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Hybrid From 1916: The Owen Magnetic - Jay Leno's Garage 

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Sherlock Holmes described electricity as "the high priestess of false security" and that aptly describes the wonder of how this Owen Magnetic generates electricity using a gas engine.
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Hybrid From 1916: The Owen Magnetic - Jay Leno's Garage
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Jay Leno's Garage
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Apr 5, 2021

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Comments 100   
Buddy Whatshisname
Buddy Whatshisname 37 seconds ago
Must be magic living near Jay’s garage and seeing these pieces of rolling art go by every so often.
Max Goldberg
Max Goldberg 15 minutes ago
It sounds just like a prius slowing down!
Max Goldberg
Max Goldberg 46 minutes ago
Hey Jay, Great video. I do want to point out that Chevrolet *blatantly lied* in their marketing material regarding how the Chevy Volt works. The Volt is NOT a series hybrid, and the engine can and DOES drive the wheels directly under certain circumstances. Chevrolet wanted to distance themselves from the Toyota Prius. The prototype Volt was a series hybrid, but they found that to be impractical when doing highway cruising under gas power, returning worse fuel economy than the prius. So they landed on a design which is basically the prius prime but 7 years ahead. You take the Prius-style parallel hybrid drivetrain, complete with planetary gearset, and just swap the locations of the larger electric motor and the engine (yes the prius drivetrain requires 2 electric motors). Beef up the motor and the battery, shrink the engine a little, and you've got a Volt drivetrain. This overcomes the issue where the prius electric motor runs out of steam above 40mph, because the same control strategy that allows the prius "CVT" to operate at a low gear ratio for quick acceleration enables the electric drive motor to change it's ratio to the wheels. In a prius, the engine can propel you from a stop and at high way speeds, but the electric motor doesn't do much once you're above 40. In the Volt, the engine cannot gear down so without the electric drive it can't get you moving except by generating electricity that powers the traction motor- but once you're up to speed, the fixed ratio available between the engine and the wheels becomes viable and the engine can efficiently drive you down the freeway without converting its mechanical power to electricity first (then back to mechanical). This setup worked like a series hybrid at low speed, enabling the majority of the car's performance to be exploited with electric power only and providing a snappier throttle than was possible with the prius, but allowed the Volt to be even more efficient than the prius at constant highway speeds, akin to a tall ratio'd manual car in top gear. Technologically more complex and more effective than the series hybrid model. The final result was mechanically so similar to the prius that the marketing team decided to stick with the old diagrams and technical explanations developed for the series hybrid prototype because GM has no confidence in their customer's ability to understand the nuances of automotive engineering. GM wanted people to see it as "the electric car that recharges itself" so desperately, they continued telling people that the engine never directly drove the wheels, even though it did - and even though what they came up with was technically superior to what they advertised. If they had used the actual technical schematics, most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a volt drivetrain and a prius drivetrain. Just a good piece of trivia for car people to know, and a good thing to remember next time GM's marketing department is explaining a new technology to you: take it with a grain of salt. They want to sell you a car, not educate you, and they assume their customers aren't smart enough to call them on their BS.
Lucky Monkey
Lucky Monkey Hour ago
Thank you for recognizing the Geniuses that made all of this happen
Lucas O'Keefe
Lucas O'Keefe Hour ago
That electric brake sounds like a J33 spooling down. Love it
Richard Clark
Richard Clark Hour ago
I wonder if that huge resister is a breaking resister. That load has to be dumped somewhere to slow the car down. Best episode ever! Fascinating and entertaining.
Joe Carr
Joe Carr Hour ago
I may be wrong but it seems to me that the electricity is actually not really doing anything. The gasoline engine, even though it not directly connected to the drive shaft, is still turning the drive shaft through the magnets. The whole electrical part after the magnets probably only charged the battery to start engine and run lights, which is overkill as I'm sure a lot of electricity was produced and then wasted. I also believe it was inefficient on gasoline as sudden acceleration would have the magnetic's turning faster without giving actual forward motion as you would get with a drive shaft connected directly to the engine. Perhaps that's the surge feeling you get? Anyhow it certainly fascinating, beautiful and rare.
reloader308
reloader308 Hour ago
What I wouldn't give to drive something like this!
reloader308
reloader308 2 hours ago
I been watching this man for a long time!
