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The Easy Questions: Driverless Eggcar

Lincoln Zephyr


1931 "Prediction" in the newspapers
William Branham claimed to have had a prophecy in 1933 regarding the automobile industry. The earliest record we have of this claim is on a 1956 sermon entitled "Teaching on Moses," 23 years later.

And, you, how many can remember what a '33 car looked like back there? Oh, it kind of run out like this, and way up the back, and chopped down for the spare tire to hang on. I saw a vision, that before the coming of the Lord, that cars would look like an egg. How many remembers that prediction? Is there anybody left in here? Brother Steward's gone, and I guess. It was 1933 when we were having services over here. I guess just about all of them's gone now, since then.
- Branham, 56-0513 TEACHING.ON.MOSES

But was this "prediction" anything special? What spiritual significance did this prophecy have? Since it has nothing to do with salvation, most cult pastors claim that this prophecy pointed to William Branham, and that God was using it to point to a "messenger" for an "age." Wouldn't one assume that such a "prediction" would be strange enough to stand out against the world's current events? Otherwise, how would the world know that this was a true messenger?

In 1902, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published an article describing a new automobile design that was breaking all speed records. Mr. Serpollet won a contest in Nice, France using a brand-new 12-horsepower egg-shaped automobile. Was Mr. Serpollet a prophet?

In 1921, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published another article describing German innovation. An article entitled "Sensation Created By Egg-Shaped Car With Rear Motor" described a stream-lined automobile that was making world headlines. Was the German automobile industry leaders "prophets?"

By 1930, newspapers across the United States were preparing Americans for the change coming to the automobile industry based on the innovation of engineers in several countries. The automotive industry began producing prototypes of automobiles shaped like eggs with titles such as "Freak Car Like This May Be Common In Future!" And "Future Autos May Be Shaped Like Egg and Run on Air!" (Example El Paso Evening Post, Wednesday Aug 13, 1930)

The most eye opening is an article by the Louisville Courier Journal on August 9, 1931 describing the egg-shaped car of the future. Branham would have had access to the Courier Journal. It is possible that he heard radio programs discussing the future of the automobile industry. Also to note is that the Ottawa Journal ran an article on April 25, 1931 that captured the industry's new technology. "Egg-Shaped Automobile Body Predicted For Future" described the changes required in the bodies of vehicles to achieve greater speed.

In 1933, William Branham toured the World's Fair Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This fair provided visitors with a glimpse into the future, walking patrons through the latest technologies, prototypes, and future direction.

One of the exhibits in this fair was the Lincoln Zephyr, which seems to be the foundation for a prophecy that Branham would claim years later. The Lincoln Zephyr, originally named "Briggs Dream Car," was a prototype that was made in honor of the biggest attraction in the 1933 World's Fair: The Pioneer Zephyr.. This train was the early model of what would become the California Zephyr, a train that would quickly transport passengers from Chicago to San Francisco.

The aerodynamics of this train was state-of-the-art, its front end rounded and angled forward to allow airflow freely over or to the side of the engine. Lincoln took the same design with the car’s front-end grille, but took aerodynamics to the next level with the rounded fenders, rounded top, and overall shape of an egg. For its time, this car was sci-fi fantasy, but not long after, it became reality.

This aerodynamic strategy was employed in several prototypes by other manufacturers, including another egg-shaped vehicle on display in the 1933 World's Fair. The first prototype of the Dymaxion made test runs at the Fair, and was involved in an accident that killed the driver and seriously injured two passengers. The canvas top of the vehicle did not offer sufficient protection against impact, and the single rear wheel did not offer enough stability. After its accident, the investors abandoned the project.

All manufacturers seemed to be competing to produce their idea of the future as described by Norman Bel Geddes, who was quickly becoming a recognized name in the automotive industry, as well as many other industries.  These "egg car" schematics were already public knowledge prior to the World's Fair. In 1932, Norman Bel Geddes published a prophetic book of the advancements in science that were soon to become reality. In "Horizons," Bel Geddes describes the car of the future:

"This form is approximately that of an egg, though the small end of the drop tapers more sharply to a conical point. In falling, the larger and blunt end of the drop is foremost. This is the shape that creates the least turbulence"
Page 45, "Motor Cars and Buses"

"It is my prediction that within the next two or three years some farseeing manufacturer will again turn his attention to making his machine go, that this time his design will be the result of what has been learned in this motorized-buggy era. This means that he will start afresh and that his objective will be the ultimate form of the future motor car. This car will look very different from those you seen on the road to-day but not very different from Car Number 8 as illustrated here."
Page 63, "Motor Cars and Buses"

"Bel Geddes had glimpsed himself as a designer and planner on a grand scale. He adopted the stance of an adversary to the irrationalities and resulting inefficiencies and dangers of present conventions in highway building and as the champion of rational engineering and mistake-proof technologies. A system of 14-lane highways, on which drivers would respond to messages from radiocontrol towers and find their way illuminated at night by an electric-eye controlled system of indirect lighting, would eliminate most of the accidents resulting from "human failure."
The Designers go to the Fair, II: Norman Bel Geddes, The General Motors "Futurama" and the Visit to the Factory Transformed

In 1956, Branham started claiming to have had a vision describing this shape of a car. Also, during sermons, Branham claimed that the shape had become common — reminding listeners of how the early automobiles were designed. His original intent was to describe a prophecy that listeners would see as already fulfilled.

