. This is a discussion on This Day in Automotive History within The Automotive Library. Part of The Auto Talk category; I started this thread in other forums too. Hope people will enjoy it. Will write a page daily about any ...
I started this thread in other forums too. Hope people will enjoy it. Will write a page daily about any significant happenings that may have changed Automotive World. People can contribute to it, But please do not repeat topics and also follow a similar formatting rules.
March 1, 1897
The Winton Motor Carriage Company was organized in Cleveland, Ohio, on this day, with Alexander Winton as president. After 12 years in the bicycle manufacturing business, Winton began producing cars with his name on them in 1896. A fiery Scotsman, Winton took the challenge to build the world's fastest automobile personally. Like Ransom Olds, he raced his own cars. Racing at Daytona Beach is said to have begun with a match race between Winton and Olds in 1902, which the two men declared a draw. A year later, Winton won a multi-car race at Daytona, driving his Winton Bullet to an average speed of 68mph and becoming the first person to break the mile-per-minute barrier. Alexander Winton's personal rivalries did not stop with Ransom Olds. In 1901, Henry Ford, after being passed over for a mechanic's job with Winton's company, defeated Winton in his first and last car race. Ford's future notoriety would depend heavily on the publicity won in his encounter with his one-time potential employer. James Ward Packard also maintained a personal rivalry with Winton. After having purchased a Winton, Packard complained about the car's reliability. Winton reportedly politely urged Packard to build his own car. Packard responded by starting his own company. In the first decade of American car racing Wintons and Packards, driven by Barney Oldfield and Ralph DePalma, respectively, would fuel the sport's greatest rivalry. In 1903, Winton drove his car from San Francisco to New York to prove the reliability of his vehicles. It was the automotive industry's most dramatic achievement up to that point as such a long trip by an automobile was unheard of in 1897 but Mr. Winton believed he could do it.
A popular anecdote sums up Winton's involvment in the early automotive industry. Faced with mechanical problems in an early Winton, a Cleveland area resident reportedly towed his Winton through the streets of Cleveland with a team of mules exhibiting a sign reading, "This is the only way you can drive a Winton." In response, Winton hired a farm wagon carrying a jackass to follow his detractor, exhibiting a sign that read, "This is the only animal unable to drive a Winton." A must read book on Winton and his acheivement is rightfully named 'Famous but forgotten' authored by Thomas Saal and Bernard Golias This 192-page book includes numerous photographs of vintage Winton automobiles and their accomplishments in performance races. Winton's career, from bicycle manufacturer to automotive innovator to diesel-engine developer for trains, illustrates the versatility which his prodigious creativity required.
March 1, 1973
The Honda Civic was introduced to the United States market on this day in 1973. Luckily for Honda, the introduction of the small, fuel-efficient car coincided with the oil crisis of the early 1970s. This made car owners aware of the advantages of fuel economy and the Civic became a popular alternative to the inefficient cars offered by American car companies.
Civic is the second-longest continuously-running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer, with Toyota Corolla, introduced in 1968, taking the first spot.
1910 WInton Six
First generation Honda Civic.
The History Channel
Last edited by Zinam; 2nd March 2010 at 09:22 PM.
