"Batteries Not Included"
The "Real" Tesla Electric Car Motor
by Mike Gamble
@ COFEB 2016
[ PDF ]
For those of you that haven’t met me, I am Mike Gamble a retired
electrical engineer; put in 30 years at (BR&T) Boeing Research
and Technology (Seattle, Wa) where I ran an R&D Lab building
all kinds of fun stuff. Would like to thank the conference
chairman for having me back to talk more about Tesla’s work...
The "Real" Tesla Electric Car Motor
( Part 2 )
by Mike Gamble
[ PDF ]
The "Real" Tesla Electric Car Motor
( Part 3 )
by Mike Gamble
[ PDF ]
Tesla's Electric Car
Excerpt from: "The Forgotten Art of Electric-Powered
Automobiles" by Arthur Abrom
..But, back to our electric automobiles -- in 1931, under the
financing of Pierce-Arrow and George Westinghouse, a 1931
Pierce-Arrow was selected to be tested at the factory grounds in
Buffalo, NY. The standard internal combustion engine was removed
and an 80-hp 1800 rpm electric motor installed to the clutch
and transmission. The AC motor measured 40 inches long and 30
inches in diameter and the power leads were left standing in the
air -- no external power source!
At the appointed time, Nikola Tesla arrived from New York
City and inspected the Pierce-Arrow automobile. He then went
to a local radio store and purchased a handful of tubes (12),
wires and assorted resistors. A box measuring 24 inches long, 12
inches wide and 6 inches high was assembled housing the circuit.
The box was placed on the front seat and had its wires
connected to the air-cooled, brushless motor. Two rods 1/4" in
diameter stuck out of the box about 3" in length.
Mr. Tesla got into the driver's seat, pushed the two rods in and
stated, "We now have power". He put the car into gear and it moved
forward! This vehicle, powered by an AC motor, was driven to
speeds of 90 mph. and performed better than any internal
combustion engine of its day! One week was spent testing the
vehicle. Several newspapers in Buffalo reported this test.
When asked where the power came from, Tesla replied, "From the
ethers all around us". Several people suggested that Tesla was mad
and somehow in league with sinister forces of the universe. He
became incensed, removed his mysterious box from the vehicle and
returned to his laboratory in New York City. His secret died with
It is speculated that Nikola Tesla was able to somehow harness the
earth's magnetic field that encompasses our planet. And, he
somehow was able to draw tremendous amounts of power by cutting
these lines of force or causing them to be multiplied together.
The exact nature of his device remains a mystery but it did
actually function by powering the 80 hp AC motor in the Pierce
Arrow at speeds up to 90 m.p.h. and no recharging was ever
"Information about an Invention by Dr.
Nikola Tesla, which is said to have harnessed Cosmic Energy"
(Unidentified document circulated in the early 1980s)
The following is a summary of an interview on 16 September 1967 of
Peter Savo, a nephew of Dr. Nikola Tesla, by Derek Ahlers, an
aeronautical engineer. An attempt was made to record Peter's
answers to 36 questions prepared in advance. However, Peter talked
very freely, in a somewhat rambling fashion, and repeatedly
provided the answers before the questions were asked. In addition,
since Mr Savo and Mr Ahlers have known each other for some 10
years, the subject had previously been discussed and some of this
earlier information is included.
Peter Savo was born in Knim, Yugoslavia, just before the turn of
the century. As Yugoslavia was then a part of Austria, he entered
the Austrian army and learned to fly at the military flying school
at Wiener Neustadt. After World War 1 he emigrated to Italy.
Dr Nikola Tesla was Peter's uncle on his mother's side. It was he
who suggested that Peter come to the United States. He met Peter
at the boat on arrival and seems to have taken a fatherly interest
in him until his death…
Sometime in 1931, Dr Tesla took Peter to Buffalo, NY for the
unveiling and final testing of a new kind of automobile. Dr. Tesla
acted somewhat mysteriously about it, would tell Peter nothing in
advance, and even after he had seen the car, answered some of his
questions with "Don't as any questions".