Scripticus
Scripticus 2 hours ago
Thanks so much Jay!! It was fascinating!
Redondo Rita
Redondo Rita 2 hours ago
Jay Leno not only you got a big thumbs up you now have 3.5 million subscribers. Thank you for showcasing this Owen Magnetic Automobile. Have a great time with you automobile collection. If I saw your collection in person I know I would be blown away.
JSK JSK
JSK JSK 3 hours ago
The innovation of competition.🛠🏆💵
Kent Karlsson
Kent Karlsson 5 hours ago
Jay Leno has one of the finest car and motorcycle collection on the planet. Had the privilege to wake through it with my 3 Swedish friends after flagging Jay down after his show when late afternoon. As a car restorer for 25 years I can only say it is magic to wake through it.
California USA
California USA 6 hours ago
Edison's electric car plant burned down under suspicions circumstances
California USA
California USA 6 hours ago
Beautiful car
California USA
California USA 6 hours ago
And we poluted the planet for nothing what a shame
Jon Judice
Jon Judice 6 hours ago
I've had that idea for a couple years now. Gasoline engine just generates electricity to charge batteries to run an electric motor
Kat Fam
Kat Fam 6 hours ago
at the time of that car being designed huge Hydroelectric Projects were being built. like Big Creek Hydroelectric Project in Fresno CA back in 1911 they started building it with the engineering design planning starting in 1895. With people like Tomas Edison, Nikola Tesla mostly known , but then with Michael Faraday's electrical generator experiments from the 1830s to the Dynamo and then Charles F. Brush in 1876 the power of the Electromotive force was the cutting edge for the years from 1830s to the 1930s , and it's still amazing .
paul kelly
paul kelly 6 hours ago
The Mr. Bill sound. I remember :)
Birch K.
Birch K. 6 hours ago
Thank you for showing this! It's nice to see early electrical vehicle tech.
notta bill
notta bill 7 hours ago
What a nice guy.
Dion Martin
Dion Martin 7 hours ago
This is my 1st time to view your YT! This is Wonderful!!
James Myers
James Myers 8 hours ago
I think this is one of my new favorite videos from Jay. The Doble steam car and Chrysler turbine finish out the top 3 for me. And I’m 42 and I remember Mr. Bill.👍🏻
dave etcetera
dave etcetera 9 hours ago
Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, the Baker electric car is used by the hero in the Sherlock pastiche "The Mantrap"(1943).
M Kusiak
M Kusiak 10 hours ago
Here is the actual patent of the Owens magnetic transmission. It goes into detail regarding how the different functions are accomplished by the steering wheel speed control lever. The lever rotates a drum type switch, which connects the armatures and field coils of the motor and generator to various resistors, inductor and the battery to provide starting, battery charging, different speeds and braking. patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/44/72/17/1f7c61b5dee63f/US1207732.pdf
Zoe Cat
Zoe Cat 10 hours ago
Wow, you are living the dream... Old cars.... This was mind blowing that this car was invented before the Tesla. My husband keeps our cars running and our first new 1989 Honda Civic that has over 500,000 miles. he still drives 2 hours to work and 2 hours home and gets over 40 miles to the gallon. We keep our cars and truck running because we are poor, but car happy. Love your videos!
Matt Walsh
Matt Walsh 11 hours ago
Hi Jay.. The resistor is for the Regen Braking.. its the same on Locomotives.. its called Dynamic Braking.. and the energy from the Traction Motors.. when switched to Braking Mode or Regen as you call it.. is fed into a bank of huge resistors.. and also drives a huge fan to keep them cool...Of you look .. you can see this usually on the Short End of the Loco.. there are cooling fins. Obviously this car is nowhere near making that level of power.. but the principle is the same.