Reason: Threads Unmerged on request
March 2, 1918
Hans Ledwinka, the engineer who created the Tatra marquee, died in Munich, Germany, at the age of 89. Early in his career, Ledwinka took over engineering for Nesseldorf Wagenbau of Austria-Hungary when the founder of the company, Hugo von Roslerstamm, decided the company should enter racing. Under Ledwinka's leadership, the Rennzweier and the Type A racers were produced. The cars demonstrated modest racing success, and wide-scale production of the Type S began in 1909. Nesseldorf Wagenbau continued to grow until 1914, when, coinciding with the outbreak of WWI, it shifted to railroad production. On October 28, 1918, two weeks before the end of the war on the Western Front, the Moravian town of Nesseldorf of Austria-Hungary became the city of Koprivnicka in the newly created country of Czechoslovakia. Just after the war, Hans Ledwinka began construction of a new automobile to be marketed under the marquee Tatra, a division of the newly named Koprivnicka Wagenbau. The Tatra High Mountains are among the highest mountains in the Carpathian Mountain Range, the legendary home of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Ledwinka settled on the name Tatra in 1919 when an experimental model of his car with four-wheel brakes passed a sleigh on an icy mountain road, prompting the sleigh riders to exclaim, "This is a car for the Tatras." In 1923, the first official Tatra automobile, the Tatra T11, was completed, and Ledwinka's hope for an affordable "people's car" was realized. The reliable, rugged T11, like Ford's Model T, gave many Czechoslovakians their first opportunity to own an automobile. In 1934, Tatra achieved automotive notoriety with the introduction of the Tatra 77, the world's first aerodynamically styled automobile powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled engine.
March 2, 1925
The first nationwide highway numbering system was instituted by the joint board of state and federal highway officials appointed by the secretary of agriculture. In order to minimize confusion caused by the array of multiform state-appointed highway signs, the board created the shield-shaped highway number markers that have become a comforting sight to lost travelers in times since. Later, interstate highway numbering would be improved by colored signs and the odd-even demarcation that distinguishes between north-south and east-west travel respectively. As America got its kicks on Route 66, it did so under the aegis of the trusty shield.
March 2, 1947
Ferrari drove first 125S vehicle out of the factory gates.
March 2, 1949
The first automatic streetlight system in which the streetlights turned themselves on at dark was installed in New Milford, Connecticut, by the Connecticut Light and Power Company. Each streetlight contained an electronic device that contained a photoelectric cell capable of measuring outside light. By November of 1949, seven miles of New Milford's roads were automatically lit at dusk by a total of 190 photoelectric streetlights. No longer would the proud men of New Milford be forced to don stilts in order to light their street lamps.
The History Channel
March 3, 1932
Alfieri Maserati died at the age of 44 from complications resulting form injuries incurred in a 1927 racing accident.
March 3, 1949
The postwar car market was so strong in the United States that a number of bold entrepreneurs formed independent car companies to challenge the established Big Three. Arguably the most remarkable such independent was the Tucker Corporation, founded by Preston "P.T." Tucker. Tucker, a gifted marketeer and innovator, created a phenomenon felt through the automotive industry when he released his car, the Tucker. Along with the cars, Preston Tucker sent a magazine called "Tucker Topics" along to dealers, hoping to increase the salesmen's enthusiasm for his automobile. The Tucker was equipped with a number of novel features. It had six exhaust pipes, a third headlight that rotated with the axle, and a "bomb shelter" in the backseat. Beyond the frills though, the Tucker packed a powerful punch, making 0-60mph in 10 seconds and reaching a top speed of 120mph. Great anticipation surrounded the awaited release of the Tucker, but in 1949, before his cars could reach their market, the Securities and Exchange Commission indicted Preston Tucker on 31 counts of investment fraud. Tucker had only produced 51 cars. On this day in 1949, the Tucker Corporation went into receivership, and the Tucker automobile became merely a historical footnote.
March 3, 1972
Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar Motors, retired as Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd. on this day. Lyons got his start making motorcycle sidecars in Blackpool, England. In 1926, he co-founded the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company with William Walmsley. Recognizing the demand for automobiles, Lyons eventually built wooden frames for the Austin Seven Car, calling his creation the Austin Swallow. Spurred on by the warm reception of his Austin Swallows, Lyons began building his own cars, which he called Standard Swallows. In 1934, his company, now SS Cars Ltd., released a line of cars called Jaguars. After WWII, Lyons dropped the "SS" initials that reminded people of the Nazi SS soldiers. Jaguar Cars Ltd. went on to produce a number of exquisite sports cars and roadsters, among them the XK 120, the D Type, and the XK-E or E Type. Perhaps Lyons' most monumental achievement, the E Type was the fastest sports car in the world when it was released in 1961. With a top speed of 150mph and a 0-60mph of 6.5 seconds, the Jaguar made a remarkable 17 miles to the gallon and suffered nothing in its looks. In spite of Jaguar's distinguished record on the race track, the company is associated most with the beautiful lines of its car bodies appropriate considering Lyons's first offering to the automobile industry was a wooden frame bolted to another man's car. After a series of bouyouts by various auto companies, now its owned by Indian Conglomerate 'TATA'.