The car turned out to be a standard Pierce Arrow, with the engine
removed and certain other components installed instead. The
standard Clutch, gear box and drive train remained installed.
Under the hood, there was a brushless electric motor, connected to
the engine [?]. The engine was said to measure 40" long by 28"
diameter. However, some of these figures may be estimates. Tesla
would not divulge who made the motor.
Set into the dash was a "power receiver" consisting of a box
measuring about 24" long by 10" wide by 6" high, containing 12
radio tubes. Three of these tubes were model 70-L-7. A vertical
antenna consisting of a 6-foot rod, was installed and connected to
the power receiver.
The receiver, in turn, was connected to the motor by two heavy,
conspicuous cables. Two "spindles" (rods?) about 1/4" diameter by
3" long protruded form the receiver towards the driver. Tesla
pushed these in before starting and said: "We now have power".
These spindles were in line with the two power cables coming out
of the back of the unit and presumable worked to separate power
There was a 12-volt Willard battery installed in the car, but it
was for the lights only and much too small to run the car. In any
case, the motor was an AC motor.
Peter said that Dr Tesla had built the power receiver himself in
his hotel room, and carried it to Buffalo. The motor was built for
him by some unknown company. The motor was completely enclosed and
when Peter first saw it, it was stopped. Later, after the engine
was running, Dr Tesla asked Peter to look under the hood to check
whether the fan was running. Peter asked what the fan was for and
was told that "The engine is running pretty hot". Maximum engine
speed was 1800 rpm. Power rating was 80 hp.
To start the car, Dr Tesla handed Peter an ignition-type key.
Peter inserted it and a green light came on, on the dash. Dr Tesla
thereupon said: "The engine is now in motion". The engine could
not be heard from the driver's seat at all. When listening under
the hood with the engine on, there was a slight hum. The standard
accelerator pedal was used to control engine speed. Clutch, brake
and gearshift were unchanged.
The instruments on the dash appeared to be standard ones. However,
there was a voltmeter which was used to measure output of the
receiver. Dr Tesla commented that the receiver had enough reserve
power so that you could drive the car next to a house, connect the
wiring, and light up the whole house. There was also some kind of
hydraulic pressure gauge on the dash. Peter asked its purpose but
Dr Tesla would not tell him.
Peter drove the car for about 50 miles at speeds up to 90 mph (the
speedometer was calibrated to 120 mph). Power seemed at least as
good as the normal Pierce Arrow engine. Acceleration in second
gear seemed particularly good. Shifting gears seemed somewhat
smoother than with a normal engine.
Dr Tesla seemed enthusiastic on the first test ride and said,
"Peter, this day will make history!" When Peter questioned the
source of the energy to drive the car, Dr Tesla said: "It is a
mysterious radiation that comes out of the ether." He said that he
did not know where it came from but that it seemed to be available
in limitless quantitites and that mankind should be thankful for
it as it would soon drive boats, cars, trains and planes. Dr Tesla
and Peter spent 8 days in Buffalo, testing the car. Peter
described on incident where they stopped the car at a traffic
light and a bystander commented that he could see no smoke coming
from the exhaust. Peter replied to him: "We don't have an engine".
When they left Buffalo, Dr Tesla removed the "ignition" key and
the radio tubes and took them with him. The car was left at a
farmhouse some 20 miles from Buffalo, not far from Niagara Falls.
The car was kept under tight security and this was the reason for
keeping it at such a remote spot. Peter heard a rumor that a
secretary of Tesla's broke security and told General Electric
about it and promptly got fired. Dr Tesla acted somewhat
mysterious and would not answer many of Peter's questions.
However, Peter considers this merely part of security measures and
categorically ruled out any possibility of a hoax or practical
Peter knows of no specific persons to whom the car was shown.
However, about a month after the Buffalo trip e got a phone call
form Dr Lee De Forest who asked him: "How did you like that car?"
