I’m reading this detective novel “The Spy” by Clive Cussler, set around 1912 New York City/Washington DC area. His detective at one point has to get somewhere quickly so he hops into a 1906 Locomobile racing car, hosting a 16 liter 4 cylinder engine. Seriously, not making that up. 4 liters displacement per cylinder. My Corolla’s displacement (1.6 L) is less than half of just a single cylinder in the Locomobile. There’s more info about this interesting early car in the link below.
At one point the detective has to pump up the fuel pressure. What? I got to wondering what that meant. The link shows that the driver’s assistant (apparently driving this car was a 2-man job normally), the assistant had the job to keep the fuel tank pressurized to the proper psi by monitoring a gauge on the dash and when it got too low, hand pumping a gadget similar to a bicycle tire pump. You can see the air pump in the photo in the link, laying on the left side of the floor. The air pressure forced the fuel to flow from the gas tank to the carburetor. There’s also 4 oiler knobs on the dashboard. The assistant would have to pump those once in a while to keep the engine parts lubricated. A sole driver with no assistant would have quite a set of tasks to do, doing the jobs of both the fuel and oil pump, in addition to steering & watching where they are going. Braking, well let’s just say better to not presume applying the brakes would do much good. Sure seems like a fun car to drive, but talk about distracted driving