Tesla Sedan Party Video
Image by jurvetson
It felt like a dream sequence.
With thousands of incoming requests, I happened to be at the right place at the right time to sign up for the first Tesla Model S Sedan, a fully electric, zero emissions car that can go 300 miles and 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.
(The “S-1” designation is a bit magical for me since the filing of a “Form S-1” with the SEC is the commencement of the IPO process. =)
After the car drove out into the party inside the SpaceX rocket plant for it’s public unveiling, Elon Musk took me for the first test drive of the new machine. I took a video of the whole ride.
One cool detail I missed in the video was the door handles extending linearly outward (providing a big grip for opening) and then retracting back into the door frame for a perfectly smooth surface.
The interior design is as radical as the iPhone; most of the dash is a 17" touch screen. There are no buttons or dials. And with a software-defined UI, various skins and web services are available over the 3G data link (as well as Internet browsing and HDTV). I’ll put another request in for an open interface for downloadable engine ring tones (the car is silent, so why not have the drive-by-wire data feed trigger the sounds of your favorite vintage gas-passing vehicle or rocket…)
The batteries and liquid-cooled AC induction motor (i.e., the entire weight of the drive train) are below the wheel line so it handles unlike any car I have experienced.
And that means that there is a trunk in front and in back and more interior space than any other sedan. Toss bikes with the wheels on through the hatchback. Or seat seven people.
Clearly I am enamored. Another short video from outside as the new customers for the Sedan take test drives around the block.
2010 Audi R8 Spyder (01)
Image by Georg Schwalbach (GS1311)
The Audi R8 is a sports car with a longitudinally mounted mid-engine, and uses Audi's 'trademark' quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker Audi AG in 2006. The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG's high performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, and is derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo. The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the "Audi Space Frame", and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built around a space frame. The car is built by quattro GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi's 'aluminium site' at Neckarsulm in Germany.
In 2005, Audi announced that the name of the successful Audi R8 race car would be used for a new road car in 2007, the Audi R8, based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, appearing at the 2003 International Geneva Motor Show, and 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The R8 road car was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. There was some confusion with the name, which the car shares with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning R8 Le Mans Prototype (LMP), and also the 1989 Mk2 Rover 200, codenamed R8.
- - -
Der Audi R8 ist ein Mittelmotor-Sportwagen von Audi, der im September 2006 der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt wurde. Die Namensgebung beruht auf dem erfolgreichen Le-Mans-Rennprototyp Audi R8.
Das Modell wird im Audi-Werk Neckarsulm von der quattro GmbH produziert. Es basiert auf der Studie Le Mans quattro, die 2003 auf der IAA vorgestellt wurde. Zur Gewichtseinsparung besteht die Karosserie des Wagens vollständig aus Aluminium.
I love drive-bys
Image by kevin dooley
Closed for business, in Bridgman, Michigan. (Explore)
This is one of my "drive-bys", wherein the photo is taken in from the seat of the car. In this case I was in the passenger seat and the car was moving, as is most often the case.
I find drive-bys highly appealing. When one is travelling at those speeds, one naturally passes a lot of "content" to choose from, so it provides rich opportunities. The shot passes quickly though, and framing accuracy is hit or miss at best, so there's a nice random element to the process too. Finally, like it or not, we spend a good portion of our life sitting in the seats of automobiles, so drive-by images are part of our visual memory.
Practically, it's a heck of a lot safer to be a passenger doing drive-bys. Doh. I've done it solo two different ways. First, I've set a tripod in the passenger seat, aimed it out the window, and operated the shutter with my right hand, promising to never look at the camera while doing so! More safely, I've simply stopped for the photos I've wanted, but not actually gotten out of the car (olde skool). This is doable as long as there isn't traffic.
One key to getting good drive-bys is to take enough. Whereas in a good, "normal" photo session you might get 5 or even 10% good shots, with drive-bys it might be 1 in a hundred, or less.
Next time you're a passenger--give it a try!
Old Jaguar E-type sports car: front view (close)
Image by Chris Devers
Funny story about this photo....
• • • • •
Quoting from Wikipedia: Jaguar E-Type:
• • • • •
The Jaguar E-Type (UK) or XK-E (US) is a British automobile manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. A great success for Jaguar, over seventy thousand E-Types were sold during its lifespan.
In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in Daily Telegraph list of the "100 most beautiful cars" of all time. In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
• 1 Overview
• 2 Concept versions
•• 2.1 E1A (1957)
•• 2.2 E2A (1960)
• 3 Production versions
•• 3.1 Series 1 (1961-1968)
•• 3.2 Series 2 (1969-1971)
•• 3.3 Series 3 (1971-1975)
• 4 Limited edtions
•• 4.1 Low Drag Coupé (1962)
•• 4.2 Lightweight E-Type (1963-1964)
• 5 Motor Sport
• 6 See also
• 7 References
• 8 External links
The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). The 2+2 version with a lengthened wheelbase was released several years later.
On its release Enzo Ferrari called it "The most beautiful car ever made".
The model was made in three distinct versions which are now generally referred to as "Series 1", "Series 2" and "Series 3". A transitional series between Series 1 and Series 2 is known unofficially as "Series 1½".
In addition, several limited-edition variants were produced:
• The "'Lightweight' E-Type" which was apparently intended as a sort of follow-up to the D-Type. Jaguar planned to produce 18 units but ultimately only a dozen were reportedly built. Of those, one is known to have been destroyed and two others have been converted to coupé form. These are exceedingly rare and sought after by collectors.
• The "Low Drag Coupé" was a one-off technical exercise which was ultimately sold to a Jaguar racing driver. It is presently believed to be part of the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray.
After their success at LeMans 24 hr through the 1950s Jaguars defunct racing department were given the brief to use D-Type style construction to build a road going sports car, replacing the XK150.
It is suspected that the first prototype (E1A) was given the code based on: (E): The proposed production name E-Type (1): First Prototype (A): Aluminium construction (Production models used steel bodies)
The car featured a monocoque design, Jaguar's fully independent rear suspension and the well proved "XK" engine.
The car was used solely for factory testings and was never formally released to the public. The car was eventually scrapped by the factory
Jaguar's second E-Type concept was E2A which unlike E1A was constructed from a steel chassis and used a aluminium body. This car was completed as a race car as it was thought by Jaguar at the time it would provide a better testing ground.
E2A used a 3 litre version of the XK engine with a Lucas fuel injection system.
After retiring from the LeMans 24 hr the car was shipped to America to be used for racing by Jaguar privateer Briggs Cunningham.
In 1961 the car returned to Jaguar in England to be used as a testing mule.
Ownership of E2A passed to Roger Woodley (Jaguars customer competition car manager) who took possession on the basis the car not be used for racing. E2A had been scheduled to be scrapped.
Roger's wife Penny Griffiths owned E2A until 2008 when it was offered for sale at Bonham's Quail Auction. Sale price was US.5 million
Series 1 (1961-1968)
• Body style(s)
2-door 2+2 coupe
3.8 L XK I6
4.2 L XK I6
96.0 in (2438 mm) (FHC / OTS)
105.0 in (2667 mm) (2+2) 
175.3125 in (4453 mm) (FHC / OTS)
184.4375 in (4685 mm) (2+2) 
65.25 in (1657 mm) (all) 
48.125 in (1222 mm) (FHC)
50.125 in (1273 mm) (2+2)
46.5 in (1181 mm) (OTS)
• Curb weight
2,900 lb (1,315 kg) (FHC)
2,770 lb (1,256 kg) (OTS)
3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2) 
• Fuel capacity
63.64 L (16.8 US gal; 14.0 imp gal)
The Series 1 was introduced, initially for export only, in March 1961. The domestic market launch came four months later in July 1961. The cars at this time used the triple SU carburetted 3.8 litre 6-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine from the XK150S. The first 500 cars built had flat floors and external hood (bonnet) latches. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin hood latches moved to inside the car. The 3.8 litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres in October 1964.
