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The X Cars (1971)

by Henry B. Lent
I've always wondered why so many cars have an "X" in their name. How did it come about that "X" came to connote something supposedly state-of-the-art?

This is what's great about The X Cars. The very first words -- the title of the first chapter, in fact -- are "X for Experimental":

Among the thousands of different American automobiles that have appeared on the scene during the past seventy-five years or so, there have been several hundred unique and exciting cards called X cars -- X for "experimental."
So now I know.

Here's how the final chapter, "X Cars for Cleaner Air," ends:
Ten years ago it would have been difficult to imagine a town or city business section without automobiles on its streets. If we want to continue breathing, we will have to begin to imagine it because it will probably come to pass ten years or so from now -- unless we succeed in finding ways to eliminate the air pollution caused by gas-burning automobiles such as those we are driving today.

That is the challenge our X-car engineers face. They have never faced a greater one.

Three decades later, industrial hemp, an efficient, clean fuel source, is still criminalized by those dopes in Congress.