Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

On This Day


21st January

1899

118 years ago

The five Opel brothers acquired the rights to the Lutzmann automobile, and began production in in Russelheim, Germany. The Opel-Lutzmann was soon abandoned, and in 1902, Opel introduced its first original car, a 2-cylinder runabout. In the decades that followed, Opel became one of the premier forces in the European automobile industry, modernizing its factories relentlessly and adopting the continuous-motion assembly line before its European competitors. Continue Reading →

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1901

116 years ago

The first Paris Motor Show was held at Grand Palais. It marked the start of a long tradition and the public's unfailing attachment to an event that soon became emblematic of the Grand Palais. At the end of 1900, the automotive industry was flourishing: in France 2,884 four-seater cars, 5,286 2-seaters and 11,252 motor bikes were on the road, i. Continue Reading →

The first Motor Show in the Grand Palais, 1901.

The first Motor Show in the Grand Palais, 1901.

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1911

106 years ago

Twenty-three cars from 11 different locations around Euroep converged on the tiny Principality of Monaco to compete in the first Monte Carlo car rally. Organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco, the challenging race took place along the French Riviera. Results depended not on driving time alone, but on judges’ assessments of the automobiles’ design and passenger comfort, as well as the condition the vehicles were in after covering the 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) of roads not really made for the horseless carriage. Continue Reading →

Henri Rougier, his mechanic and the 25Hp Turcat-Mery prepare for the inaugural Monte Carlo rally.

Henri Rougier, his mechanic and the 25Hp Turcat-Mery prepare for the inaugural Monte Carlo rally.

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1912

105 years ago

1918

99 years ago

Emil Jellinek (64), whose daughter was the "Mercedes" in Mercedes-Benz, died in Geneva, Switzerland.

Emil Jellinek

Emil Jellinek

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1921

96 years ago

Ralph Mulford, driving a Paige roadster at Daytona Beach, Florida, set a new Class B stock car record by covering a mile at 102.3 mph.

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1932

85 years ago

The Automobile Club of America folded – a victim of the depression.

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1947

70 years ago

Ford truck production at the Highland Park Plant resumed after an absence of nearly 20 years.

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1954

63 years ago

The 1954 Motorama opened in the grand ballroom of New York City's Waldorf Astoria, the crowd of 26,000 couldn't get enough of the three dream cars. It had been a year since General Motors had unveiled a sensational new sports car -- Chevrolet's fiberglass-bodied Corvette concept. For the 1954 Motorama, GM's Styling Section had created not one but several unique Corvette dream cars: a convertible coupe, the Corvair fastback coupe and the Nomad station wagon. Continue Reading →

1954 Motorama

1954 Motorama

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1954

63 years ago

General Motors revealed the first concept turbine-powered vehicle, the Firebird XP-21, designed by Harley Earl, which was essentially a jet airplane on wheels. It was named in imitation of the US military's experimental jet-powered aircraft, which had code numbers like XP-59A. The design was entirely impractical, with a bubble topped canopy over a single seat cockpit, a bullet shaped fuselage made entirely of fiberglass, short wings, and a vertical tail fin. Continue Reading →

Firebird XP-21

Firebird XP-21

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1957

60 years ago

Edsel’s General Manager Richard Krafve predicted "The new Edsel line of cars will surpass the originally announced first-year sales goal of 200,000 units."

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1962

55 years ago

General Motors' Chairman, Frederic Donner issued a policy memo, re-iterating the company's compliance with 1957 AMA company-sponsored racing ban. This officially cancelled production plans for the Corvette Grand Sport, with only 5 of the intended 125 cars built.

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1964

53 years ago

The Strand Underpass that connects Waterloo Bridge to Kingsway near Holborn in London was officially opened. Tunnel headroom is just 12 ft 6 in (3.8 m), so an electronic ‘eye’ is used to alert drivers of tall vehicles and divert them to an ‘escape route’ to the left of the entrance. Some high vehicles do occasionally still try to go through and so get stuck.

Entrance to the Strand underpass from Waterloo Bridge

Entrance to the Strand underpass from Waterloo Bridge

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1964

53 years ago

Mini driver Patrick (Paddy) Hopkirk, and his navigator, Henry Liddon, piloted a Mini Cooper S, (Car No. 37, registration 33 EJB) to victory 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. Hopkirk crossed the finish line just 17 seconds behind Bo Ljungfeldt in the far more powerful V8-powered Ford Falcon. Continue Reading →

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1966

51 years ago

The Monte Carlo rally ended in uproar over the disqualification of British cars. The first four to cross the finishing line were Timo Makinen (Finland) driving a British Motor Corporation Mini-Cooper, followed by Roger Clark (Ford Lotus Cortina), and Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk, both also driving BMC Minis. But they were all ruled out of the prizes - with six other British cars for alleged infringements of complex regulations about the way their headlights dipped. Continue Reading →

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1968

49 years ago

Overcoming a blown tyre and a resultant long pit stop, Dan Gurney won the NASCAR Grand National Motor Trend 500 at Riverside International Raceway for the fifth time. Gurney took the lead for good on the 160th lap, going on to take the Wood Brothers Ford under the checkered flag 36 seconds ahead of David Pearson. Parnelli Jones, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough rounded out a Ford top five sweep. Continue Reading →

NASCAR Grand National Series driver Dan Gurney (121) at the 1968 Motor Trend 500

NASCAR Grand National Series driver Dan Gurney (121) at the 1968 Motor Trend 500

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1969

48 years ago

The Ford Capri was previewed by selected members of the motoring press in Bonn, Germany, but Ford had requested that nothing about the new car be published until its official launch at the Brussels Motor Show a few days later. Remarkably enough this request was honoured and the Capri caused a sensation!