All E-Types featured independent coil spring rear suspension with torsion bar front ends, and four wheel disc brakes, in-board at the rear, all were power-assisted. Jaguar was one of the first auto manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958. The Series 1 can be recognised by glass covered headlights (up to 1967), small "mouth" opening at the front, signal lights and tail-lights above bumpers and exhaust tips under the licence plate in the rear.
3.8 litre cars have leather-upholstered bucket seats, an aluminium-trimmed centre instrument panel and console (changed to vinyl and leather in 1963), and a Moss 4-speed gearbox that lacks synchromesh for 1st gear ("Moss box"). 4.2 litre cars have more comfortable seats, improved brakes and electrical systems, and an all-synchromesh 4-speed gearbox. 4.2 litre cars also have a badge on the boot proclaiming "Jaguar 4.2 Litre E-Type" (3.8 cars have a simple "Jaguar" badge). Optional extras included chrome spoked wheels and a detachable hard top for the OTS.
An original E-Type hard top is very rare, and finding one intact with all the chrome, not to mention original paint in decent condition, is rather difficult. For those who want a hardtop and aren't fussy over whether or not it is an original from Jaguar, several third parties have recreated the hardtop to almost exact specifications. The cost ranges anywhere from double to triple the cost of a canvas/vinyl soft top.
A 2+2 version of the coupé was added in 1966. The 2+2 offered the option of an automatic transmission. The body is 9 in (229 mm) longer and the roof angles are different with a more vertical windscreen. The roadster remained a strict two-seater.
There was a transitional series of cars built in 1967-68, unofficially called "Series 1½", which are externally similar to Series 1 cars. Due to American pressure the new features were open headlights, different switches, and some de-tuning (with a downgrade of twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs from the original triple SU carbs) for US models. Some Series 1½ cars also have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs. Series 2 features were gradually introduced into the Series 1, creating the unofficial Series 1½ cars, but always with the Series 1 body style.
Less widely known, there was also right at the end of Series 1 production and prior to the transitional "Series 1½" referred to above, a very small number of Series 1 cars produced with open headlights. These are sometimes referred to as "Series 1¼" cars. Production dates on these machines vary but in right hand drive form production has been verified as late as March 1968. It is thought that the low number of these cars produced relative to the other Series make them amongst the rarest of all production E Types.
An open 3.8 litre car, actually the first such production car to be completed, was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 miles per imperial gallon (13.3 L/100 km; 17.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2097 including taxes.
Production numbers from Graham:
• 15,490 3.8s
• 17,320 4.2s
• 10,930 2+2s
Production numbers from xkedata.com: [omitted -- Flickr doesn't allow tables]
Series 2 (1969-1971)
• Body style(s)
2-door 2+2 coupe
4.2 L XK I6
• Curb weight
3,018 lb (1,369 kg) (FHC)
2,750 lb (1,247 kg) (OTS)
3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2) 
Open headlights without glass covers, a wrap-around rear bumper, re-positioned and larger front indicators and taillights below the bumpers, better cooling aided by an enlarged "mouth" and twin electric fans, and uprated brakes are hallmarks of Series 2 cars. De-tuned in US, but still with triple SUs in the UK, the engine is easily identified visually by the change from smooth polished cam covers to a more industrial 'ribbed' appearance. Late Series 1½ cars also had ribbed cam covers. The interior and dashboard were also redesigned, with rocker switches that met U.S health and safety regulations being substituted for toggle switches. The dashboard switches also lost their symmetrical layout. New seats were fitted, which purists claim lacked the style of the originals but were certainly more comfortable. Air conditioning and power steering were available as factory options.
Production according to Graham is 13,490 of all types.
Series 2 production numbers from xkedata.com: [omitted -- Flickr doesn't allow tables]
Official delivery numbers by market and year are listed in Porter but no summary totals are given.
Series 3 (1971-1975)
• Body style(s)
2-door 2+2 coupe
5.3 L Jaguar V12
105 in (2667 mm) (both)
184.4 in (4684 mm) (2+2)
184.5 in (4686 mm) (OTS)
66.0 in (1676 mm) (2+2)
66.1 in (1679 mm) (OTS)
48.9 in (1242 mm) (2+2)
48.1 in (1222 mm) (OTS)
• Curb weight
3,361 lb (1,525 kg) (2+2)
3,380 lb (1,533 kg) (OTS)
• Fuel capacity
82 L (21.7 US gal; 18.0 imp gal)
A new 5.3 L 12-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine was introduced, with uprated brakes and standard power steering. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12 was available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupé. The convertible used the longer-wheelbase 2+2 floorplan. It is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12. There were also a very limited number of 4.2 litre six-cylinder Series 3 E-Types built. These were featured in the initial sales literature. It is believed these are the rarest of all E-Types of any remaining.
In 2008 a British classic car enthusiast assembled what is surely the last ever E-Type from parts bought from the end-of-production surplus in 1974.
Graham lists production at 15,290.
Series 3 production numbers from xkedata.com: [omitted -- Flickr doesn't allow tables]
Two limited production E-Type variants were made as test beds, the Low Drag Coupe and Lightweight E-Type, both of which were raced:
Low Drag Coupé (1962)
Shortly after the introduction of the E-Type, Jaguar management wanted to investigate the possibility of building a car more in the spirit of the D-Type racer from which elements of the E-Type's styling and design were derived. One car was built to test the concept designed as a coupé as its monocoque design could only be made rigid enough for racing by using the "stressed skin" principle. Previous Jaguar racers were built as open-top cars because they were based on ladder frame designs with independent chassis and bodies. Unlike the steel production E-Types the LDC used lightweight aluminium. Sayer retained the original tub with lighter outer panels riveted and glued to it. The front steel sub frame remained intact, the windshield was given a more pronounced slope and the rear hatch welded shut. Rear brake cooling ducts appeared next to the rear windows,and the interior trim was discarded, with only insulation around the transmission tunnel. With the exception of the windscreen, all cockpit glass was plexi. A tuned version of Jaguar's 3.8 litre engine with a wide angle cylinder-head design tested on the D-Type racers was used. Air management became a major problem and, although much sexier looking and certainly faster than a production E-Type, the car was never competitive: the faster it went, the more it wanted to do what its design dictated: take off.
The one and only test bed car was completed in summer of 1962 but was sold a year later to Jaguar racing driver Dick Protheroe who raced it extensively and eventually sold it. Since then it has passed through the hands of several collectors on both sides of the Atlantic and now is believed to reside in the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray.
Lightweight E-Type (1963-1964)
In some ways, this was an evolution of the Low Drag Coupé. It made extensive use of aluminium alloy in the body panels and other components. However, with at least one exception, it remained an open-top car in the spirit of the D-Type to which this car is a more direct successor than the production E-Type which is more of a GT than a sports car. The cars used a tuned version of the production 3.8 litre Jaguar engine with 300 bhp (224 kW) output rather than the 265 bhp (198 kW) produced by the "ordinary" version. At least one car is known to have been fitted with fuel-injection.
