Bendix was born in Moline, Illinois on August 12, 1882. In 1901, Vincent
Bendix was hired by Glenn Curtiss to work on the Torpedo motorcycle, and
later in 1904, Bendix worked as general sales manager for Holsman Automobile
Company. As a consequence, Vincent Bendix learned all about the internal
combustion engine and decided make a career in automobile design.
Between 1907 and 1909, Vincent Bendix
designed the Bendix Motor Buggy and started an automobile firm. Seven thousand
Bendix buggies were sold, however, Bendix had to declare bankruptcy and
went back to work selling Cadillacs. In 1910, Vincent Bendix patented the
Bendix drive for electric starters, an improvement to the hand cranked
starters of the time. The first automobile to use the Bendix starter drive
was the 1914 Chevrolet "Baby Grand". The Bendix starter became a standard
in all cars produced in the United States.
Fortunes improved for the inventor
and in 1923, Vincent Bendix bought the patent rights to Perrot brakes and
controls and started the Bendix Brake Company. Bendix turned his research
towards creating a more efficient braking system for automobiles and created
the first four wheel automotive brake system
In 1929, Vincent Bendix started the
Bendix Aviation Corporation and later invented the pressure carburetor
for aircraft engines. By 1938, Bendix's pressure carburetor was installed
on almost every American aircraft.
In 1931, Bendix established the Transcontinental
Bendix Air Race. In 1942, Vincent Bendix started his last enterprise, Bendix
Helicopters, Inc. (1942).
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