10 YEARS AGO — 2001
A roadster and coupe in one: Magna Steyr’s “Open Sky” concept based on the Audi TT combines features of a roadster and a coupe. An easily removable top consists of two halves made of glass-fiber composite. A sophisticated device ensures both roof halves, once removed, can be fitted quickly and easily in the trunk at the push of a button. The body is basically the rear of a TT Coupe combined with the front end, floor, A-pillar, and doorsill of the TT Roadster. New on the car is an internal B-pillar — invisible from the outside — in the front part of the triangular side window, which is also part of a built-in rollover bar.

30 YEARS AGO — 1981
Concrete plant travels to construction site: Wherever construction is to take place, a small-volume concrete-production plant from Can-Do Concrete Systems Inc. can be carried on a flatbed trailer to the site. After it’s unloaded, connected to a water supply and single or three-phase electrical lines, it can go into production. The plant, operated by one person, consists of a
1-cu-yd mixing chamber, an operator platform, aggregate storage bins, a powered charging batcher that runs on rails through digital scales, and elevating arms that pick up the batcher, raise it to the mixing chamber, and dump it.

50 YEARS AGO — 1961
Uncluttered lines distinguish the Stuart electric car, the first vehicle of this type offered to consumers in more than 20 years. The new electric, to be marketed in 1962, runs on conventional lead-acid batteries which can be recharged by plugging into a 110-V outlet. Its range is about 35 miles. Body shell and floor of the Stuart are fiberglass, and the interior is a washable plastic material.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.