The cars were entered in various races but, unlike the C-Type and D-Type racing cars, they did not win at Le Mans or Sebring.
Bob Jane won the 1963 Australian GT Championship at the wheel of an E-Type.
The Jaguar E-Type was very successful in SCCA Production sports car racing with Group44 and Bob Tullius taking the B-Production championship with a Series-3 V12 racer in 1975. A few years later, Gran-Turismo Jaguar from Cleveland Ohio campaigned a 4.2 L 6 cylinder FHC racer in SCCA production series and in 1980, won the National Championship in the SCCA C-Production Class defeating a fully funded factory Nissan Z-car team with Paul Newman.
• Jaguar XK150 - predecessor to the E-Type
• Jaguar XJS - successor to the E-Type
• Jaguar XK8 - The E-Type's current and spiritual successor
• Guyson E12 - a rebodied series III built by William Towns
• ^ Loughborough graduate and designer of E Type Jaguar honoured
• ^ 100 most beautiful cars
• ^ a b cPorter, Philip (2006). Jaguar E-type, the definitive history. p. 443. ISBN 0-85429-580-1.
• ^ a b"'69 Series 2 Jaguar E Types", Autocar, October 24, 1968
• ^ a b c d eThe Complete Official Jaguar "E". Cambridge: Robert Bentley. 1974. p. 12. ISBN 0-8376-0136-3.
• ^ a b c d e f g"Jaguar E-Type Specifications". www.web-cars.com/e-type/specifications.php. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
• ^ a b"Buying secondhand E-type Jaguar". Autocar 141 (nbr4042): pages 50–52. 6 April 1974.
• ^ See Jaguar Clubs of North America concourse information at:  and more specifically the actual Series 1½ concourse guide at 
• ^ Ibid.
• ^ Compare right hand drive VIN numbers given in JCNA concours guide referred to above with production dates for right hand drive cars as reflected in the XKEdata database at 
• ^"The Jaguar E-type". The Motor. March 22, 1961.
• ^ a b cRobson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.
• ^ a b chttp://www.xkedata.com/stats/. www.xkedata.com/stats/. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
• ^Daily Express Motor Show Review 1975 Cars: Page 24 (Jaguar E V12). October 1974.
• ^ jalopnik.com/5101872/british-man-cobbles-together-last-ja...
Oh the joys of the open road!
Image by brizzle born and bred
Timeline of motoring history 1679 - 1939
Practical French scientist Denis Papin invents the pressure-cooker or ‘digester’.
Many before him have experimented with single charges of gunpowder as a means of moving a piston in a bore but, Denis Papin publishes his ideas for harnessing steam as an alternative, to achieve repeated cycles of movement. In doing so, he recognises the potential for a mechanical alternative to animals for mobilising carriages. He goes on to build the first steam engine, which is used to pump water to a canal running between Kassel and Karlshaven in Germany.
English military engineer Thomas Savery uses Papin’s ‘Digester’ as the basis of a crude steam engine for pumping water out of flooded mine-shafts.
Denis Papin, visiting London in the hope of finding patronage, writes to a friend reporting his failure and asking for financial support to pay for his return to Germany. Never heard of again, it is likely that Papin died in London in abject poverty and complete anonymity.
Thomas Newcomen, an "ironmonger" and blacksmith of Dartmouth, England, patents the "Atmospheric Steam Engine" and, together with John Calley starts to build and sell engines for pumping water out of mines.
James Watt, while engaged in repairing a Newcomen engine, comes up with several improvements which substantially change its method of operation and increase its efficiency. In so doing he lays a firm foundation for the design of all steam engines yet to come.
In Paris, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, a military engineer, demonstrates a self propelled steam vehicle - the first on record. The French government requests Cugnot to design and build a larger vehicle, capable of moving large amounts of artillery.
At the French government’s immense cost, Cugnot builds ‘Fardier’ a large three- wheeled artillery carriage and creates history’s first motor accident by knocking down part of a wall.
Oliver Evans of Maryland patents a steam engine for the use in powering carts and carriages.
Richard Trevithick, an early pioneer of the Steam Railway, builds the first successful motor vehicle, and drives it through Camborne, Cornwall. Four days later it is destroyed by fire.
Trevithick builds a second steam powered carriage, which makes several successful runs through the streets of London. Unfortunately it also frightens horses and kindles considerable public hostility.
In 1804 Oliver Evans, builds the world's first amphibious vehicle, ‘Orukter Amphibolas’, a steam powered dredger on wheels, for the Philadelphia Health Service. In July of 1805 it makes a one and a half mile journey from Central-Square to the banks of the Schuykill. It weighs 20 tons and is powered by a 5 HP twin cylinder beam engine driving both the paddle and 2 wheels. With no method of steering on land, the vehicle is much more successful as a boat.
In Switzerland, Francois Isaac de Rivaz builds, and demonstrates the first working internal combustion engine. It is fuelled by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen and reliant on a foot-operated exhaust valve. Mounted on small trolley, travels just a few metres.
Concerned about the number of people being killed by exploding steam engines Reverend Robert Stirling invents and patents an alternative which is not only safer but also much more efficient. It runs on hot air and rotation is caused by heat differentials as it passes between various parts of the engine. It can use a number of alternative fuels to heat the air and, in spite of its improved safety and superior efficiency, it remains largely ignored for use in vehicles.
Samuel Brown patents and builds his "gas-and-vacuum" engine. It has two cylinders linked by a rocking beam, with a capacity of 8,800cc and an output of just 4hp. The engine powering a carriage successfully drives up Shooters Hill at Blackheath, on the outskirts of London.
Goldsworthy Gurney, having built his ‘London and Bath’ steam coach, sets out on the world’s first long distance coach service, a round trip from London to Bath and back. While the outward journey is marked by many breakdowns the return journey is accomplished in ten hours at an average speed of 8.4 miles per hour. Gurney is later to be the inventor of the theatrical ‘Limelight’.
A regular steam omnibus service is established between Stratford, East London, and Paddington, West London by Walter Hancock. Using ‘Infant’, his second steam carriage.
Sir Charles Dance sets up the world's first scheduled passenger service by automobiles between Gloucester and Cheltenham, using three Gurney steam carriages. It operates for just a few months.
In London, Walter Hancock sets up a chain of garages to service his passenger carrying steam omnibuses en route between their destinations.
Robert William Thomson of Stonehaven, Scotland patents the world’s first vulcanized rubber pneumatic tyre. It is well received on trials in London but does not reach production for fear of its cost.
Belgian J. J. Etienne Lenoir builds the worlds first practicable internal combustion engine running on a mixture of coal gas and air and using a ‘jumping-spark’ ignition system. A company is formed in Paris to develop the engine further.
Le Monde Illustre. Devotes an article to J. J. Etienne Lenoir's first gas- engined carriage.
First oil well in USA is drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
French engineer Alphonse Beau de Rochas, patents the four-stroke cycle used in most modern internal combustion engines.
Lenoir demonstrates a second carriage, powered by a 1.5hp ‘liquid hydrocarbon' engine. Several six-mile journeys are successfully completed between Paris and Vincennes.
Alexander II Tsar of Russia buys one of Lenoir’s carriages making it the first export sale of a car in history.
Britain’s government introduces the 'Locomotives on Highways Act' more widely known as the 'Red Flag Act'. This requires that all mechanically powered road vehicles must have three drivers, must be limited to 4 mph on the open road and 2 mph in town and, must be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag, to warn the public.
