Despite inventing the car muffler, Milton Reeves is most remembered for this failure.
An 8-wheeled car
Milton Reeves was from Indiana, born in 1864. Even when he was young, he was technically inclined. In 1879, when he was 15, he invented a way to improve equipment in a saw mill. He also managed to build one of the first five cars built in America. Because it was noisy and smelled awful, Milton also invented the modern muffler. If he had stopped here, he would have been revered for generations; unfortunately, he didn’t.
In 1911, Milt built the Reeves Octo-Auto. He took a car and added four extra wheels to it. Time Magazine called it the ugliest car ever produced. It was 20 feet long but only held four passengers; it sold for $3,200 ($85,000 today). Not surprisingly, it didn’t sell. Milton wasn’t deterred…
He tried again, this time with a 6-wheeled car called the Sexto-Auto. It also failed; it cost more than a thousand dollars more (over $100,000 today), and people didn’t like the idea of driving a car called a Sexto-Auto.