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Look Ma – No Hands and No Driver


We do not know when in fact the first radio-controlled car was operated, but this 1936 Ford could very well be one of the earliest known examples. This specially equipped car is seen at an promotional demonstration of some type, which was likely to have been conducted somewhere in the Northeast judging by the New York license plate. The car was operated by radio waves passing through the visible antenna, it then delivered the signals to the many different devices operating the throttle, clutch, gear shifter, steering and brakes.

None of the details concerning who owned and demonstrated this unique car or what type of controls were used on it are known. If you can fill in any of the details or lead us to any other early radio-controlled vehicles please send us a comment. You can see many more entertaining photos courtesy of the Benjamin Ames Collection here on The Old Motor. Although was it was not radio-controled, do take a moment to see the Jimmie Lynch Horse Car remote-controlled Dodge.

2 responses to “Look Ma – No Hands and No Driver

  1. It is amazing how often radio controlled car experiments come up for discussion, and how little information is known about it.

    In the 60s, if memory serves, 1967, on the interstate somewhere between LA and Denver, I was a kid with my family traveling. In the next lane over on a really open stretch of freeway we came upon, and slowly passed, a black sedan. There was no driver in that car. He was not bending over, or playing tricks or anything of that nature. You could see the steering wheel move slightly. We never thought it was ghostly or anything, my dad remarked it must be an experiment. I seem to remember some odd antennas on it. It was all black, contemporary sedan but do not recall what make it appeared to be.

    I have for years tried to figure out who was behind that, and how they got the permission to try it out on a public highway.

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