In Germany Nikolaus August Otto patents a "free-piston" atmospheric engine.
First steam driven vehicle ‘Cornubia’, exported to India.
Nikolaus Otto and Eugen Langen form N.A. Otto & Cie to produce the ‘free-piston’ engine.
The smooth-running "Otto silent" engine is patented in Germany as employees, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach prepare it for production.
An initial ‘master patent' for the automobile is filed in the United States by engineer and Patents Lawyer George B. Selden. He extends his application period for many years, by filing many amendments to delay its issue. Meanwhile he struggles to establish his own production capability.
A petroleum (gasoline) powered four stroke engine is used to adapt a horse carriage by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach.
French inventor Ferdinand Forest, builds an opposed-piston engine with low tension magneto ignition and a spray carburettor.
Nicolaus Otto fails to obtain a patent covering his four-stroke engine because of Alphonse Beau de Rochas’ 1862 patent in France. Nevertheless we still refer to the four-stroke principle as the Otto cycle
Carl Benz's three wheeler, makes its first successful runs. This is the first petroleum powered car to be designed from scratch, rather than adapted from a horse-drawn carriage.
John Boyd Dunlop a Scottish Veterinary Surgeon living in Belfast, re-invents and re-patents the pneumatic tyre without knowledge of the previous work and patent of fellow Scott Robert William Thomson.
In the UK, Brighton inventor Magnus Volk begins production of electric carriages. His electric Railway still runs along the coast today.
Karl Benz starts to produce three wheeled, petroleum powered cars; sales are slow.
Daimler sells rights for France to a new V configured twin cylinder engine to Panhard & Levassor
With no thought of manufacturing cars, Panhard & Levassor licence the Peugeot ironmongery business to use the engine in automotive applications.
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft set up by Gottleib Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt, Germany.
M. Levassor decides to build cars after all, designing and building a rear engined car.
Frederick R. Simms acquires Daimler rights in the UK, with the intention of using the engines to power motor launches.
Ferdinand Forest produces the world's first four cylinder petrol engine with mechanical valve operation for use in boats and goes on to build the world's first six cylinder engine for the same purpose. The marine application ensures that his contribution to motoring history is ignored.
Levassor introduces a new design of motor car which is to become the template for the vast majority of designs for many years to come. Four wheels, front mounted engine, sliding gear transmission and rear wheel drive. At first this configuration is known as Systeme Panhard.
Brothers Charles Edgar Duryea and James Frank Duryea of Springfield, Massachussetts build their first motor buggy, Charles having an established background in the cycle trade. They are credited with being the first in America to build a practicable automobile.
Karl Benz introduces the "Viktoria", powered by a 3hp petroleum (gasoline) engine with a top speed of 11mph. Forty-five cars are in this year.
After many years of financial difficulty, Karl Benz begins 'mass production' of two models, the Velo and the Viktoria.
Henry G. Morris and Pedro Salom of Philadelphia open America's first car factory to build Electrobat electric cars.
The Apperson brothers and Elwood Haynes of Kokomo, Indiana collaborate to build an automobile.
Karl Benz sells 135 motor vehicles in the year.
Sir David Salomans organises Britain's first exhibition of motor vehicles in the open air in October at Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
In November, the first indoor exhibition of cars in Britain takes place, at the Stanley Cycle Show.
Selden's master patent is finally granted in the USA, after years of revision.
First petrol engine produced by De Dion and Bouton.
The Autocar magazine founded by J. J. Henry Sturmey.
Frederick, Frank and George Lanchester build the first all-British, four-wheel, petrol driven car featuring many technical innovations. Lanchester will go on to rival Rolls Royce in their reputation for excellence, but fail to achieve long-term commercial success.
A Peugeot L'Eclair becomes the first car to run on Michelin pneumatic tyres.
The British Motor Industry is born when Harry J. Lawson launches the Daimler Motor Company in Coventry.
British Parliament repeals the Red Flag Act and raises the speed limit to l4mph; Lawson organises the first Run from London to Brighton to commemorate ‘Emancipation Day’.
Duryea brings two cars over to Europe for the Emancipation Day event.
American pioneers Henry Ford, Charles Brady King, Ransome Eli Olds and Alexander Winton all complete and test their first cars.
The first car to be sold with pneumatic tyres as standard is Leon Bollee's Voiturette.
Harry J. Lawson forms the Great Horseless Carriage Company (later the Motor Manufacturing Company) to acquire the rights to all important Continental patents, in an effort to gain control of the British motor industry.
Emil Jellinek, financier, international diplomat and racing enthusiast, orders the first four cylinder Daimler.
The first commercially available steam cars are manufactured by twin brothers Francis and Freelan Stanley.
Alexander Winton a bicycle manufacturer of Cleveland, Ohio incorporates the Winton Motor Carriage Co.
The Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, at the time the USA’s largest cycle manufacturer, begin their attempt to build cars in large quantities.
A British-built Daimler is driven from John O’Groats to Lands End by Henry Sturmey, at the time a journalist with ‘The Autocar’ magazine.
The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland is founded by F.R.Simms.
Emile Levassor dies.
R.E. Olds and a group of Lansing businessmen invest ,000 to create The Olds Motor Vehicle Company.
Leon Serpollet builds his first steam car.
James Ward Packard of Warren, Ohio, becomes one of the earliest buyers of a Winton and, immediately unsatisfied with it’s reliability and performance begins literally, to ‘pick it to pieces’.
Rudolf Diesel is granted a patent for an internal combustion engine where extremely high compression of the fuel/air mixture causes self-ignition, rather than a spark.
Using a De Dion engine and axle, Louise Renault builds his first car.
Panhard-Levassor adopt the steering wheel instead of the tiller.
De Dion Bouton introduce the Voiturette.
Coventry-Daimler release their first four cylinder model.
The first Napier power unit is built.
FIAT, Sunbeam, Wolseley, Albion and Isotta Fraschini begin production.
In the USA, the Olds Motor Vehicle Company also begins Production.
Gottlieb Daimler dies at the age of 66. One week later Emil Jellinek secures an exclusivity agreement with Wilhelm Maybach. The cars in which he has been involved and will be marketing, will now be named after his favourite daughter, Mercedes.
The Thousand Miles Trial is organised by the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland to demonstrate the reliability and efficiency of the motor vehicle to the British public. Many people will see a car for the first time in their lives.
American manufacturers produce a total of 4192 cars, each selling at an average price of 00.00.
With an exclusive sales agreement and some technical input from Emile Jellinek , Daimler at Bad-Cannstatt introduces the new ‘Mercedes’. Jellinek will both race these cars with great success and sell them to a personally selected clientele.
Ettore Bugatti wins the Milan Grand Prix in his Type 2 and exhibits it at the Milan International Motorcar Exhibition. He is approached by de-Dietrich of Niederbronn in the Alsace region and offered a licensing deal to design cars for them. Since he is still legally a minor, his father Carlo signs the contract.
The Olsmobile ‘Curved Dash’ model becomes the world’s first mass-produced petroleum (gas) powered car.
John Starley dies, without seeing a Rover car go into production.
Packard patents and introduces the "H" gearshift pattern so familiar today.
Dr E C Lehwess sets out on the first attempt to drive around the world in a specially adapted Panhard Levassor bus named "Passe Partout" ("Anything Goes"). With no time-limit his intended route runs from London, through Europe to Asia, from where the bus will be shipped to California to cross the USA and return to England by ship across the Atlantic Ocean. He gets as far as Nizhni Novgorod in Eastern Russia, where "Passe Partout" and the attempt, have to be abandoned in deep snow.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is founded by Frederick R. Simms.