J EADIE
J EADIE 14 hours ago
Look at some old Yale forklifts from the 40s and 50s. They also had an engine driving a generator with an electric motor. Much higher voltages. They also had an accelerator pedal that squeezed a box of carbon particles. The difference in resistance controlled the speed. Amazing.
firebythewater
firebythewater 15 hours ago
Same concept as todays locomotives.
Ben Ulisse
Ben Ulisse 16 hours ago
Thank you for that Jay, I never knew those existed until now but boy what a beauty. Patented in 1897, electric brakes, no gears; when you think about it, it has the first "automatic transmission!" Such an incredible piece of engineering history.
Nick Gottuso
Nick Gottuso 20 hours ago
This is basically the same design as the BMW i3 REX!
darkworlddenizen
darkworlddenizen 20 hours ago
So its a hybrid
Bob Twartz
Bob Twartz 21 hour ago
what is the fuel cosumption ? to me sounds like it should be quite good as the engen is never over loaded
DaVinciMen
DaVinciMen 22 hours ago
I almost get teary eyed thinking upon what a great and good soul you are, Jay. What a blessing you are. What a great thing to preserve this tech and these gems of engineering and sharing them anew with a world that wouldn’t otherwise know of them. There is a locamotive museum in northern Cali that has a little bit of a feature of the electric ice delivering trucks that drove up and down those steep streets of San Francisco in the 1920’s. I would love to learn more about those. They were workhorses and recharged all night long. I think they ran nearly 12 hour shifts.
John SFO
John SFO 22 hours ago
It's not unusual because that's how diesel-electric locomotive work. The lever on the steering wheel resembles a motor controller on an old trolley car. Its dynamic brake sounds cool.
Timothy Roller
Timothy Roller 23 hours ago
I just got a 2017 Fiat 500e in pearl orange imported from California to Texas last month. Put a huge smile on my face to see this predecessor.
stanthology
stanthology 23 hours ago
There's a book "Internal Combustion" by Edwin Black. He tells the tale of the electric cars and charging stations on the East Coast. This was in the early 20th Century. But Rockefeller didn't like it because it spoiled his gasoline ploy. Rockefeller had the tram lines ripped up. The charging station also.It's an interesting book.
Power HorseA1A
Incredible! Thank you Sir..
Drop Point
Drop Point Day ago
Well damn jay what do you do when your in the owens magnetic and you get your dander up and feel like burnin some rubber?
Emilio Posada
Thankyou for preserving automotive history mr.leno I did some and it is expensive.
Drop Point
Drop Point Day ago
When you was removing the battery cover i saw into the past the man responsible for creating this car
matthewfaust2
One of the most relaxed car enthusiasts on US-first. Easy to listen to and watch
heywhatsthatsmell
Actually that silver can near the engine contains a small but very powerful flux capacitor . You never want open that can if you plan on having children.
Jeff A.
Jeff A. Day ago
The front fenders and grille shell look almost like a modern retro re-creation. very nice looking
Jeff A.
Jeff A. Day ago
The transmission was patented only 14 years after Benz made his first car
Kenneth Jacobs
Jay Great Video Thanks !
Stephen Wright
Would have loved to hear the horn!!
brian campbell
I found myself smiling during most of the presentation. really good...thank you!
Carl Sanders
Carl Sanders Day ago
The engine never changes its RPM? Sure sounds like it in the audio.
Olav Alexander Mjelde
Hello from Norway!
Eric Fox
Eric Fox Day ago
It is 2021 and electricity is still just a theory...
Hasan Erdim Ateslier
wow, this is not much older than the fully electric *Porsche Lohne* car, just about 10 years separate them 😁😂🤣 btw. this car has essentially the same controls like a tramway
Robert Hausvik
The wreck from Norway😃
make
make Day ago
Funding is why its so hard for us inventors to bring the old technology into 2021. Awesome video. Awesome car, awesome Guy 👍👍
Edward Owens
Edward Owens Day ago
Thanks for saying this car, I wish it had and S on the end of Owen making it Owens
Jamie Robe
Jamie Robe Day ago
I own a Volt and a Leaf. Amazing what these guys did so long ago. Question. If it runs out of gas can it still start and drive on batt power only?