Over time, this motive changed. As technology increased, and automobiles no longer styled themselves like the Zephyr, Branham added additional details to this prophecy. From rounded glass tops to self-guidance systems, this prophecy of a car shaped like an egg began to take other forms pointing to future innovation.

When the Central Power and Light Company ran an article entitled "Power Companies Build For Your New Electric Living,” Branham's telling of this vision now included details of the people sitting inside of the car. His description closely matched the scene from the article, from the rounded glass dome of the vehicle to the family playing a board game in the cab while leaving the steering wheel unattended.

Again, Branham claimed that his vision had been fulfilled. This time, however, it was fulfilled by the driverless car. That same car was on exhibit in the 1962 World's Fair Century 21 Exposition, in Seattle, Washington. Branham toured the exhibits, and described the car as fulfillment of prophecy.

But like the egg-shaped Zephyr, this technology has not become mainstream. Followers of William Branham gather great excitement when they read of any advancement in the automotive industry, hoping that these vehicles will someday become common. Printed in newspapers, it was already common discussion by an excited nation.

"Republished in magazines and newspapers, these designs of Bel Geddes's "prophetic imagination," one historian noted, "struck a responsive chord in a public anxiously looking toward the better environment that was promised by an enlightened technology"
Page 158, Stage Designers in Early Twentieth-Century America

With the progression of science, one can raise many questions surrounding this prophesy describing an egg-shaped car. Why are cars no longer in the shape of the Lincoln Zephyr? Why would God show a vision of a family playing a board game, when modern families are more likely to be entertained by a DVD, Blu-Ray, Xbox 360 or Playstation? Why did Branham claim prophetic insight regarding something that he saw at a World's Fair and in a magazine, as well as newspaper ads?

Interestingly, the checkerboard addition to the "vision" appears to have come from Walt Disney's video "The Magic Highway"  

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What the Newspapers said about the "egg-shaped car"

Branham at the 1933 World's Fair

I remember when I stood by the side of the seashore the first time... It wasn't the sea; it was Lake Michigan. I was just a boy preacher, went up to hear Paul Rader preach at the World's Fair, about 1933, I believe it was, when it was at Chicago. And I had my first opportunity to walk out and look at the large body of water, larger than the Ohio River. And it was just jumping, and going on, you know. And it was early spring, Easter sunrise service we were there. And I seen those great big whitecaps coming in, you know, and hit the — the bank, and roll out. And I thought of that... [ — Ed.]... sing, "Floods of joy over my soul like the sea billows roll." And I thought, "They roll in, but that's not the end of the wave. It goes back to roll in again, roll in." I thought, "Well, what's it jumping about? What's it all...?" And something just seemed to say to me, "It's having a revival; that's all."

Branham's account of this prophecy:

And, you, how many can remember what a '33 car looked like back there? Oh, it kind of run out like this, and way up the back, and chopped down for the spare tire to hang on. I saw a vision, that before the coming of the Lord, that cars would look like an egg. How many remembers that prediction? Is there anybody left in here? Brother Steward's gone, and I guess. It was 1933 when we were having services over here. I guess just about all of them's gone now, since then.

And in 1933 when the Lord, when we was having meetings over here where that Church of Christ is standing now, the old Masonic home, the vision of the Lord came to me up here and predicted that, Germany would rise up and have put that Maginot Line there. Many of you remember. And how they'd be all fortified in there, and the Americans would take a great beating right there at that line. It also said what would take place, and about Roosevelt and them things, how he would run and make that fourth term. Perfectly, just exactly the way it come to pass. And also said that cars would keep getting more like an egg, until the last days they'd be just in the shape of an egg. Now, I said, "It'll come to pass that those cars will not be run by a steering wheel; it'll be something another run." It's them cars they're bringing out right now, remote control, for safety. Correct. You won't be able to enter into a city then, a twenty-mile zone, you can just go twenty mile. You can't hit another car, because it's remote control. See, it's going like that right now.

You remember, I predicted that in 1933. And it will be that way too. For I saw a vision before the end time, that great and powerful thing stood up in the United States, and she become as stubbles. So then, it's going to happen. I said, "Automobiles will — come like the shape of an egg." You know what a '33 carlooked like. And I said, "There'll even be traveling on the road, they won't even have to guide it." They've already got that out; I seen it here not long ago. It'll be controlled by electronics like, or by a magnetic post, to cut their speed and so forth, and raise their speed. They can't hit against one another and so forth. And I've got that wrote in a book since 1933. And it'll be that way; we're coming to it now. We're right in it, because the Holy Spirit is the One that leads the church, and warns us of dangers that is to come.