The British Parliament passes the Motor Car Act, raising the speed limit from 12 to 20mph, introducing driving licences and establishing the registration and numbering of cars.
17,000 vehicles are now registered in Britain.
Henry Ford finally succeeds in raising ,000.00 to found the Ford Motor Company and begin production and sales of his Model A runabout.
In Detroit, the Cadillac Motor Car Company is founded by precision engineer Henry Martyn Leland.
In London, The Vauxhall Iron Works builds its first car.
Marcel Renault is one of 10 drivers killed in that year’s Paris-Madrid race.
Administration of George B. Selden’s ‘master patent for the automobile’ is taken over by the newly formed Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, with the intention of pursuing numerous manufacturers for infringement, to gain compensation and future royalties.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders hosts its first motor show at the Crystal Palace, in South London.
The first completely new Benz, the front engined ‘Parsifal 12/18’, is designed by Marius Barbarou and introduced to compete with the very successful Mercedes Simplex.
A six cylinder, four wheel drive racing car is introduced by Dutch manufacturer Spyker.
The first six cylinder production car is introduced by Napier.
James H. Whiting, co-founder of the Flint Wagon Works, persuades his partners to buy the Buick Motor Car Company, at that time a very small car manufacturer. Whiting becomes President and David Buick is General Manager.
Mary Anderson is granted a patent for a handle-operated windshield wiper, originally intended to help the streetcar drivers of New York.
On January 1st, The Motor Car Act becomes law in Great Britain.
Having built his first motor car Henry Royce meets Charles Stewart Rolls, already successful in the sales of quality cars in London and Royce agrees to manufacture a range of cars exclusively for sale by CS Rolls & Co. They are to be known by the name Rolls-Royce.
The Sturtevant brothers of Boston, Massachusetts invent the first automatic gearbox. With two forward speeds it is dependent on rotation by the engine, of centrifugal weights which, all too often disintegrate. The unit may not be a complete success but at least it points the way for future developments.
Ford begins to export cars to Britain.
Having invented the modern bicycle 18 years earlier, Rover embarks on the manufacture of cars.
De Launay Belleville is founded in Saint Denis sur Seine, central France, with Marius Barbarou as engineer.
William Crapo Durant, Co-owner of Durant-Dort Carriage Company, the USA’s largest carriage makers, is approached by James Whiting to promote his Buick automobiles. Durant becomes Buick's General Manager.
Having refused to pay royalties to the Association of Licensed Automotive Manufacturers for infringement of George B Selden’s master patent, Henry Ford is taken to court. Key to Ford’s defence is that Selden has never even built a car and the validity of the patent is therefore questionable. The judge orders Selden to build a car in accordance with his patent.
Herbert Austin, resigns as general manager of Wolseley to set up his own company at Longbridge, Birmingham.
The American the market for cars is enlarged by the introduction of installment finance plans.
The Automobile Association is set up to represent the interests of British motorists finding themselves easy targets for Police officers keen to gain promotion based on the numbers of speeding motorists caught and convicted!
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) introduce a horsepower formula, largely based on the Cylinder bore of an engine.
The successful commercial collaboration between Henry Royce and C S Rolls results in the formation of the Rolls-Royce company and the launch of the 40/50hp six-cylinder ‘Silver Ghost’, soon to be hailed as 'the best car in the world'.
Ford introduces the Model N at the New York Auto Show. Selling initially at 0,
The American car industry produces 33,500 cars.
Former Fiat test-driver Vincenzo Lancia sets up his own company in Turin with his friend and colleague Claudio Fogolin.
Britain exports a total of two cars per month to France while importing a total of 400 cars per month from France.
Otto Zachow and William Besserdich of Clintonville, Wisconsin, built the first successful 4-wheel-drive car.
A year after its announcement, the price of Ford’s Model N had already risen to 0.
King Edward VII awards the Automobile Club the Royal accolade.
Willys-Overland is formed following the purchase of the Overland Company of Indianapilolis by John Willys.
Over 60,000 Cars are now registered in Britain.
A Rolls-Royce ‘Silver Ghost’ completes a 15000 miles test under supervision of the RAC, with just one enforced stop.
Also completing a 15,000 mile test is a 45hp Hotchkiss, wearing out 46 tyres in the process.
Otto Zachow and William Besserdich begin a company called the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co.
Ford build the first Model T. This year’s production totals 8000.
Based on a previous, failed attempt to bring together America’s top four car manufacturers William Crapo Durant incorporates General Motors of New Jersey (GM) with a capital of ,000. Within 12 days the company has raised ,000,000 cash, enough to buy Buick and Oldsmobile in quick succession.
In London The Royal Automobile Club awards Cadillac the Dewar Trophy following the dismantling, mixing and re-assembly of components from three ‘Model K’ runabouts.
The General Motors Company acquires Cadillac and Oakland.
William Durant fails to raise the .5 million needed to buy Ford.
Louis Chevrolet drives a Buick to victory in the fifth "Indy car" race at Crown Point, Indianapolis.
Fernand Renault is dies after a long illness. Now alone at the helm, Louis Renault changes the company’s name to Les Automobiles Renault.
While still engaged by de Deutz, Ettore Bugatti and good friend Felix Kortz build the ‘Type 10’ in the cellar of his house, probably as an expression of his imminent intention to establish his own production.
Joseph Sankey & Sons of Bilston, near Woverhampton, specialists in steel pressings, commence production of stamped body panels for Arrol-Johnston cars.
Joseph Sankey & Sons develop the first detachable pressed-steel artillery wheel, a considerable improvement over the wooden carriage wheels which most vehicles had used previously.
Louis Coatalen is appointed as chief engineer at Sunbeam and starts to design cars capable of achieving records at Brooklands race track in Surrey.
H.F.S. Morgan builds his first car, a three-wheeler with a twin cylinder 8hp engine, seating for one, tiller steering and patented ‘sliding pillar’ independent front suspension.
Charles Franklin Kettering, having already invented, designed and developed the electric cash register, bank accounting machines and a superior ignition system for cars while working for NCR, sets up Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco). 8000 ignition systems are supplied to Cadillac in his first year of production.
De Dion-Bouton introduces the first "mass-produced" V8 engine in the world.
Automobile production in the Untied States reaches 181,000.
The proposal to place a tax on petrol is rejected by the British Parliament.
Charles Stewart Rolls is killed at the age of 33, when his biplane crashes during a flying competition in Bournemouth.
The RAC devises the horsepower ratings by which cars in Britain are taxed.
Wireless radio is installed in a car with considerable effect although the equipment is very bulky.
Having spent the past 9 years designing cars for deDeutz and Mathis-Hermès, Ettore Bugatti sets up his own factory at Molsheim in the Alsace region (German territory until 1919, French thereafter) and starts production of his ‘Type 11’.
Crossley, Arrol Johnston, Argyll and Isotta Fraschini offer four wheel braking.
Burley Swiss racing driver and talented engineer Louis Chevrolet drives a Buick for Willam Durant in the first Indianapolis 500. A broken camshaft forces early retirement. Louis’s brothers, Arthur and Gaston, are also keen racing drivers.
Having been ousted from General Motors William Durrant hires Louis Chevrolet as a consultant to develop a high quality car and forms the Chevrolet Motor Company.
