SEAT 1500 - The Engine

The Engine

Engine options were initially restricted to a 1481 cc petrol fuelled water cooled unit, driving the rear wheels via a four speed all syncromesh gearbox. With this engine a top speed of 145 km/h (90 mph) was claimed. After 1968, demand for petrol engined versions of the SEAT 1500 fell away with the introduction of the SEAT 124, a much more modern design based on the Fiat 124, and a car with a much better power-to-weight ratio.

From 1969, both 1.8 and 2-litre diesel versions of the SEAT 1500 were offered, and most would be used as taxis. Initially only cars with the smaller diesel engines were delivered, using an engine last seen in the Mercedes Benz 180D with a claimed output in this application of 46 bhp (34 kW; 47 PS). According to one report this version took nearly 50 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph), but fuel cost savings were impressive, helped by the lower level of sales tax on diesel fuel. These were the first diesel powered saloons manufactured in Spain. Fiat were not producing diesel engines at this stage. Engines were supplied by Mercedes Benz and Perkins Engines Company Limited. The diesel engines supplied to SEAT by Mercedes Benz were versions of the four cylinder diesel engines that powered Mercedes diesel engined cars in many corners of Europe in the 1960s.

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The Engine

The Engine is a fictional device described in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift in 1726. It is possibly the earliest known reference to a device in any way resembling a modern computer. It is found at the Academy of Projectors in Lagado and is described thus by Swift:

“... Every one knew how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas, by his contrivance, the most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, might write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study.” He then led me to the frame, about the sides, whereof all his pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty feet square, placed in the middle of the room. The superfices was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered, on every square, with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language, in their several moods, tenses, and declensions; but without any order. The professor then desired me “to observe; for he was going to set his engine at work.” The pupils, at his command, took each of them hold of an iron handle, whereof there were forty fixed round the edges of the frame; and giving them a sudden turn, the whole disposition of the words was entirely changed. He then commanded six-and-thirty of the lads, to read the several lines softly, as they appeared upon the frame; and where they found three or four words together that might make part of a sentence, they dictated to the four remaining boys, who were scribes. This work was repeated three or four times, and at every turn, the engine was so contrived, that the words shifted into new places, as the square bits of wood moved upside down."

It is a device that generates permutations of word sets. Stanisław Lem in SUMMA Technologiae and McCorduck (2004) connect the machine with the Ars Magna of Ramon Llull (1275), a mechanical device for combining ideas to create new ones.

Famous quotes containing the word engine:

    The machine unmakes the man. Now that the machine is perfect, the engineer is nobody. Every new step in improving the engine restricts one more act of the engineer,—unteaches him.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)