Arthur Brown
Arthur Brown Day ago
Same as most locomotives.
Rich Laue
Rich Laue Day ago
I always felt that all hybrid card should be setup this way.
Ivan Sabolek
Ivan Sabolek Day ago
I dont like modern cars... Since I was born in 1990 i like the cars from that era the most... like most of us do right? Cars from the late 80s and early 90s... The cars on this channel are something that Ill actually never see or drive particulary bcs I live in europe. But I know about them and Im also enjoying them in a way... Thanks Jay... Awesome content
Jeff Dickens
Jeff Dickens Day ago
Mr. Bill lol
Chris Tomashofski
Jay, I didn't know you had one of these! For a good portion of the company's existence the Owen Magnetic was manufactured in my boyhood hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. We Wilkes-Barrians are very proud of it. All three of us who ever heard of it! :) Fascinating to see it in operation. Thank you for preserving the history of so many great old cars!
thefreese1
thefreese1 Day ago
Gotta love Jay . Awesome man . The tonight wasn't politically charged against one party . Ya just sat there and got entertained .,and except for his monolog that might have a few political jokes , aimed at either side , there wasn't much politics , the show was just relaxing , funny, and informative ,What class .... The show sure hasn't been the same since he left . Now he's out there doing what he loves and sharing it with us .... I have learned about some awesome cars since I started watching Jays Garage, and now the Owen Magnetic ! .... best one so far IMHO ... except his stationary steam engine . (I'm a steam buff) Keep it up Jay
Tom Lawson
Tom Lawson Day ago
An early version of the Chevy Volt
David Mills
David Mills Day ago
Thank you Jay for saving some of these old cars
third opinion
What a beautiful car and the restaurazione of it, Mr. Leno!
Richard Roddenberry
Really great to learn about real History. Hopefully no one will try to add this story to the cancel culture going on. Jay just keeps uncovering cars that draws us in to just how good car engineers were over a hundred years ago. And this car was made when my Mother was two years old.
Martin Hague
Martin Hague Day ago
it would be realy cool to see jay leno do a BBC top gear segment on clasic cars
laika25
laika25 Day ago
So basicaly a hybrid, right?
nightlightabcd
It sounds like a turbine winding down, when you put it in neutral and engage the electric brake.
Joey Mormann
Joey Mormann Day ago
You’re absolutely right. Engineers should be celebrated. They are the silent creators of our world and we let these crazy people spit all over everything that we’ve been able to accomplish with phony ideology. Very very very very sad.
Joey Mormann
Joey Mormann Day ago
But I will say, to this day, 99% of electricity comes from some energy source spinning magnets or spinning something around magnets. Nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, coal, gas. All magnetic. Electromagnetic but in these cases they all use magnets. The only one I can think of that doesn’t use magnets is solar and that’s just about the worst one.
scottnyc
scottnyc Day ago
If in 1916 we had a magnetically propelled automobile yet chastised by the same people holding back the technology thanks to big oil.imagine how advanced we could’ve worked on improving this technology.Seems it was never meant to be because people at the top calling the shots.
MegaTapdog
MegaTapdog Day ago
thanks Mr Leno. that is cool. shared with my millennial kids to get their thoughts. Gonna be interesting to hear back from them. they think they are the innovators.
Joey Mormann
Joey Mormann Day ago
That animation is ground breaking. That was full 3 dimensional 2d animation back in 1916? You’ve got to appreciate that. How old is this video? It’s not a strange concept to power an electric vehicle with a chemical engine. You know... you’ve heard of diesel trains right? I’m pretty sure you have. They power an electric motor. Essentially hybrids work that way. This video must have come out before hybrids and diesel trains. That’s it.
Joey Mormann
Joey Mormann Day ago
I apologize for this comment. By 25 minutes into the video everything I mentioned was addressed. My apologies.
Thomas Guthrie
Fascinating! Beautiful automobile.