Ford opens its first factory outside the USA at Trafford Park, Manchester, UK. With an annual output of 3000 Model Ts, Ford soon becomes Britain's biggest car maker.
Cadillac 20/30hp model comes with ignition, electric lighting and electric self-starting developed by Charles F. Kettering’s Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco).
The Selden Patent Case finally ends in victory for Henry Ford when the car built to Selden’s patent is a technical failure. The patent is found to be 'valid but not infringed' releasing Americas car manufacturers to sell their products without further interference from Selden.
Prominent figure S. F. Edge resigns from the Napier company following a dispute. He agrees to stay out of the motor industry for 7 years in exchange for a £160,000.00 pay-off. Instead he turns to pig farming, cattle breeding and film production, all with considerable success.
Delco electric self-starters and electric lighting come as standard on all Cadillac models.
The first Chevrolet, the big, powerful and very expensive Classic Six, reaches production but its price places it well out of reach of the mass market which Durant needs to attract to build his new business.
Sunbeam causes a sensation by simultaneously entering two team of 3 litre cars in French races running at the same time. They come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Coupe de l'Auto for touring cars at Dieppe and 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the French Grand Prix against cars with engines of vastly greater cubic capacity. As a result, the virtually identical touring models sell very well.
Brothers W O and H M Bentley buy the London agency for French DFP cars from their employers and call their new business Bentley and Bentley.
Packard achieves a significant step in the development of the differential by introducing the spiral-bevel ring and pinion set. This cuts noise levels dramatically.
Henry Ford trials moving conveyor belt techniques for magneto production.
Ford’s sales rise to 182,809 vehicles.
The Royal Automobile Club awards the Dewar Trophy to Cadillac for a second time, in recognition of the introduction of the electric self-starter and electric lighting.
William Morris introduces his I0hp Morris Oxford light car.
Congress is lobbied by the Lincoln Highway Association who want a transcontinental highway to be constructed across America.
Mechanical direction indicators begin to appear on some models.
Fiat builds 3251cars.
Renault build 9338 cars.
Louis Chevrolet falls out with William Durant, wanting his name to be associated with prestigious cars and resigns. By selling his stock Chevrolet has thrown away the opportunity to become a multi millionaire. Durant continues to grow Chevrolet sales by moving the range downmarket.
W O Bentley develops the aluminium-alloy piston for use in automotive engines and achieves a class record at Brooklands in an alloy-pistoned DFP.
De Dion-Bouton’s V8 engine is now available in 3.5 litre, 4.6 litre and 7.8 litre capacities.
Ford introduces conveyor assembly line techniques to chassis production reducing unit production times from 12½ to 1½ hours.
Ford raises the daily pay of its production workers to an industry record of .
Ettore Bugatti designs and manufactures the world’s first series-produced 16-valve 4 cylinder engine.
British buyers can now choose between 200 makes of car.
The German Army’s advance on Paris is repulsed by troops ferried to the front line in Renault taxis.
W O Bentley is commissioned into the navy to develop aero-engines for the Royal Naval Air Service. The BR1 and BR2 radial engines, built at the Humber factory, prove extremely effective and Bentley passes his knowledge of alloy piston technology on to Ernest Hives who is also developing aero-engines at Rolls-Royce.
Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford set up a small sports-car manufacturing business in West London. Bamford’s early departure leaves Martin with the need for a new name. Success achieved at the Aston-Clinton Hill Climb course in the prototype car provides the ideal name. Aston-Martin is born!
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald McKenna introduces a ‘temporary’ 33.33 % levy on luxury imports to contribute to the cost of the war. Commercial vehicles are excluded, as they are needed for the war effort. This levy becomes known as the "McKenna Duties".
Catillac introduces the first successful V8 engine in the United States.
Inspired by Sunbeam aero-engine designs, Packard introduce the Vl2 Twin Six.
Banker Nicola Romeo takes over Anonima Lombardo Fabbrica Automobili of Milan to create Alfa Romeo.
Ford give a .00 refund to every Model T customer in recognition of annual sales exceeding their target.
The British Admiralty Landships Committee, charged with development of an armoured fighting vehicle capable of crossing trenches and barbed wire to attack an enemy, appoint a Lincoln agricultural machinery manufacturers William Foster & Co. Ltd, to design and develop it. For the sake of secrecy the factory workers are told to refer to the project as ‘a water carrier for Mesopotamia’. Their nick-name for the project is still with us today - ‘The tank’.
Windscreen wipers powered by vacuum from the engine’s inlet manifold begin to replace the manual version originally patented by Mary Anderson in 1903. Because inlet manifold vacuum varies with engine speed so does wiper speed.
C F Kettering’s Delco is sold to United Motors Corporation for ,000,000.00.
Herbert Austin receives a knighthood.
Having founded Cadillac and stayed at the helm since the 1909 sale to General Motors, Henry Martyn Leland resigns and leaves with his son Wilfred C Leland, to found the Lincoln Motor Company and build Liberty aero-engines for use in WW1 fighter planes.
Engineer William Rootes is demobilised from the British Armed to set up a new plant at Maidstone, Kent to repair aeroplane engines instead of scrapping them. The war ends before the plant is fully operational.
Emil Jellinek dies.
Car registrations in America exceed five million for the first time.
The Thomas B Jeffery Company is bought by Charles Nash and renamed Nash Motors.
United Motors Corporation is acquired by General Motors. As a result, C F Kettering is invited to organise direct General Motors Research Corporation and insists that its headquarters are established in Dayton.
Andre Citroen, having decided the future lies in simple reliable cars for the mass market, begins production of his Model A.
Henry Ford pays out $ l00 million to buy-out all the other stockholders in the Ford Motor Company.
S. F. Edge returns to the British motor industry by taking over AC cars.
The first straight eight production engine is introduced by Isotta Fraschini.
Walter P. Chrysler resigns his position as vice president of General Motors.
New aero influenced post war models introduced by Hispano Suiza, Guy, Enfield Allday.
WO Bentley, awarded an £8,000 gratuity for his wartime work on the design of aero-engines, uses it to establish Bentley Motors Ltd and develop his first sports-car.
Charles F Kettering’s Dayton Metal Products Co. is absorbed into General Motors, forming the core of GM's new research division.
William and Reginal Rootes re-establish the family car sales business, Rootes Ltd. in Maidstone Kent.
Enzo Ferrari finishes ninth at the Targa Florio bringing him to the notice of Alfa Romeo.
Half of all the motor vehicles in the world are Model T Fords.
The American car industry is hit hard by a sudden post-war sales slump - Most companies struggle, many go out of business and some are absorbed into the larger corporate conglomerates.
The merger of Sunbeam and Talbot-Darracq creates the STD group. The new organisation will fail to rationalise development programmes and share components, missing out on financial opportunities, building cars which compete with each other for market share.
William Durant is ousted from his position at the head of General Motors for a second and final time, when DuPont/Morgan banking interests gain a controlling interest. Alfred P. Sloan is placed in charge of the group's affairs.
Duesenberg introduce the first production car with a straight eight engine and four-wheel hydraulic brakes.
Work starts on Britain's first bypass roads, The Great West Road from Chiswick, West London and The Purley Way near Croydon.
350 French companies manufacture cars.
Louis Chevrolet’s Monroe racer wins the Indianapolis 500 with his brother Gaston at the wheel.
Gaston Chevrolet is killed in a racing accident on a boardwalk raceway in Beverly Hills, California.
