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Jay Leno Showcases His 100-Year Old Truck, Admits It's Slow but Has a Bulletproof Engine

Today's most powerful cars have massive engines, huge turbos, and complicated drivetrains. The most powerful cars 100-years ago had two-cylinder engines, no batteries, and ran 16 to 18-hours without overheating. In the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage, the seasoned car enthusiast showcased his precious 1916 Autocar Coal truck.
1916 Autocar Coal Truck Jay Leno 12 photos
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Autocar is one of the oldest auto manufacturing companies in the world. It started as Pittsburg Motors in 1897 before moving to Ardmore, Pennsylvania, in 1899, changing its name to Autocar. The Ardmore-based car manufacturer began making cars in 1907 but later switched to exclusively trucks in 1911.

Leno's relic is a 1916-built Autocar truck. One of the coolest features of this old-age automobile is it doesn't come with a battery. Instead, it has a magneto. According to Leno, his Autocar truck can sit up to 5-years, and you'll only need to pull it a couple of times to fire up.

Under the hood, it comes with a twin-cylinder engine mated to a 3-speed transmission making 19 hp (18.7 ps). It also comes with solid rubber tires (no need to worry about air pressure), wooden wheels that are incredibly strong, an emergency brake lever, and a hand throttle.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of the 1916 Autocar truck was its design. Leno says its wheels can turn in almost any direction. Due to its petite size, it maneuvered through tiny alleyways delivering coal.

"It was meant to be started at maybe 6 in the morning, and then it just ran continuously for the next 15,16,18-hours," Leno disclosed.

The only downside to the 100-year-old coal truck is it's not a 'start-and-go' car. Even though Leno says it fires up at once, it took him a couple of minutes to get the engine chugging during the episode.

Leno admits the 1916 Autocar Coal truck is a bulletproof automobile. It might take a long time to get anywhere, but it never gets stuck or breaks down.

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