So why isn’t it standard equipment today?

This video clip shows a Cadillac innovation from the early 1950’s that seems to have worked just fine back then.  My question is, if it was so useful, why was it dropped?  In today’s crowded city streets, seems to me it’d still be very useful.

Of course, they probably couldn’t make it work with space-saver spare tires . . .



  1. It pretty much makes the trunk useless and it's only of real use in super tight parallel parking situations.

    If one finds themselves in those situations with any regularity, the solution usually is more of getting a smaller/more maneuverable car than it is to get a system that is expensive, trouble prone (with all the moving parts it would be a maintenance nightmare), and makes a major part of the car purely vestigial.

  2. High end Mercedes, BMWs and Lexae have had "Park Assist" or "Auto Park" for the past few years. Sensors determine if the parking spot is long enough and the car steers itself into the spot. All the driver has to do is select reverse gear and use the brake pedal.

    My first thoughts about the Cadillac in the video is how would you remove the spare when you need it and how much trunk space is taken up by the mechanism?


  3. …Not to mention how few cars are RWD today. Want a RWD vehicle that goes faster than the speed limit? Nope. But they'd be happy to sell you a Prius.


  4. It adds a lot of weight and complexity to the car. It wouldn't necessarily have to be the spare-tire, or so close to the rear. You need to fix or retract the standard forward wheels, otherwise you would be lifting the car a long way to overcome their suspension travel.

    I had a shed delivered from Amishland on a trailer with such a mechanism — it made positioning the trailer for accurate positioning of the shed much more practical than otherwise.

  5. Looks like a one off engineering feat. I can think of several methods to make it work all more complex that I am sure they used.

    About the only places you still see parallel parking are in older neighborhoods.

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