C F Kettering, inventor and outstanding engineer and head of General Motors Research Corporation becomes a vice-president and GM board member.
Driving a modified Alfa Romeo production car in the Targa Florio, Enzo Ferrari finishes in second place.
Ferodo introduces a dry-plate clutch using asbestos friction materials that do not burn out every few hundred miles.
The Motor Car Act taxes cars in Britain at £I per RAC horsepower. Because of the RAC formula this favours small-bore, long stroke engines used by British manufacturers. Sales of cheaper American imports which tend to use large-bore, short stroke engines are crippled. A Morris Cowley, rated at 11.9hp costs just £12 to tax, whereas a Model T is rated at 22.5hp and costs £23 per year. One variation is that pre 1914 cars pay only half the horsepower. One oddity is a complete exemption for cars used solely for taking servants to church or voters to the polling station!
Bentley Motors Ltd start production of the new Bentley 3 litre sports car at a factory in Cricklewood, London and the three racing Bentleys entered in the Tourist Trophy Race win the team prize.
Lincoln introduce theirV8.
To counteract a drop in sales Morris cuts prices by up to £I00. The ploy works effectively, with sales increasing from 1932 cars in 1920 to 3077 cars this year.
William Durant establishes Durant Motors, having raised million in loans.
Tommy Milton drives a straight-eight Frontenac, designed and built by Louis Chevrolet, to victory at Indianapolis. Two different Louis Chevrolet-developed machines have now won at Indianapolis in consecutive years.
Ford buys financially troubled Lincoln.
In Britain Herbert Austin introduces the Seven.
Clyno begin car production in Wolverhampton.
Marconi begin experiments with wireless receivers in Daimler cars.
Ford produce over one million Model Ts.
Inspired by the strength of a ship’s hull in a storm Vincenzo Lancia devises the first car to feature a sheet metal unitary body structure. The Lancia Lambda also featured a V4 engine with twin overhead camshafts, independent front suspension and brakes on all four wheels.
Trico (USA) introduce electric windscreen wipers as a more speed-consistent alternative to vacuum-driven wipers.
Leslie Hounsfield's Trojan Ltd of Croydon Licence production of his low-cost 2 stroke, four cylinder car to Leyland Motors.
Charles F. Kettering, (previously responsible for the electric starter) and his assistant T. H. Midgley develop tetraethyl leaded petrol to improve the quality of fuels available in the USA. This alone encourages the development of more powerful and efficient high-compression engines.
21 year old Motor Cycle enthusiast William Lyons meets motorcycle sidecar maker William Walmsley in Blackpool, England. Together they set up the Swallow Sidecar Company.
De Dion-Bouton cease production of their V8 engine range.
Cecil Kimber builds his first MG, a Morris Cowley with flattened springs, a sports body and a rebuilt engine.
Coventry bicycle manufacturer Triumph, builds their first car, the 10/20hp.
Over 2,000,000 Model Ts leave Ford’s production lines.
Sunbeams came 1st, 2nd and 4th in the French Grand Prix.
While racing at the Circuit of Sivocci at Ravenna Enzo Ferrari is approached by Count Enrico and Countess Paolina Baracca, parents of deceased national hero Francesco Baracca. They give Ferrari Francesco’s squadron badge, a prancing horse on a yellow shield.
Former General Motors Vice President, Walter P Chrysler, begins production of his own cars.
Car production times are cut dramatically when DuPont develop quick-drying enamels.
Napier give up the production of cars and concentrate on aero-engines.
The "McKenna Duties" on luxury imports are removed.
Sunbeam win the Spanish Grand Prix. No other British car will win a Grand Prix in the first half of the 20th century. Twin cam OHV engines become standard on the 3 litre Super Sports models.
Malcolm Campbell achieves an official Land Speed Record d 146mph in an 18 litre 12 cyl Sunbeam developing 350hp.
A Bentley Sport, driven by Sammy Davis and John Benjafield, wins the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race for the first time.
The "McKenna Duties" on luxury imports are reinstated and extended to include commercial vehicles.
Morris production of ‘Bullnose’ Oxfords and Cowleys hits 54,131.
Vauxhall Motors at Luton becomes a part of General Motors.
The 250,000th Ford Model T rolls out of Ford’s British factory and begins a celebratory tour.
Rolls Royce introduce the Phantom 1, their first new model since the introduction of the 1906 Silver Ghost.
The Triumph 13/30 becomes Britain’s first family car with hydraulic braking on all four wheels.
Malcolm Campbell raises the official Land Speed Record to 150mph, again in a Sunbeam car.
Sunbeam enters their new 3 litre Super Sports car for the Grand Prix d'Endurance (24 hours) at Le Mans. It is the only British car to finish, winning 2nd place overall and coming first in the 3 litre class. The parent company (The STD Group) takes out a large loan.
General Motors Research Corporation and its boss C F Kettering, move to Detroit.
Cadillac introduce shatter-resistant glass.
Long retired from racing, Louis Chevrolet drives the official pace car for his last laps of Indianapolis Speedway. As a driver he has achieved 10 career Indy car wins and won over 27 major events, making him the most successful of the three racing Chevrolet brothers.
Following a trip to America William Morris is convinced that the future of the car revolves around all-steel construction and works with Edward G Budd to set up the Pressed Steel Company.
In Germany, Daimler Benz AG is formed by the long-planned (since 1911) merger between Benz and Daimler companies.
A 7136cc V12 sleeve valve engine is the main feature of the Coventry Daimler Company’s new Double Six model.
In London, the General Strike and resultant marches bring traffic to a halt.
London's motorists see electric traffic lights for the first time.
Production of 300 cars a week makes Clyno of Wolverhampton Britain’s third largest car manufacturer.
Packard further refines the differential by introducing hypoid gears, virtually eliminating rear axle whine.
Major Henry Segrave sets a new Land Speed Record of 152mph in a 4 litre 12 cyl Sunbeam.
The Swallow Sidecar Company starts to build special bodies for the Austin Seven and changes its name to the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company. Beyond the Austin seven it also offers coach-built bodies on chassis by Morris, Fiat, Standard, Swift and others.
William and Reginald Rootes move their business from Kent to offices and showrooms at Devonshire House, Picadilly, in the heart of London's West End. Within a matter of months they have built a network of branches across the UK, in the process, becoming Europe’s largest motor distributing company.
Ford’s Model T comes to the end of the road after 19 years and fifteen million vehicles.
The first British all-steel body is produced by the Pressed Steel Company for the Morris Isis Six, a medium sized saloon.
William Morris acquires the failed Wolseley company.
Chevrolet becomes the top selling manufacturer in America as Ford reorganizes its production facilities for the Model A.
Chromium plating is pioneered by Studebaker and Oldsmobile.
Stanley brings production of its steam cars to an end.
Major Henry Segrave, sets a new World Land Speed Record of over 200mph driving a twin-engined 1000 hp Sunbeam.
By now Britain’s largest car distributors, William and Reginald Rootes begin to acquire manufacturers, starting with Humber, Hillman and Commer.
Dodge is acquired by Chrysler for $ I75,000,000.
In the face of fierce price competition from William Moris, Clyno introduce a £I00 8hp model and ‘hits the rocks’.
Cadillac introduces the synchromesh gearbox.
Britain's first front wheel drive production car is introduced by Alvis.
A Bentley wins the Le Mans 24 Hours driven by Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin.
As a result of slumping sales many UK companies are become vulnerable
The Rootes brothers acquire a substantial interest in The Hillman Car Company and then take over Humber Ltd and it’s commercial vehicle brand, Commer.
