Owen Magnetic M 25-4
‘Magnetic’ refers to the magnetic transmission with which this car is equipped.
A generator and a large horseshoe magnet are mounted onto the crankshaft of the six-cylinder petrol engine where the flywheel is normally located. An electric motor, which is connected to the driveshaft, is situated between the poles of the magnet. The generator and magnet produce electricity which rotates the driveshaft. The speed is regulated by a lever on the steering wheel.
This principle was derived from the propulsion of a warship, the USS New Mexico of 1915. Because of its continuously variable transmission, the Owen Magnetic was known as ‘The Car of a Thousand Speeds’. R.M. Owen & Company was established in New York in 1915. D
espite an order for 500 cars from England, which were sold there under the name ‘Crown Magnetic’, the company went bankrupt in 1921. The magnetic transmission system was deemed too expensive and unconventional.
The famous tenors Enrico Caruso and John McCormack were once owners of an Owen Magnetic.