Peter expressed his enthusiasm and De Forest then called Tesla one
of the greatest living scientists.
About 7 years ago Peter was approached by a Yugoslav diplomat then
at the United Nations (Peter could not remember the name but has a
record of it) who asked if he could find the engine and power
receiver of that car. He dropped the name Rockefeller and said
that they "could make millions" if they had this engine to copy.
Peter made some attempts to comply, but without results. Peter is
very anti-Tito and probably did not try very hard. The diplomat
died about two years ago.
Asked whether he knew of any other applications of this type of
power, Peter said that Tesla was negotiating with some big
shipbuilding concern to build a boat with such an engine. However,
when he asked questions about this, Dr Tesla got annoyed and Peter
never found out who the company was.
When asked whatever happened to the car, Peter said that he had
heard that it had been shipped to Yugoslavia. However, he has
written to friends in Yugoslavia about this and they replied that
nothing ever arrived.
Upon being asked whether there was any possibility that drawings
of the car might be in existence somewhere, Peter said there was a
man in some town in Pennsylvania who might just have such
Peter Savo is a lonely, bored old man, living in a cheap Manhattan
hotel and supported by his two sons who are US Navy pilots in Viet
Nam. His idleness and worries have induced a nervous condition
with certain accompanying physical symptoms. I told Peter that he
needed an aim and purpose in life and that reconstructing the
facts of Dr Tesla's invention and giving them to eh world would be
such a purpose, to say nothing of a probable financial reward.
Peter thereupon said that he would phone the man in Pennsylvania
and would phone others in Akron Ohio and in Chicago. He will also
write to his relatives in Yugoslavia, who are surviving members of
the Tesla family, to get all possible information.
Since Peter was very poorly off financially, I gave his $20 out of
my own pocket for the phone calls and postage. Peter is quite
intelligent but lacks a formal education and has quite a thick
accent. It is possible that he may be unable to reach the people
he has in mind. However, in that event, it is still possible that
a search by an experienced investigator who visits the places
mentioned above, might locate them. However, this would of course
cost more money and the question would then arise as to who has
sufficient interest in this information to pay the expenses…
Excerpts from Keelynet BBS Posts on this topic ~
Some fellow called up from Indiana or somewhere like that.. He
says he has a fairly detailed article on the TESLA
mystery power box as detailed in TESLAFE.ZIP... claims there were
only three tubes and they were all BEAM RECTIFIER TYPES, hell he
even gave us the tube numbers (70L7GT)...
Re: The beam rectifier tubes reportedly
used in Tesla's box... rectification
implies the reception of an AC signal, which might imply that
Tesla had another "toy" nearby broadcasting power, albeit on a
smaller scale than some of his earlier projects. We believe this
to indicate a smaller Wardenclyffe but there is no evidence
The following data is copied verbatim from the 1964
RCA Receiving Tube Manual. The 70L7GT is listed as a discontinued
type so the wonderful descriptions of other tubes in the manual is
unavailable for this type; however, a table of discontinued types
at the back of the manual provided the following. The
diagram is, of course, irreproducible in ASCII but it looks like a
very ordinary keyed octal glass tube of its period, at 1-3/16"
diameter, 2-7/8" high (above chassis). It does not possess a metal
"tit" at the top. It appears that it's a dedicated-application
tube for radio receivers (it both rectifies and amplifies, cutting
down on tube count and saving manufacturing dollars), so I
am immediately skeptical about any real significance to
this type. There are related types, including the 117L7GT,
but no direct substitution. Antique Electronic Supply in Tempe AZ
apparently stocks this tube. The tube, used as
indicated, appears very ordinary, however we can assume that Tesla
did not exactly follow RCA recommended application tolerances
(i.e. he hacked it).
