Simms met German engineer Gottlieb Daimler in 1889 (via Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust) and obtained a license to build high-speed engines. He soon moved to London, England, became a mechanical engineer (via The Online Tank Museum) and engaged in all manner of automotive design and creation. He coined the words “petrol” and “automotive” and, together with German engineer Robert Bosch, invented the Simms-Bosch magneto ignition (via Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust).
In January 1898, Simms applied for a patent that would protect “turrets, armored cars, shields, and the like” through “pneumatic spaces” filled with Indian rubber that would effectively absorb the kinetic energy created by the impact of a projectile. Three months later, he patented a “motor car for use in war” (via The Online Tank Museum).
In 1899 he created his first armed military vehicle, the Motor Scout Quadricycle, a four-wheeled motorcycle with a .303 caliber Mark IV Maxim automatic machine gun capable of firing 1,000 rounds attached to the front. There was a bulletproof shield on the front for the driver to hide behind (via The Online Tank Museum). It was never mass-produced or used by the military, but that didn’t stop Simms from trying.
Using the Motor Scout as a starting point, Simms began work on his next project, one that would take him, along with builders Vickers, Sons & Maxim, nearly three years (via The Online Tank Museum).
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