Said then, after that, would come to place that... come to pass that science would increase so greatly until they would invent a car, the cars would become more like "egg" all the time. And that vision was told right here where the Church of Christ stands now, at the old Mes-... orphans home. Charlie Kurn, perhaps in the building tonight, was living at the place at the time. One Sunday morning about seven o'clock it happened. And It said, "Then there would come to pass that they'd invent a car that they didn't need a steering wheel in it, it would be controlled by some kind of a power." They've got it now. They got it now, in magnetic power, radar control. They don't even... just set your radar to where you're going, it takes you yourself, don't have to steer.

Now, I said, "Then after that time, that science would really progress." They did, they made the atomic bomb and everything. I said, "During their progression, they would make a... cars would constantly begin to shape like an egg." And you remember the big old hood on the 1933, the big back come down like this, the spare tire on the back of it? Look how it is now, see: streamlined, see, like an egg. And I said, "Finally they will invent a car that they won't have to have a steering wheel in it. I seen a family going down the... Call it, 'road,' in a glass-top car, great big fine-looking roads and fine car. And they were sitting, looking at one another, and the car was running by itself, going right on around the curves and everything." And they've got the car right now, it's already invented. They've got the car. And I said then, "Oh, how science will progress in that day!"

Then He said, "Science will be increased, until it comes to a place until they'll perfect an automobile, that looks like an egg, before the end time." There I seen it. And I said, "They'll control it with some kind of a steering outfit that they don't have to touch it theirself." I seen an American family, going down a great big broad way playing cards with a glass-top car, looked like an egg. They've got it right now. You seen it on television here not long ago. They've got it.

Now, the fifth thing. "Science will progress in such a way until they will make a car that will not have to be guided by a steering wheel, and the cars will continue to be shaped like an egg until the consummation," the end time. I seen American family going down the road in a broad way, riding in a car with their backs turned towards where the wheel should be; looked like they were playing checkers or cards. And we got it. It's on television. "Popular Science" — "Mechanics," rather, all have it; we got the car. It's controlled by remote control by — by radar. They won't even have to have any steering wheel in it. Just set your dial like this — like you dial your phone — your car takes you right on to it, can't wreck nor nothing. No other cars — the magnet keeps the rest of them away from you. See? They got it. Oh, my. Think of it. Predicted thirty years before it happened.

I saw it in 1933. See, I looked off. You said, you might have said, "Well, it didn't happen then." 160 But it's going to happen! Neither was Mussolini in power, neither was the Maginot Line built, neither did the car look like an egg in them days, and the things, neither did the women elect a President that would look like a — a college boy, and all these other things, neither would there be a Catholic President, and so forth, spoke of. About thirty years ago, or more, these things were predicted, but He only showed me way off down to the end. 161 And as that thing approaches, time by time, that cup's filling up! And repentance has been preached by Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, and who else. Prophets, and so forth, has crossed the nation with signs and wonders, and she continually wades into sin. That's the reason they don't repent, repent brings it.

I said, "Such progress will take place!" I said, "I see automobiles looking like an egg, going down the street. There is cars go down the highways, with some kind of a control, they don't have to guide it. I seen an American family playing checker in the back of a car." They've got the car right now, if they just had the highways to put it on. The little Volkswagen is a perfect egg, just exactly, and it's all the other cars. Could you imagine, in 1933, what the cars looked like, to now?

And I said, "Then science is going to be so great, man is going to get so smart, till he'll invent so many things until he's going to make an automobile that looks like an egg, that'll have like a glass top on it, and it'd be controlled by some other power than a steering wheel." And they've got the car.

And now, it also said, "And it shall come to pass, that before the end time shall come, that automobiles will take on the shape of an egg, become more like an egg. And I saw an American family driving down a highway in a car that... They were setting facing one another, and had a table, and were, look like, playing checkers or cards. And they didn't have any steering wheel in the car. And it was controlled by some power without a steering wheel. How many remembers me prophesying that (See?), that's been here? Now, at the World's Fair they've already got the car on the market. Here is the... It's sold now; some big company has taken many of them. And this car, here it is. Paul Boyd remembered the prophecy, looked into his book what I'd said, and took the picture in there. And there it is, exactly in the form of an egg, with two seats setting that way, and two setting this way, and a table setting in the middle to play the cards and things on, just exactly. The Lord's Word is perfectly accurate. That was in 1933. That would be... Let's see, what would that be? Thirty-two years ago, wouldn't it? This is '64. Yeah, thirty... Yeah, thirty-one years ago. Thirty-one years ago the Lord told me that, and here it is. And the company's here that's already ordered them; and the — and trucking companies and things are getting trucks made like them. They can control it right from their headquarters like that, don't even have to have a driver in it. And here it is all already made, and there it is with the cars. Now, it's on the bulletin board in the back, and you can read the prophecy and just see how accurate our God is, how His Word... He said, "Heavens and earth will pass away, but My Word shall never fail." Just look, thirty-three years ago. You know what a — what a 1931, or whatever it was, model car would look like; it'd look like a relic. And It said, "It'll look just like an egg, become like an egg. Of course, there's nobody here, I guess, that's a-living today or among us that heard me say that.

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