70L7GT : RECTIFIER - BEAM POWER TUBE
Heater Voltage: 70 V
Heater Current: 150 mA
Use(s): Amplifier Unit as Class A Amplifier... Half Wave Rectifier
CHARACTERISTICS AS AMPLIFIER
Plate Supply : 110
Grid Bias Volts : -7.5 V
Screen Supply : 110 V
Screen Current : 3.0 mA
Plate Current : 40.0 mA
AC Plate Resistance : 15000 ohm
Transconductance : 7500 microomhs
Amplification Factor :
Load for Power Output: 2000
Output : 1.8 W
CHARACTERISTICS AS RECTIFIER
Max. Peak Inverse Volts: 350 V
Max. DC Output mA : 70 mA
Max. Peak Plate mA : 420 mA
Minimum Total Effective
Plate Supply Impedance : 10 ohm
The following are the details as removed from the file TESLAFE1 :
The standard internal combustion engine was removed and an 80-HP
1800 rpm electric motor installed to the clutch and transmission.
The AC motor measured 40 inches long and 30 inches in
diameter and the power leads were left standing in the air --- no
external power source!
He then went to a local radio store and purchased a handful of
tubes (12), wires and assorted resistors. A box measuring 24
inches long, 12 inches wide and 6 inches high was assembled
housing the circuit. The box was placed on the front seat and had
its wires connected to the air-cooled, brushless motor. Two rods
1/4" in diameter stuck out of the box about 3" in length."
We will first of all note the use of an AC coil motor. This alone
tells us that the Tesla device was superior and not so dependent
on tuning as was Moray's machine which could only power
RESISTIVE loads. All universal energy moves in WAVES and so is
essentially for alternating current (AC). That is why Moray
called his book "THE SEA OF ENERGY IN WHICH THE EARTH FLOATS". The
entire universe is continually bathed in these AC energies and
they cover the entire frequency spectrum.
What intrigues the hell out of me was how Tesla could use
"off-the-shelf" vacuum tubes and other components, put them
together in the correct configuration and make it work.
Another point we should note is the list of components :
1) 12 Vacuum Tubes
3) Assorted Resistors
4) 1/4" diameter rods 3" in length
NOTE, NO CAPACITORS! The wires could have been simply for
connection or wound as coils. The 1/4" rods were either BUS BARS
for power output taps OR more likely ANTENNAS! Resonant circuits
can be constructed using several techniques. You can achieve the
same effect from :
1) Resistors AND capacitors
2) Capacitors AND coils
3) Coils AND resistors
So, in the case of the Tesla Power Box, he either wound his own
coils or simply used the wire to connect the resistors with the
vacuum tubes. I am of the opinion that he used the wire ONLY
for connection and DID NOT USE COILS! I also think he used a DIODE
somewhere in the circuit in order to tap ONLY one polarity.
We have no specifications for the AC motor that Tesla used in the
auto, so we have no idea if it was single or polyphase. In the
case of a single phase motor, it only requires a single
winding which projects a magnetic field that rotates according to
the increase or decrease of the alternating current.
A polyphase (poly = two or more) motor uses multiple windings
which are fed by phased input currents that alternate in such a
manner as to reinforce each other. In the case of a 3 phase motor,
the currents are phased 120 degrees apart. This gives much greater
torque to the motor but requires 3 times the current because it
uses 3 times the input energy.
Since the box powered an AC (coil) motor, it is probable it was
TUNED to one or more frequencies, most likely polyphased
frequencies. So, if the 3" long rods were in fact ANTENNAS,
we can calculate their frequency by using the following :
(I cannot express Lambda here so we will use w for wavelength)
w = wavelength
v = velocity of propagation
f = signal frequency
A short example: w = v / f = wavelength in feet
w = 984,000,000/1,500,000 = 656 feet
f = 984,000,000/656 = 1,500,000 or 1.5 MHZ
3 inches x 4 = 1 foot
984,000,000/1 = 984,000,000
984,000,000/4 = 246,000,000 or 246 MHZ
This would indicate the 3" rods (if they were truly 3" in length
and functioning as antennas) would resonate at 246 MHZ.
