Some technologies are better left in the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at them and giggle — especially when they have a local connection.
In 1935, only a few decades after Henry Ford revolutionized American life with his Model T, Chevrolet began producing a newsreel-like advertisement aimed at showcasing advances in the motor vehicle industry. The videos have since fallen into public domain and are available on several sites like Archive.org.
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In one such reel, the company filmed a spaceship-looking car and travel trailer rolling down the street of a small town identified as “Quadalupe, California.” (That’s of course, actually Guadalupe, located at the northern edge of Santa Barbara County near the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.)
“Half bug and half buggie is this novel streamlined car and touring trailer,” the narrator declared as the futuristic vehicle came to a stop in a neighborhood.
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If you have any information on Angelo R. Noble, or his futuristic car design, let reporter Kaytlyn Leslie know at email@example.com. Or reach out to her via Facebook (@kaytlynleslieTribune) or Twitter (@kaytyleslie).
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In the video, a jumpsuit-clad man emerges from a silver, teardrop-shaped car — which arguably looks like something out of Star Wars — and lets several women out of the similarly-shaped trailer. The narrator notes the trailer can fit four passengers and sleep three.
Even better, the car is accessed from a front hatch, and we’re told the driver can see behind the trailer via a submarine-style periscope.
According to the clip narration, the strange-looking car and trailer were designed and built by Angelo R. Noble. It is unclear if Noble was a Guadalupe native or the man shown in the video, since no further information was provided about him in the clip.
Whatever its origin, many can probably agree with the narrator’s final statement on the car: “He may call it streamlining, but it looks like a turtle to us.”
To see the entire clip, or others from Chevy from the same time frame, visit https://archive.org/details/Chevrole1935_3.