Sir William Lyons
The History Channel
March 4, 1887
The Daimler "benzin motor carriage" made its first test run in Esslingen and Cannstatt, Germany. It was Gottlieb Daimler's first four-wheel motor vehicle. The "benzin" has nothing to do with Carl Benz; at that time Gottlieb Daimler was Carl Benz's major competitor. Daimler, an engineer whose passion was the engine itself, had created and patented the first gasoline-powered, water-cooled, internal combustion engine in 1885. In Daimler's engine, water circulated around the engine block, preventing the engine from overheating. The same system is used in most of today's automobiles. Daimler's first four-wheel motor vehicle had a one-cylinder engine and a top speed of 10 miles per hour. By 1899, Daimler's German competitor, Benz and Company, had become the world's largest car manufacturer. In the same year, a wealthy Austrian businessman named Emile Jellinek saw a Daimler Phoenix win a race in Nice, France. So impressed was he with Daimler's car that he offered to buy 36 vehicles from Daimler should he create a more powerful model, but requested that the car be named after his daughter, Mercedes. Gottlieb Daimler would never see the result of his business deal with Jellinek, but his corporation would climb to great heights without him. The Mercedes began a revolution in the car manufacturing industry. The new car was lower to the ground than other vehicles of its time, and it possessed a wider wheelbase for improved cornering. It had four speeds, including reverse, and it reached a top speed of 47mph. The first Mercedes had a four-cylinder engine and is generally considered the first modern car. In the year of its birth, the Mercedes set a world speed record of 49.4mph in Nice, France--the very course that was responsible for its marque's conception. By 1905, Mercedes cars had reached speeds of 109mph. Forever reluctant to enter car racing, Carl Benz realized he must compete with Daimler's Mercedes to preserve his company's standing in the automotive industry. For 20 years, Mercedes and Benz competed on racetracks around the world. In 1926, the Daimler and Benz corporations merged. The two founders never met.
March 4, 1888
Knute Kenneth Rockne, football coach at the University of Notre Dame and namesake of the Studebaker's Rockne brand, was born in Voss, Norway. Studebaker, based along with Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, named the Rockne brand after the winningest coach in college football history and arguably the most important man in town and was once a salesman for Studebaker. The low-priced Rockne was produced between 1932 to 1933. However, unlike Coach Rockne, the Rockne never enjoyed success as the Great Depression put the squeeze on all U.S. markets.
March 4, 1902
The American Automobile Association (AAA) was organized on this day. The American Motor League (AML) had been the first organization to address the problems that commonly plague motorists, but it fell apart due to a diverse membership that featured powerful car makers who wanted to limit the AML only to issues that affected car manufacturing and engineering. However, soon trade groups such as the Association of Automotive Engineers took its place, paving the way for more specialized automobile organizations. AAA was formed to deal with the concerns of the motorists themselves, and has been America's largest organization of motorists since.
'32 Studebaker Rockne
Knute Kenneth Rockne, football coach and former Studebaker salesman
Exterior view of an American Automobile Association office in Walnut Creek, California
An AAA Car Care Plus center in Santa Clara, California
March 5, 1658
Antoine de la Mothe, Le Sieur de Cadillac, namesake of Cadillac cars, was born in Gascogny, France. Cadillac was the explorer responsible for mapping the Great Lakes region of North America for the French crown. He is credited as the founder of Detroit, Michigan, which today is affectionately known as the Motor City.