Because of the parts list description, I am of the
opinion that it was a DUAL circuit. That is, 6 vacuum tubes and
one 1/4" diameter 3" rod along with assorted resistors were to
pick up and "pump" ONLY the positive going signals, while the
other 6 vacuum tubes, rod and resistors did the same
for the negative going signals. Such a scheme could either
use PARALLEL or SERIAL connections of the vacuum tubes. Since
current conduction is proportional to surface area, one would
think that a parallel arrangement of the vacuum tubes with all
INPUTS connected to one antenna source and all OUTPUTS connected
to a common terminal attached to the load, would provide for the
MAXIMUM current flow from incoming energy waves.
The nature of these "energy waves" is the question here. Are they
cosmic rays, electrostatic, Schumann peaks, magnetic force,
something "other" or Aether flow into the neutral centers of mass
as per Keely.
Vacuum tube construction takes several forms. Of these, the
simplest is two plates separated by a grid wire. When the bottom
plate is heated, thermally induced ions (thermionic emissions) are
emitted by the bottom plate. The grid can be biased by the
application of voltage to increase, decrease or halt the
flow of these ions to the upper plate.
Other forms include more plates with more grids to allow better
control of the ion flow. By proper biasing, vacuum tubes can
be operated as switches, modulators or amplifiers among other
Vacuum tubes operate primarily with high voltages that control the
ion flows. Modern transistors are equivalent to vacuum tubes
except that they operate using CURRENT instead of voltage.
Transistors equate to Vacuum tubes by the following comparisons :
Vacuum Tube ~ Transistor ~ Polarity
Voltage ~ Current
Lower plate ~ Emitter ~ negative-cathode
Grid ~ Base ~ neutral
Upper plate ~ Collector ~ Positive-anode
In the case of the Tesla Power Box, the vacuum tube appears to
function as a "pump", collecting incoming current in the form of
ion intensification. Once this "compressed" ion field
reaches a certain density, the pump allows it to be released into
the next stage of the circuit, be it the actual load or another
So if the circuit is 6 vacuum tubes in parallel, all fed from a
common antenna, outputting to a common load terminal, then the
common antenna input would feed all vacuum tubes with the same
wave. This would give the greatest CURRENT accumulation because of
the EXPANDED SURFACE AREA of the paralleled tubes.
Note, these vacuum tubes most likely operate in the "cold cathode"
mode since the heaters of the vacuum tubes were not fed by
any outside voltage to provide the heat for the more orthodox
If the vacuum tubes are hooked in series, then one "pump" would
feed another "pump" to get successively higher densities of
electrons. This would give higher VOLTAGES because of increased
Keep in mind that electricity is much like air or water. We can
think of voltage as pounds per square inch (PSI) and current as
cubic feet per minute (CFM). That is PSI is pressure, CFM is flow.
Another analog is comparing a river to electricity. In such a
comparison, the speed of the river is the VOLTAGE or pressure
while the width of the river is the CURRENT or rate of flow. Such
a comparison shows WHY current requires THE GREATEST SURFACE AREA
for the maximum flow. Fuses function on just this principle, when
the current flows over the surface of the fuse, it creates
heat. If too much current flows, it creates too much heat causing
the fuse to melt and separate. The more surface area the
fuse, the greater the amount of current can flow, another reason
to not place a penny in a fuse socket.
So we have two antennas (1/4" diameter, 3" long rods), two sets of
6 vacuum tubes connected together by wire and assorted
resistors. As the waves of energy are collected by the 3" rods,
positive on one, negative on another, the energy builds up in the
form of increased ions in each of the paralleled
vacuum tubes. As in Moray's generator, the circuit will feed
whatever load is attached as long as it does not EXCEED the
current carrying capacity of the circuit components.
What we have is an energy pumping system.
Excerpt: Secrets of Cold War Technology --- Project HAARP and
Beyond, by Gerry Vassilatos (ISBN 0-945685-20-3); "Tesla's
Electric Car" (page 91)
Tesla had already considered the condition of charged particles,
each representing a tightly constricted whorl of aether. The force
necessarily exerted at close distances by such aetheric
constrictions was incalculably large. Aetheric ponderance
maintained particulate stability.
