Torvec: Inventing and Evolving Technology From the ‘20s Through Today
The rich history of Gleasman family innovation is interwoven with the legacy of advances introduced by Torvec. It’s a unique American story filled with a remarkable array of pioneering automotive technologies.
The patriarch of the family and driving force behind Torvec's bright future, Vernon Gleasman, grew up on a small farm in upstate New York. It was there that he honed his skills for practical solutions to everyday problems.
Over seven decades, Vernon Gleasman earned a position of privilege among the world's most respected automotive engineers and inventors. His experience consisted of not only hands-on experience, but industry employment from Bendix to White Motor Truck Co. in both managerial and executive positions. His ingenuity was particularly noteworthy as it was never limited to a single field, but encompassed automotive, aeronautical, and industrial technologies and manufacturing.
The genius of Mr. Gleasman's design expertise lay in the breakthrough applications of his designs, and of patents he was awarded are for products in use today. Near his 92nd birthday, and shortly before his passing, Vernon Gleasman was granted a U.S. patent for the IsoTorque® differential. A fitting final achievement for a man who built and left a legacy of true invention.
A Torvec Timeline of Remarkable Advances
16-year old Vernon Gleasman designs and builds his own snowmobile to handle extreme weather conditions on the family farm in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.
The Great Depression refines Gleasman’s focus on developing practical technology, as he modifies farm vehicles to handle snow, mud, rocks and other rugged conditions; as well as modifying truck fleets to handle large loads.
Gleasman develops the multiple disk clutch pack, soon to become a key component in automatic transmissions.
Gleasman devotes his technical and creative skills to support the war effort for the United States.
Invents Bendix fuel injection system for the B-29 bomber.
Works on creation of proximity fuses for anti-aircraft artillery.
Gleasman awarded patents for vane hydraulics pump motors, multiple disc clutches for automatic transmissions, and the Bendix starter for diesel engine.
1958 – Gleasman patents a breakthrough dual-drive differential (predecessor of the Torsen® differential) and a Tilt Cab for White Motor Truck Co.
Leaves White Motors to found Dual Drive, Inc. Develops differential designs for heavy duty towing tractors to pull B-52 bombers.
Gleasman grows his own company, Dual Drive Differentials (also known as Triple D) to manufacture differentials for high-performance racing vehicles, passenger cars, eight-wheel-drive military trucks, and the aftermarket.
Gleasman sells patents for differentials to Gleason Works of Rochester, NY. Dual Drive differential is renamed the Torsen® differential. These patent rights later sold by Gleason to Zexel Corporation.
Gleasman receives prestigious SAE Louis Schwitzer Award at the Indianapolis 500 race, in honor of the Torsen® differential, acknowledged as “the most innovative product in racing.”
Popular Mechanics magazine states, “Gleasman’s gear technology involved ideas that did not exist in traditional engineering books.”
Receives a patent for Tracked Vehicle Steering Mechanism.
Founds Torvec, Inc.
1983 - 2000
Gleasman’s technological advances now incorporated in production and racing vehicles by manufacturers including Audi, Lexus, Toyota, Porsche, Mazda, Volkswagen, Land Rover, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Honda and AM General.
Gleasman helps design and build the FTV to showcase steer-drive technology.
Patents -revolutionary hydraulics technology.
Gleasman wins Rochester Inventor of the Year award.
Nominated for the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Award.
Receives first patent for the IsoTorque Differential
Passes away in November at the age of 92.
Receives patents posthumously for additional hydraulic technologies.
Torvec supplies IsoTorque Differentials and IVTs for NASA new Lunar Rover named Chariot.
An IsoTorque differential equipped Corvette, driven by John Heinricy, enters seven races and wins all seven with an average 20 second margin of victory.
Torvec was invited to participate with Hyundai at the 2011 SEMA show, which featured the IsoTorque differential in the Genesis SC concept.