March 5, 1875
The Wisconsin state legislature offered a $10,000 reward on this day to any man who could supply "a cheap and practical substitute for use of horse and other animals on highway and farm," documenting that the search for a motorized wagon was officially under way by 1875. By 1879, George Selden had already sought a patent for his self-propelled gas-burning vehicle. Ransom Eli Olds, founder of Oldsmobile, created his first steam-propelled automobile in 1887. Frank and Charles Duryea drove their first motorized wagon in 1893. The Duryea brothers would eventually be credited with operating the first auto production line when they produced and sold 13 cars in 1896. Elwood Haynes of Kokomo, Indiana, claimed to have produced the first "real" car in 1894. Haynes contended that the Duryeas had only managed to attach an engine to a wagon. In short, the historical bounty for the creation of the automobile was a cup to be shared by all. Legally, however, and later financially, George Selden won the first prize. In 1895, Selden received U.S. Patent No. 549,160 for his "road engine." With the granting of the patent, Selden, whose designs were generally inferior to those of his contemporary automotive pioneers, won a monopoly on the concept of combining an internal combustion engine with a carriage. Although Selden never became an auto manufacturer, every automaker would have to pay him a percentage of their profits for the right to construct a motor car. In 1903, Henry Ford refused to pay Selden the percentage, arguing that his design had nothing to do with Selden's. After a long drawn-out legal case that ended in 1911, the New York Court of Appeals upheld Selden's patent for all cars of the particular out-dated construction he originally described, and in doing so ended Selden's profitable reign as the father of the automobile. Ironically, it wasn't until Ford's Model T that the car became a significant substitute for "the horse and other animals" as stipulated in the aforementioned challenge issued by the Wisconsin legislature. By that time, Henry Ford didn't need the $10,000.
March 5, 1929
Fire destroyed the Los Angeles Automobile Show on this day in 1929. Over 320 new cars, including the Auburn Motor Company's only Auburn Cabin Speedster, were lost in the flames.
March 5, 1929
Erik Carlsson, aka "Carlsson på taket" ("Carlsson on the roof"), was born in Trollhättan, Sweden and was a rally driver for Saab. Because of his public relations work for Saab, he is also known as Mr. Saab.
March 5, 1929
David Dunbar Buick, a Scottish-born American inventor best known for founding the Buick Motor Company died on this day. He was 74. He was born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland moving to Detroit, Michigan at the age of two when his parents emigrated to the United States.
5 March 1977
Tom Price, British Grand Prix racer died during the racing accident of 1977 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami.
March 5, 1995
Gregg Hansford, Australian motorcycle and touring car racer died on this day while competing in a Supertouring race in 1995 at Phillip Island. Hansford's Ford Mondeo slid off the track and hit a tyre wall at high speed. The car bounced back onto the track where he was hit by Mark Adderton's Peugeot 405 at over 200 km/h. Hansford died moments after the impact.
Statue of Antoine de la Mothe, Le Sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detriot.
Erik Carlsson and Saab Sonett III
David Dunbar Buick
Gregg Hansford (without shirt) with Nevelle Doyle fiddling his Kawasaki KR750
The History Channel
March 6, 1896
Charles B. King tested his automobile on the streets of Detroit, Michigan, becoming the first man to drive a car in the Motor City. While driving up and down Woodward Avenue his Horseless Carriage broke down, speculators responded by telling him to "get a horse".