Crystalline lattices were therefore places within which one could
expect to find unexpected voltages. Indeed, the high voltages
inherent in certain metallic lattices, intra-atomic field
energies, are enormous. The close Coulomb gradient between atomic
centers are electrostatic potentials reaching humanly unattainable
By comparison, the voltages which Tesla once succeeded in
releasing were quite insignificant. In these balanced lattices,
Tesla sought the voltages needed to initiate directed aetheric
streams in matter.
Once such a flow began, one could simply tap the stream for power.
In certain materials, these ether streams might automatically
produce the contaminating electrons, a source of energy for
existing appliances. One could theoretically then "tailor" the
materials needed to produce unexpected aetheric power with or
without the attendant detrimental particles.
Tesla did mention the latent aetheric power of charged forces, the
explosive potentials of bound Ether, and the aetheric power
inherent in matter.
By these studies, Tesla sought replacement for the 100,000,000
volt initiating pulses which natural law required for the
implementation of space Ether. Tesla had long been forced to
abandon those gigantic means by other, less natural laws.
Thereafter, Tesla shifted his attentions from the appreciation of
the gigantic to an appreciation of the miniature. He sought a
means for proliferating an immense number of small and compact
aether power receivers.
With one such device, Tesla succeeded in obtaining power to drive
am electric car. But for the exceptional account which follows, we
would have little information on this last period in Tesla's
productive life, one which very apparently did not cease its
prolific streams of creativity to his last breath.
The information comes through an unlikely source, one rarely
mentioned by Tesla biographers. It chanced that an aeronautical
engineer, Derek Ahlers, met with one of Tesla's nephews then
living in New York. Theirs was an acquaintance lasting some 10
years, consisting largely of anecdotal commentaries on Dr. Tesla.
Mr. Savo provided an enormous fund of knowledge concerning many
episodes in Tesla's last years.
Himself an Austrian military man and a trained aviator, Mr. Savo
was extremely open about certain long-cherished incidents in which
his uncle's genius was consistency made manifest. Mr. Savo
reported that in 1931, he participated in an experiment involving
aetheric power. Unexpectedly, almost inappropriately, he was asked
to accompany his uncle on a long train ride to Buffalo.
A few times in this journey, Mr. Savo asked the nature of their
journey. Dr. Tesla remained unwilling to disclose any information,
speaking rather directly to this issue. Taken into a small garage,
Dr. Tesla walked directly to a Pierce Arrow, opened the hood and
began making a few adjustments. In place of the engine, there was
an AC motor.
This measured a little more than 3 feet long, and a little more
than 2 feet in diameter. From it trailed two very thick cables
which connected with the dashboard. In addition, there was an
ordinary 12 volt storage battery. The motor was rated at 80
Maximum rotor speed was stated to be 30 turns per second. A 6 foot
antenna rod was fitted into the rear section of the car.
Dr. Tesla stepped into the passenger side and began making
adjustments on a "power receiver" which had been built directly
into the dashboard.
The receiver, no larger than a short-wave radio of the day, used
12 special tubes which Dr. Tesla brought with him in a boxlike
The device had been prefitted into the dashboard, no larger than a
short-wave receiver. Mr. Savo told Mr. Ahler that Dr. Tesla built
the receiver in his hotel room, a device 2 feet in length, nearly
1 foot wide, a 1/2 foot high.
These curiously constructed tubes having been properly installed
in their sockets, Dr. Tesla pushed in 2 contact rods and informed
Peter that power was now available to drive.
Several additional meters read values which Dr. Tesla would not
explain. Not sound was heard. Dr. Tesla handed Mr. Savo the
ignition key and told him to start the engine, which he promptly
did. Yet hearing nothing, the accelerator was applied, and the car
instantly moved. Tesla's nephew drove this vehicle without other
fuel for an undetermined long interval.
