Harry Reichenbach loved to use stunts to usurp commercial enterprise. He keenly kept an eye on the media and anything that was getting a lot of attention would be targeted with one of his left field stunts. Harry had used stunt drivers in the very early years to publicise fair grounds and circuses, but with a difference.
He would blindfold the driver and get them to drive around blind. A placard on the car would advertise the travelling fair ground attractions. Reichenbach then became involved in the Hollywood movie business and he began using stunt drivers to promote movies.
In 1910, the first land speed record of 143 mph was set up in Daytona USA. Harry, who had always had a keen interest in stunt drivers, decided once again to create a driver with a difference. He blindfolded a stuntman and hired him to drive around in a car, this time not just in fair grounds, but on main roads in city centres.
The blindfold was made of gauze so the driver could actually see a feint image of the road, but to onlookers, he appeared completely blind. The car had an advertising placard on the side of it, one of Harry’s current clients, and when the driver would inevitably get arrested, the stunt and driver would attract photographers and newspaper coverage.
The magistrate in Harry’s home town eventually got wise to Harry’s ruse and warned him that it had to stop. The stunt was put into cold storage for many years but a good idea never really disappears.
Years later Jim Moran took Riechenbach’s idea up and created a car with a dual steering mechanism. He put an Orangutang at the driver’s wheel and the car drove around the city to publicise a movie. It was actually the passenger who was driving but it fooled many onlookers.