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1973

44 years ago

Mark Donohue drove Roger Penske's AMC Matador to victory in the NASCAR Grand National Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway. The Matador was equipped with disc brakes on all four wheels. Donohue, who led 138 of the 191 total laps, took the lead to stay on lap 117 and won by more than a lap. Continue Reading →

Mark Donohue by Roger Penske's AMC Matador

Mark Donohue by Roger Penske's AMC Matador

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1978

39 years ago

Round 1 of the FIA Cup for Rally Drivers, the 46th Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo (29 stages, 570 km) began. It was won a week later by Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Vincent Laverne in a Porsche 911 Carrera.

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1979

38 years ago

Jacques Laffite dominated the season-opening Argentina Grand Prix, taking pole position, fastest lap and the win in his Ligier Ford even though he was briefly headed by Patrick Deppailler. John Watson took third place despite being involved in an eight-car pile-up on the first corner which caused the race to be restarted. Laffite also won the next grand prix, but reliability issues dogged the rest of his campaign and he finished fourth in the drivers' championship.

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1981

36 years ago

The first DeLorean 150-bhp DMC-12 rolled off the production line at the DMC factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. About 9,000 DMC-12s, which could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, were made before production stopped in late 1982. Today, about 6,000 DeLoreans are believed to still exist.

A DeLorean DMC-12 from the front with the gull-wing doors open.

A DeLorean DMC-12 from the front with the gull-wing doors open.

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1981

36 years ago

Former British racing driver, Thomas Cuthbert Harrison (74) died. For an amateur driver like Cuth Harrison a 6th place in the 1949 Italian Grand Prix was quite a result. He founded the T.C.Harrison Ford dealership.

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1989

28 years ago

At 11 minutes and 56 seconds past 3:00 a.m., a Subaru Legacy completed 100,000-kilometers in the fastest time ever- 447 hours, 44 minutes, and 9.887 seconds. The record was set at the Arizona Test Center, an oval course 9.182 kilometers in circumference.

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1990

27 years ago

The 200 mph, 492 bhp mid-engined Lamborghini Diablo was presented to the public at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. The Diablo, carried on Lamborghini's tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bull. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with 'El Chicorro' in Madrid in 1869. Continue Reading →

Lamborghini Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

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1993

24 years ago

There was a row before the season had even started when the Williams team - the holders of the drivers' and constructors' titles - were omitted from the list of entrants for the opening race in South Africa. While the oversight was easily remediable by all the other teams agreeing to let them enter, Frank Williams revealed two unnamed rivals had refused to do so without being given "concessions". A Williams' insider said: Frank feels he has been publicly humiliated, and his sponsors are up in arms. Continue Reading →

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1994

23 years ago

Basil Assad (31), son of Syrian President Hafez Assad and head of the presidential security apparatus, was killed when his Mercedes collided with a motorway roundabout. He had been driving fast through fog on his way to the Damascus Airport when the collision occurred.

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1998

19 years ago

Jean-Martin Folz unveiled the new organization of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group, illustrated by the slogan "two marques, one group".

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2005

12 years ago

The F1 world was taken aback by the tabloid revelations about the behaviour of Kimi Raikkonen who, so papers claimed, danced drunkenly with a lap-dancer and staged his own impromptu strip show for onlookers in a Mayfair club. "It doesn't make me any slower," said a huffy Raikkonen after a team press conference had been dominated by the subject. "It's my private life. Continue Reading →

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2006

11 years ago

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class was been heralded as 2006’s Best Luxury Car by the motoring magazine What Car?

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2007

10 years ago

The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake made history when it was sold for $5.5 million at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. The 800-bhp sports car was one of just two produced and was used as personal transportation by famed American racer and performance-car builder Carroll Shelby himself.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

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2007

10 years ago

A1 Team New Zealand made the best ever finish of any home team at the series’ first visit to Taupo. The event was a huge success and the enthusiastic crowd made it clear that drivers Jonny Reid and Matt Halliday were well supported.

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2007

10 years ago

The 29th Dakar Rally, which started in Lisbon, Portugal on 6th January and ran through Europe and Africa, finished. The rally was won by Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret in a Mitsubishi Pajero.

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2007

10 years ago

In India Tata Motors broke ground on a new factory at Singur in West Bengal that took the land or jobs of at least 14,000 farmers and sharecroppers.

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2009

8 years ago

General Motors reported an 11% drop in 2008 vehicle sales, relinquishing its crown as the world’s biggest auto maker to Toyota after 77 years.

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2010

7 years ago

General Motor Co.'s Opel unit cut 8,300 jobs across Europe, including 4,000 in Germany, and closed a plant in Antwerp, Belgium, cutting over 2,300 jobs.

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2011

6 years ago

Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles in the US to fix accelerator pedals with mechanical problems that could cause them to become stuck. The announcement came just months after it recalled 4.2 million vehicles due to gas pedals that could become trapped under floor mats, causing sudden acceleration.

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2012

5 years ago

The fastest unimotorcycle drag race elapsed time of 2.38 seconds was achieved by Roman Koltakov (Russia), who covered 100 ft (30.5 m) at the World Ice Championships of Unimotorcycle Drag Racing at Togliatti, Russia.

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