POSTED IN HTTP://AUTOWEEK.COM - AUGUST 20, 2012
From the front, its shield-shaped grille and headlights give the little car a striking, art-deco appeal. In profile and from behind, it looks a bit like a two-thirds scale Tatra. Like the Czech car, it was a novel approach to car-building for its time. It's a steel unibody car, and its engine is mounted behind the passenger compartment, just like a Tatra. Unlike the Hans Ledwinka's creation, however, the X-8's engine is mounted in front of the rear axle, making it a mid-engine car.
The X-8 is powered by—you guessed it--an X-8 engine with eight cylinders, arranged in an X configuration. Henry Ford experimented with X-8 engines but the one in this car is a unique design. While Ford's X-8's were air-cooled flatheads, this car's engine has overhead cams and it's water-cooled.
Click <here> to see Henry Ford's X-8
The X-8 was built as a prototype by an inventor named Roscoe C. Hoffman of Detroit. It's unclear which carmaker it was intended for, but Vernis believes that either the Fisher brothers or Henry Ford funded the project.
In 1961, Hoffman gave the car to Brooks Stevens as a gift and it remained in the famed designer's museum even after his death in 1995. Stevens' son, David Stevens was on hand with Vernis, eagerly assisting him in explaining just exactly what the X-8 was and what it was doing on the lawn at the most prestigious car show in the world.
Monterey car week is packed with car shows, vintage racing, and auctions. Autoweek will be there providing streaming photo galleries and live coverage of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, historic racing at Laguna Seca, the Monterey car auctions and plenty more. Go to Autoweek's Pebble Beach home page for complete coverage and live updates.
Click <here> to see a vdeo of Jay Leno discussing the car.
Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/events/incredible-hoffman-x-8-makes-appearance-pebble-beach#ixzz58wtw5Hs5