1949 El Kinemo
The El Kineno, perhaps the earliest ancestor of today’s crossover SUV/minivan, was custom-designed by Harley Earl for Richard Kleberg, boss of the King Ranch in Texas. Kleberg wanted a vehicle rugged enough to chase game and cattle through the ranch’s rough terrain, yet still sufficiently luxurious to transport visitors to the ranch in style. Earl filled the El Kineno with unusual features, including an oversized radiator and water storage tanks to handle the Texas heat, special brakes sealed to protect against sand and dust, and a tinted windshield to reduce the sun’s glare. A two-way radio telephone made it possible to communicate with the ranch house.
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