Mr. Savo drove a distance of 50 miles through the city and out to
the surrounding countryside. The car was tested to speeds of 90
mph, with the speedometer rated to 120.
After a time, and with increasing distance from the city itself,
Dr. Tesla felt free enough to speak. Having now become
sufficiently impressed with the performance of both his device and
Dr. Tesla informed his nephew that the device could not only
supply the needs of the car forever, but could also supply the
needs of a household - with power to spare. When originally asked
how the device worked, Tesla was initially adamant and refused to
Many who have read this "apocryphal account" have stated it to be
the result of an "energy broadcast". This misinterpretation has
simply caused further confusions concerning this stage of Tesla's
work. He had very obviously succeeded in performing, with this
small and compact device, what he had learned in Colorado and
As soon as they were on the country roads, clear of the more
congested areas, Tesla began to lecture on the subject. Of the
motive source he referred to "a mysterious radiation which comes
out of the aether". The small device very obviously and
effectively appropriated this energy.
Tesla also spoke very glowingly of this providence, saying of the
energy itself that "it is available in limitless quantities".
Dr. Tesla stated that although "he did not know where it came
from, mankind should be very grateful for its presence".
The two remained in Buffalo for 8 days, rigorously testing the car
in the city and countryside. Dr. Tesla also told Mr. Savo that the
device would soon be used to drive boats, planes, trains, and
other automobiles. Once, just before leaving the city limits, they
stopped at a streetlight and a bystander joyfully commented
concerning their lack of exhaust fumes.
Mr. Savo spoke up whimsically, saying that they had "no engine".
They left Buffalo and traveled to a predetermined location which
Dr. Tesla knew, an old farmhouse barn some 20 miles from Buffalo.
Dr. Tesla and Mr. Savo left the car in this barn, took the 12
tubes and the ignition key, and departed.
Later on, Mr. Savo heard a rumor that a secretary had spoken
candidly about both the receiver and the test run, being promptly
fired for the security breach. About a month after the incident,
Mr. Savo received a call from a man who identified himself as Lee
De Forest, who asked how he enjoyed the car.
Mr. Savo expressed his joy over the mysterious affair, and Mr. de
Forest declared Tesla the greatest living scientist in the world.
Later, Mr. Savo asked his uncle whether or not the power receiver
was being used in other applications.
He was informed that Dr. Tesla had been negotiating with a major
shipbuilding company to build a boat with a similarly outfitted
engine. Asked additional questions, Dr. Tesla became annoyed.
Highly concerned and personally strained over the security of this
design, it seems obvious that Tesla was performing these tests in
a desperate degree of secrecy for good reasons.
Tesla had already been the victim of several manipulations, deadly
actions entirely sourced in a single financial house. For this
reason, secrecy and care had become his only recent excess.
Nikola Tesla electric car hoax
The Nikola Tesla electric car hoax is an anecdote that refers to a
supposed Nikola Tesla invention described by Peter Savo, who
claimed to be a nephew of Tesla, to Derek Ahers in 1967. Savo said
that Tesla took him to Buffalo, New York in 1931 and showed him a
modified Pierce-Arrow car.
Tesla, according to the story, had removed the gasoline engine
from the car and replaced it with a brushless AC electric motor.
The motor was said to have been run by a "cosmic energy power
receiver" consisting of a box measuring about 25 inches long by 10
inches wide by 6 inches high, containing 12 radio vacuum tubes and
connected to a 6-foot-long (1.8 m) antenna. The car was said to
have been driven for about 50 miles at speeds of up to 90 mph
during an eight-day period.
The story has received some debate because the car's propulsion
system is said to have been invented by Tesla. No physical
evidence has ever been produced confirming that the car actually
existed. Tesla did not have a nephew by the name of Peter Savo,
and Tesla's grand-nephew William Terbo considers the Tesla
electric car story to be a fabrication.
A number of web pages exist that perpetuate the tale. Every
account of this purported demonstration automobile is based upon
the story plus literary embellishment.