Funny how skills and knowledge are constantly lost as new and (at the time) better ways of doing things are invented. Still there are often ideas and technologies in the past that can be repurposed for use today. There were many amazing automotive engine ideas a hundred years ago, they just didn't have the technology at the time to make the practical.
Well some extremely clever people have revisited the rocket engines used to take man to the moon, their use was discontinued decades ago for what were good reasons at the time. However the changing requirements of the space travel made some brilliant engineers have another look at them.
Read and Enjoy - http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/
"At the time, the F-1 was the largest and most powerful liquid-fueled engine ever constructed; even today, its design remains unmatched (though see the sidebar, "The Soviets," for more information on engines that have rivaled the F-1). The power generated by five of these engines was best conceptualized by author David Woods in his book How Apollo Flew to the Moon—"[T]he power output of the Saturn first stage was 60 gigawatts. This happens to be very similar to the peak electricity demand of the United Kingdom."