What does a car with the first ever front bumper look like?

Today, the automobile design is brought to a certain formal system, which contains a list of necessary components. But such an element as a bumper appeared for the first time in 1897.

The car called the NW Präsident is interesting, because it is the first car in the history that received a front bumper, which does not seem unusual today. At the time, the car’s designers had no idea what this would lead to.

At the end of the 19th century, the NW Präsident looked almost like any other car, except for one detail At the end of the 19th century, the NW Präsident looked almost like any other car, except for one detail

The Czech company, by the way, was named Tatra in 1920. It would repeatedly please the world with revolutionary inventions, such as an aerodynamic body and an independent suspension. But all that happened decades after the appearance of the bumper.

This uncomplicated detail was invented in 1897 and installed in the front of the NW Präsident. At that time, this element was developed only as an adornment, and no one thought about safety at the end of the 19th century.

The process of the NW Präsident’s assembling in Kopřivnice looked magical The process of the NW Präsident’s assembling in Kopřivnice looked magical

It is interesting that a replica of this car appeared many years later or, more precisely, by 1977. Tatra’s specialists decided to assemble it for the company's museum. Besides, the original car had undergone a huge number of modifications by that time: it was already far from the original model from a design point of view. But it was not easy to revive a unique vehicle.

To do this, it was necessary to restore 1146 drawings, because the designers had only 59 preserved materials at their disposal. For this reason, many car elements had to be restored from records and photos, only a small part of which has been preserved since the beginning of the 20th century.

That NW Präsident has reached our days in this somewhat transformed condition. A metal tube with decorative ironwork in the front is the first ever bumper That NW Präsident has reached our days in this somewhat transformed condition. A metal tube with decorative ironwork in the front is the first ever bumper

Every currently familiar car detail once appeared for the first time. As a rule, any new element in turn influenced the development of the global automotive industry. Of course, the bumper did the same thing. It is difficult to imagine what cars would look like today if Tatra had not come up with this ingenuous and exclusively decorative at that time invention 123 years ago.

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