Hermes APV

1st June 1979 - Hermes APV

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Most of information is from a Chris Humberstone (CH) interview by Giles Chapman (GC) for Classic and Sportscar in September 1986.

CH says to GC as they walk back to CH’s Mercedes-Benz 190. “There’s one car I haven’t told you about and that’s the Hermes APV.” The car was built for a gentleman called Peter Luck-Hille (PLH) who wanted to be a car manufacturer. PLH asked CH to design a car that would have everything a car in the nineties would have. This was in June 1979. The car CH designed had a 4.4 litre V8 Leyland P76 turbocharged engine. Additionally, it was mid-engined, had Ferguson four wheel drive, AP active ride suspension, anti-lock brakes, aeroplane type windscreen wiper and much else.

In 1986 CH suggested the car should be finished “soon”.

The feature CH liked best though was the patented system (patented by himself and Mr Luck-Hille) for changing the car from left to right hand drive and vice-versa. Apparently you could slide the pedals on a rail from side to side and the steering column pivoted and swung across car in either direction.

The patent including detailed drawings can be found here.

One picture is selected below. Amazing!

A vehicle includes a steering wheel 7 connected to one end of a steering column which is also connected to a steering actuating device 11 located centrally transverse of the vehicle and means to locate the steering wheel at either side of the vehicle to enable the vehicle to be steered by a driver located at its right or left hand side. The steering column includes a parallelogram linkage (1, 2, 3, 4,). Preferably the vehicle includes a pedal set with an accelerator (45) and a brake pedal (41), mounted on and axially movable along a shaft (35) extending transversely across the vehicle, and means (48,49) to locate the pedals at the rightor left of the vehicle. Preferably the instrumentation of the vehicle is carried by the one end of the steering column and so moves with the steering wheel (7) from one side of the vehicle to the other and retains the same orientation and occupies the same relative position with respectto the driver at both sides of the vehicle.