Uncommon is the day when each a automotive’s appears to be like and its title can cease you useless in your tracks — and that’s why I wish to take at the present time to introduce you all to the pleasant Rumpler Drop, additionally known as the Rumpler Tropfenwagen.
Designed by Austrian engineer Edmund Rumpler in 1921, the Rumpler Drop is a kind of machines from the period of automotive design the place absolutely anything went. The Twenties was nonetheless early sufficient that we, as a society, weren’t completely locked right into a single conception of how a automotive ought to look, which opened the door for a ton of innovation, exploration, and experimentation.
And one among experiments was the Rumpler Drop, so named due to its teardrop-shaped physique. Edmund Rumpler was an plane engineer, and his design for the Drop was clearly impressed by the aerodynamic rules that ruled flight, and it was the very first streamlined automotive, coming effectively earlier than the Chrysler Airflow and the Tatra 77. The Drop’s drag coefficient was a mere 0.28 — a frankly exceptional quantity for a car even at present and one thing that was virtually extraordinary then.
To attain that quantity, Rumpler launched a number of distinctive options. The Drop, which debuted on the 1921 Berlin auto present, featured the world’s first panes of curved glass within the windshield and aspect home windows, which mimicked the sloping curves of the Drop’s physique.
With a 157 cu-in engine paired to a handbook transmission, the Drop made about 36 horsepower and will hit a prime velocity of 70 mph — however the actual attention-grabbing stuff got here within the suspension. The Drop is the first-ever car to characteristic the swing axle, which was designed and patented by Rumpler again in 1903, within the rear of the automotive.
Sadly, Rumpler’s Tropfenwagen wasn’t precisely a industrial success. Regardless that Mercedes-Benz noticed the promise of the Drop in motorsport functions, Rumpler solely offered about 100 vehicles in the course of the 1921-1925 manufacturing run. It smaller issues — overheating, tough steering — had been compounded by the shortage of any baggage house and the truth that the automotive simply appeared bizarre.
The Tropfenwagens did obtain some notoriety with the discharge of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the place a pile of Drops was set on hearth. Due to that, few examples of the automotive stay at present. We simply get to bask within the recollections of this odd-looking automotive and its equally pleasant title.