Wed Feb 26 2014 22:44:51 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Aurora Fr. Alfredo Juliano was a Roman Catholic priest who decided to build cars that were safer and in 1957 he presented his ideas in the form of the Aurora. Built on a Buick chassis, Aurora featured a plastic body designed to be dent and corrosion proof. The body also had cowcatcher like air-scoop in front and a foam-filled bumper designed to cushion a pedestrian who might be struck by the car. The car's bubble-like windshield was devised to enhance the driver's visibility -- because of its rain-shedding shape, wipers were not needed - and to provide more room between the glass and the driver or front-seat passenger's heads in a frontal impact. Not that their heads were likely to hit the windshield: The front seats were mounted on swivel; the concept was that if a frontal crash was imminent, occupants swing turn around and thus be protected by their seats. The car also had an internal roll cage, side-impact beams, a collapsible steering column, padded dashboard and seat belts. It was to be priced at $12,000. The prototype broke down repeatedly and had to be towed to its unveiling. The Aurora Motor Co. of Branford, Conn., funded in part by members of Juliano's congregation, went bankrupt after building the prototype and Juliano went to jail for accounting irregularities.