March 6, 1915
Dario Resta, driving a Peugot, won the 10th Vanderbilt Cup Race at the Pan-Pacific International Speedway in San Francisco, California. The Vanderbilt Cup, the first international car race in America, was organized in 1904 to introduce Europe's best drivers and manufacturers to the U.S. Named after its founder, millionaire racing enthusiast William K. Vanderbilt Jr., the Vanderbilt Cup became the world's premier racing event after laws in Europe, designed to protect spectators, restricted the level of competition at venues there. The first Vanderbilt Cup was won by George Heath, a Frenchman, in a Panhard automobile. Heath averaged 52.2mph over the course of three 10-mile laps in Hicksville, New York. French cars dominated the event until 1908 when George Robertson drove the 90-horsepower Locomobile, a.k.a Old 16, to victory in the fourth Vanderbilt Cup. It was the first victory in an international racing event by an American car. The Vanderbilt Cup moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 1910, and later out to California. The race was christened with a French victory, and it would be laid to rest with a French victory. Dario Resta won the final Vanderbilt Cup in 1916 driving his Peugot. That year Resta also won the Indianapolis 500 and the 100-mile Chicago Cup Challenge--during which he became the first man to average over 100mph over a race of that distance.
March 6, 1936
American industrailist and race car driver Bob Akin was born in North Tarrytown, New York.
March 7, 1903
C.S. Rolls, driving a Mors automobile on a private estate in Nottinghamshire, England, ran a record flying kilometer at 84.84mph. He himself disallowed the record, noting as an objection the favorable tailwind and gradual slope of the course.
March 7, 1916
The manufacturing firms of Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto merged to form the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (Bavarian Aircraft Works). The company would later become the Bayerische Motor-Werke (Bavarian Motor Works or BMW). As the original name suggests, BMW began as a manufacturer of aircaft engines. In 1923, BMW built its first motorcycle. The BMW R12, a classic-looking BMW motorcycle, was the first motorcycle to have a telescopic hydraulic front fork, providing a smoother ride and better contact with the road. BMW is still the leader in motorcycle design and production in Europe. In 1929, BMW built its first car, the Dixi, in a factory in Eisenach, Germany. Prior to opening the factory in Eisenach, all BMW products had been manufactured in Munich. By 1938, BMW was racing in the biggest car races in Europe. The 328 won its class at the Mille Miglia Italian road race. The outbreak of World War II saw BMW, like its U.S. counterparts, switch production to war manufacturing. BMW facilities were destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II. After the peace, a three-year ban was imposed on BMW by the Allies for its part in the war. The BMW R24 motorcycle became, with its release in 1948, the company's first post-war product. BMW completed its first postwar car, the 501, in 1951. BMW is still one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers. The company is noted for its innovations in the field of ABS, Anti-Lock Breaking Systems.
March 7, 1932
The Communist Party of America organized the "March on Hunger"; the procession traveled from downtown Detroit to the Ford Motor Company's River Rouge Plant in order to protest the company's labor record. When police and firemen were unable to disperse the thousands gathered at River Rouge, Ford strongman Harry Bennet, notorious for his mob tactics of labor management, ordered his "servicemen" to quell the crowd with fire hoses. Defying the freezing temperatures and icy water, the crowd refused to give up its protest. Bennet, who ruled Ford's enterprise with nothing short of terrorist tactics, confronted the crowd, ordering them to disperse once and for all. The determined crowd, unaware that they were faced with their nemesis, began to shout, "We want Bennet. And he's in that building." Bennett corrected their mistake, and for his trouble he was showered with bricks and slag pieces. He was struck in the head during the barrage. Before he fell to the ground, the combat-ready Bennett pulled Joseph York, a Young Communist League organizer, to the ground on top of him. Seeing Bennett bleeding profusely from his head, the police opened fire on the unarmed protesters. York and three other protesters were killed. Ford's trouble with labor unions came to a head five years later when Roosevelt's New Deal guaranteed the workers the right to join a union. Again Bennett would be at the center of a violent confrontation at the River Rouge complex.
March 7, 1938
Janet Guthrie, the first woman race driver to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. was born in Iowa.
7 March 1947
Walter Röhrl, German rally legend was born in Regensburg, Bavaria.
Charles Stewart Rolls
Charles Stewart Rolls, with his Mors Automobile, specially created for him with 110hp engine.
Rare images of Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto at their workshop