Karl Benz dies, aged 85.
David Dunbar Buick dies.
US car production reaches 5,337,087, a record that will stand until the I950s.
26.5 million cars are now registered in the USA.
Clyno ceases trading and its assets liquidated.
Armstrong Siddeley offer a Wilson pre-selector gearbox as an option.
Sir Dennistoun Burney, the man behind the development of R100 airship, applies his aerodynamic expertise to car design and starts to make his Burney ‘Streamlines’ at his factory in Maidenhead. Each car features teardrop styling, space-frame construction, rear engine, all-round independent suspension and hydraulic brakes.
Bentley win the Le Mans 24 Hours for the second year in succession with a Speed Six driven by Woolf Barnato and Henry Birkin.
While continuing to work for Alfa Romeo, Enzo Ferrari forms the Scuderia Ferrari, a club/team for gentlemen-racers with the aim of organizing racing for members.
Daimler fit fluid flywheels in conjunction with pre-selector gearboxes to produce semi automatic transmission.
Cadillac introduces a 7.4 litre VI6.
Economic depression causes a fall in car sales.
Henry Royce receives a knighthood.
In the bar of the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton following the annual ‘London to Brighton Run’, three participants decide to form the Veteran Car Club to help its members preserve the veteran and Edwardian cars which form a record motoring’s early history.
The 20mph speed limit, which has been ignored by motorists and police alike for many years, is abolished by the British Parliament.
In Britain, third party insurance becomes compulsory.
Larger Morris cars come with hydraulic brakes.
Walter Wilson introduces the Wilson Preselector gearbox based on a planetary manual transmission system like that used in the Ford Model T.
Bentley wins the Le Mans 24 Hours for the fourth year in succession with a Speed Six driven by Woolf Barnato and Glen Kidston.
The Vauxhall Cadet 2 litre six, is the first car in Europe to feature a synchromesh gearbox.
Bentley Motors goes into liquidation. Napier are interested in buying, but are outbid by Rolls Royce who form Bentley Motors (1931) Limited.
Daimler acquire Lanchester Britain’s oldest motor manufacturer.
The Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company introduces its first cars, the SS1 and SS2. The larger SS1 is based on a modified Standard chassis and Standard six-cylinder engine. The smaller SS2 has a four-cylinder engine.
As the first fruit of the Rootes Group acquisition, Hillman introduces the Wizard with a choice of either 2.1 or 2.8 litre engines. It is not a great sales success.
After years of struggling to survive De Dion-Bouton goes out of business.
Oldsmobile and Packard models feature automatic chokes.
Ford of Britain moves it’s plant and machinery from Trafford Park, Manchester to its new factory at Dagenham on the Eastern outskirts of London over one weekend without losing any production.
Ford design their first car for the European market, the 8hp model Y, in Dearborn.
Ford facelift the Model A and offer it with a mass-produced V8 engine. Sales in the first year exceed 300,000.
Hillman introduces the Minx, small family saloon, which proves to be extremely popular.
William Lyons Changes the name of the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company to SS Cars Limited, taking on the role of managing director.
Ford looses its grip on the American market, dropping to third place behind General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation.
REO introduce the Reo Self-Shifter, actually two transmissions connected in series. The first shifts automatically due to the engagement of a multi-disc centrifugal clutch mechanism. The second transmission is shifted manually to engage a lower gear.
Under both the Chrysler and DeSoto brands Chrysler introduces the revolutionary ‘Airflow’ ‘streamline’ family saloons with aerodynamic unitary sheet-steel body construction and an automatic overdrive.
In Britain a 30mph limit is imposed in built-up areas by Transport Minister Leslie Hore Belisha, pedestrian (Zebra) crossings are introduced, illuminated by a flashing orange (Belisha) beacon and new drivers are required to pass a test.
Morris Motors’ first conveyor assembly line is installed at Cowley and Sir William Morris becomes Baron Nuffield.
General Motors put the successful racecar designer and financial failure, Louis Chevrolet on their payroll in recognition of their use of his name.
Ferdinand Porshe approaches the German Reich government with proposals for a car for the German masses – a Volkswagen. Massive government investment follows.
Construction of the German Autobahn system commences, conceived by Adolph Hitler as a productive way of harnessing the unemployed masses.
British cars are now available with Metallic finishes.
Andre Citroen’s ambition gets the better of him as development of the ‘traction avant’ becomes so expensive that the company is virtually bankrupted. Michelin step in to prop up the business and Citroen looses control.
At SS Cars Limited, William Lyons boosts his company’s technical capabilities with the arrival of renowned engine specialist Harry Weslake. Soon after his arrival overhead valve cylinder heads become available.
The depression of the 1930s means STD Motors are unable to sustain repayments of the large loan taken out in 1925 and are forced into receivership. The Rootes brothers outbid the smaller SS Cars Limited and the proud Sunbeam and Talbot names are destined to become up-market badge-engineered versions of Hillmans.
Ford of Britain introduces a cut price version of the 8hp Model Y saloon to sell at £I00.00.
There are now 35 million motor vehicles on the world’s roads according to an international census.
Triumph offer a screen wash system.
William Heynes joins SS Cars Ltd as chief engineer and the SS Jaguar is announced.
Morgan, specialists in economical three-wheelers since 1909 introduce their first four wheeler, thanks to changes in tax and market readiness for ‘a fourth wheel’.
Fiat introduce the budget-priced 500A, featuring an aerodynamic shape, a ‘570cc engine and a full length sunroof. Its appearance earns it the nick-name ‘Topolino’ (Mickey Mouse) while a 55mph top speed and 55mpg economy makes it very popular, particularly in its home country.
Ferdinand Porsche begins development and construction of prototype ‘Volkswagens’ to demonstrate his concept to Adolf Hitler. The declared intention is that they will sell for £50.00 on a special finance plan.
At SS Cars Limited, William Lyons buys out William Walmsley and anounces the SS 100 and SS Jaguar models.
There are still 45 British car manufacturers.
Fifty-four percent of families in the United States now own a car.
The first London Motor Exhibition is held at Earls Court, rather than Olympia, where it has been since 1905.
Buick and Oldsmobile introduce the Automatic Safety Transmission, using a conventional clutch for engaging forward or reverse and shifting automatically once underway.
800 miles of autobahn have been built in Germany at a cost of £56,000 a mile.
Chrysler perfects the fluid coupling, a major advance towards the fully automatic gearbox, but does nothing with it for the moment.
The Volkswagen goes into production in Nazi Germany.
The British government raises the petrol tax from 8d to 9d per gallon and horsepower tax to £1.25d per hp.
The first small British saloon to feature independent front suspension is the Standard Flying Eight.
Riley is taken over by The Nuffield Group.
Morris launches the Series E 8hp Saloon at £128, the cheapest car in Britain.
As another War begins to look inevitable British car manufacturers are requested to set up Shadow Factories next to small-scale specialists who’s products, in much larger quantities, would be crucial to any war effort.
GM offer the Hydra-Matic hydraulically operated gearbox.
SS Cars Ltd, like many other British manufacturers turns production over to the war effort.
Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany on September 3rd.
The British Government introduces petrol rationing. Petrol is exchanged for coupons allowing each motorist about 200 miles of motoring per month.
There are now two million cars on Britain's roads.
The customized Lincoln Continental and the lower priced Mercury are introduced by Ford.
Triumph has to cease trading and is put into receivership.
See Timeline 1940 - 2008