer named Davis but never caught on. Chrysler was first, but in a few years everyone had it.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Sure seems like our 50 Cadillac had it but that was along time ago.

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My understanding was that it was available as an add-on in the early 1920's but issues with the Davis patent (he wanted to be paid  his invention) kept it out of the big three (four  ? five ? six ?) until the patent expired. He did grant free use of the patent to the US Government for the war effort.

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Posted (edited)

Davis invented power steering for trucks when working at Pierce Arrow's truck division. It wasn't really needed on cars when they had high pressure, narrow tires. It may have been used on a few large trucks in the thirties and forties but even there, was a specialty item for the heaviest hardest to steer trucks.

 As time went on car tires got wider and low pressure tires were introduced, for a softer ride. Through the thirties car makers developed easier to use steering systems like recirculating ball bearing  steering boxes, and added more leverage (more turns lock to lock) and large diameter steering wheels. Reducing the need for power steering. Power steering was an expensive add on, and expense didn't sell well in the depression. During the early forties car production was suspended, in the late forties they could sell anything they could make. Only in the fifties was there the demand sufficient to make it worth while to offer power steering, and once one company did it, all the others fell into line.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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After reading the post.. I was looking for cars from 1950-1960..

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BTW my 67 Camaro had manual steering & was 5 turns lock to lock. NG for autocrossing. Fortunately a common offering for GM cars of the time (particularly the Corvair) was quick steering arms. Mine became 3 turns LtoL. You really did not want to parallel park but great for slaloms.

 

Part of the problem was up until the late '70s, the power steering pumps could not keep up with rapid demand. Change direction too fast and you would suddenly lose power assist and the steering would become very heavy. Fortunately massive doses of adrenaline would overcome. Some time around 1978 that was fixed.

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