Jim W
Jim W Day ago
Add me to the list of those who had never heard of an Owen Magnetic. Fascinating technology for 1916. The only other early hybrid car I've read about is the Woods Dual-Power. Runs very similar to my Ford C-Max hybrid, except driving/charging is handled with levers and switches rather than the "black box" in the Ford.
jvolstad
jvolstad Day ago
Now this is a Hybrid.
Craig-michael Kierce
Outstanding job. Thank you, Mr Leno. Cheers...
Edward Harrison
So enjoy this car, open my mind up to electric Transmissions and possible overdrive's and add on electric kits, I guess there was a fight between Steam, gasoline, diesel, and Electric as far as who's automobile what's going to be the one
Jeremy Stahl
Jeremy Stahl 2 days ago
Fascinating car! Knowing this design goes back to pre twentieth century makes it more so. Thanks Jay!
Mott theHoople
Mott theHoople 2 days ago
so why isn't something like this being built with modern technology ?
josh mcdonald
josh mcdonald 2 days ago
more of a tesla than a volt
Bill Steinmetz
Bill Steinmetz 2 days ago
Jay , you have impressed me with this car. It shows that not all hollywood dudes are duds. Love the cars man if i had the money I'd be doing the same.
M Redmond
M Redmond 2 days ago
It’s epic we can use 3D printing now to preserve our historic automobiles,.
John Naik
John Naik 2 days ago
Amazing to see this technology existed so many years ago. The Chinese has an EV car using gas generator to charge the battery powered EV car called Li One, what was old is now new again.
SJ
SJ 2 days ago
"PhehWwwwww!"
southerneruk south
Jay that's one beautiful car, would love to run around the shows with that, the power plant is basically the same has the old stream-electric ships and later diesel-electric, the ship that I was on. It was built in the early 1950s, that was a diesel-electric, the engineers on the way home use to keep hitting the exciters just to get another 1/2 knot out of the ship
badreality2
badreality2 2 days ago
You should rescan that film. 4K film scanners are semi-common. Post the 4K version online, and print a Blu-Ray version for yourself.
Jose Cuervo
Jose Cuervo 2 days ago
fantastic J iam a fan of n Tesla i teach electromagnetism volunteering at pub.schcs since 70s( my childhood hero )Tesla , it must have an alternator which produces alternating current (a/c)..great collection,,,,,!!!!. l.o.l...
q zorn
q zorn 2 days ago
Gee, when jay left the tonight show i thought that was it... this is great with youtube and all the car clip-vids, now add a funny monolog and we will have the "Jay's way show" Oh and invite some retired local coffee shop tv/movie stars for a cameo ride around town...:/ it would be interesting and fun.... thanks for the Hybrid 1916 Owen Magnetic video, Tesla is not a new idea... I love this video because i have worked on industrial DC motor motion controls and some still in use Edison equipment for 50 years. Jay describes the electrical controls to the tee, Mr. Jay has the makings of an engineer...:D Oh and Mr. Bill ha ha
Tempus Fugit
Tempus Fugit 2 days ago
legit i have a great idea.
Tempus Fugit
Tempus Fugit 2 days ago
so much better then the news today,. thank you Jay, such a soothing voice at this point lets all relax and enjoy 420
Kris Rogers
Kris Rogers 2 days ago
Unreal, I didn't know this vehicle even existed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, every video is an absolute pleasure and I learn something new every single time. You and your team are legends for preserving these pieces of history.
John Cool
John Cool 2 days ago
I am in awe Mr Leno..this car is a masterpiece as you are.
Joachim Horner
Joachim Horner 2 days ago
Very interesting technology I m very impressed
Bob Eden
Bob Eden 2 days ago
does the ICE engine run at a constant speed?
kibukun
kibukun 2 days ago
A porous valve cover? I wonder what engineer had that bright idea?
Boomer 1941
Boomer 1941 2 days ago
Great Video Jay, we had some great engineers back in the day.
Steve k
Steve k 2 days ago
What is the fuel economy MPG on that car since the engine is mostly idling?
Steve k
Steve k 2 days ago
Would be nice to see an American company build one of these with modern engines, regenerative modern brakes, and batteries.
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