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Dual power: petrol electric transmissions


Dual power: petrol electric transmissions
This example of FIAT’s first cheap small car for world markets was modified by Tilling Stevens of Maidstone and fitted with one of their petrol electric transmissions.  These modifications were carried out by their chief electrical engineer H.K.Whitehorn.   The car was presented to the Museum in 1935.  The Museum staff were responsible for sectioning the coachwork and the mechanical components to give visitors a better idea of how it all worked.”
FIAT built some 90,000 509’s including sports versions, taxis and light commercials. Tilling Stevens of Maidstone specialised in the building of petrol electric buses and commercial vehicles. During the 1920’s and 30’s these were also popular with travelling showman as well. I have no idea who the FIAT electric was built for,  It could have been a prototype, perhaps some reads know. Sectioning exhibits was at one time popular with museums, but I suspect now many enthusiasts wished they had not! The Science Museum store at Wroughton used to have one or two open days a year. It is such a shame that there is basically no public access now as the exhibits in store are wonderful.

Words and photos: Michael Ware
     

Comments 

 
#3 Mike Tebbett 2017-02-15 10:02
Tilling Stevens were popular with Showman as they were able to use the generator with the vehicle stationary to drive the rides and fairground lights, etc.
 
 
#2 John Robins 2017-02-15 08:46
Your point about the science museum's hidden treasures is well made.

There is only one source of power on a Tilling Stevens vehicle, the petrol engine. The dynamo and electric motor transmit that power to the wheels instead of a gearbox and propeller shaft. If the engine is not running, the only way to move the vehicle is to push it.
 
 
#1 Graham Smith 2017-02-15 08:17
I like the hand throttle on the driver's door. It looks like one of the old Variac transformers. It would be interesting to know how the hybrid system worked. Presumably some sort of hand switching, this being the days before computers. Also, what sort of range did the vehicle have using only battery power?
 

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