Cars, people and events in this week’s Motoring Milestones include: Richardson Pan-American Highway Expedition, Jaguar, Bob Dylan, German Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher and the Hindhead Tunnel.
100 years ago this week, Dave Lewis drove a Crawford to victories in the 5 mile and 50 mile events at Des Moines Speedway in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Frank Galvin won the 10 and 20 mile races in a Sunbeam [26 July 1916]……90 years ago this week, a circular traffic system came into operation at Piccadilly Circus in
central London [27 July 1926]. The following day, Daimler-Benz AG was created from the fusion of the Daimler and Benz & Cie businesses [28 July 1926]. The manufacturer applied the widely followed German naming conventions of the time. Thus on the Mercedes-Benz 8/38 PS the “8” defined the car’s tax horsepower, used by the authorities to determine the level of annual car tax to be imposed on car owners. The “38” defined the manufacturer’s claims regarding car’s actual power output in metric horsepower (PS, cv, hk, pk, ks, ch). In Germany tax horsepower, which had been defined by statute since 1906, was based on the dimensions of the cylinders in the engine…… 80 years ago this week, Bernd Rosemeyer driving an Auto Union Typ C won the German Grand Prix [25 July 1936]…..75 years ago this week, the Richardson Pan-American Highway Expedition was
completed when a modified 1941 Plymouth driven by Sullivan Richardson, Arnold Whitaker, and Kenneth C. Van Hee reached Punta Arenas, Magallanes, Chile after an 8-month journey from Detroit, Michigan, US [28 July 1941]…..70 years ago this week, Prix de 24 Heures du Mans at Nantes was once won by ‘Raph’ driving a Maserati 6CM [28 July 1946]…..60 years ago this week, the British Jaguar team of Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart won the Le Mans 24 hour race, in a 3.4 litre Jaguar D [29 July 1956]. This race saw the death of French driver Louis Héry when his Monopole was involved in an accident early in the race….. 50 years ago this week, a bus carrying Belgian children from vacation plunged off a West German autobahn bridge killing 33, including 27 children [25 July 1966]….. Bob Dylan was severely injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York [29 July 1966]…… Four stars of NASCAR stockcars were entered in the VIR 400 Trans-Am race in Danville, Virginia [31 July 1966]. David Pearson destroyed the engine in his Dodge Dart during practice. Curtis Turner blew an engine in his Ford Mustang but ended up being classified as the last car running after having the hole in the engine taped over. Richard Petty went off course twice, getting permanently stuck in mud the second time. Wendell Scott spun and then broke his Mustang’s suspension crossing a drainage ditch trying to return to the pits. Trans-Am regulars Bob Johnson and Tom Yeager won in a Mustang…..40 years ago this week, Lee Kunzman, John Martin, Roger McCluskey, Dick Simon, and George Snyder tested the new pavement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a 10-lap “race” during the Governors Conference. Indiana Governor Otis Bowen declared the race a tie [26 July 1976]….. 30 years ago this week, the Lockington rail crash occurred at
Lockington, Humberside (now in the East Riding of Yorkshire), England, when the 09:33 passenger train from Bridlington to Hull on the Yorkshire Coast Line hit a Ford Escort van on a level crossing [26 July 1986]. Eight passengers on the train, and a boy of 11 in the van, lost their lives. On the same day, Nelson Piquet in a Williams-Honda FW11 won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim [26 July 1986]. Alain Prost’s car ran out of fuel on the finishing straight of the last lap. Instead of retiring, Prost got out of his car and tried to push it to the finish, to great applause from the crowd. The finish line was too far, though, and he never reached it. He was classified sixth in the race, and he was running third when his car ran out of fuel, and he was passed by Nigel Mansell and René Arnoux. as the seventh-placed car was a lap behind….. 25 years ago this week, Nigel Mansell cruised to his third straight win in a Williams-Renault, leading home Riccardo Patrese, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger, Andrea de Cesaris, and Bertrand Gachot. Ayrton Senna ran out of fuel on the last lap for the second straight race, allowing Mansell to close to within eight points of Senna in the drivers championship [28 July 1991]…..20 years ago this week, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt broke his collarbone and sternum when his car flipped and crashed at the Talladega race track in Alabama [28 July 1996]….. The German Grand Prix at Hockenheim was won by Damon Hill from pole position, in a Williams-Renault FW18 [28 July 1996]…..10 years ago this week, contested over 67 laps of the Hockenheim circuit, the German Grand Prix was won Michael Schumacher for Ferrari [30 July 2011]….. 5 years ago this week, the Hindhead Tunnel on the A3, the longest non-estuary road tunnel in Britain (1.14 miles) opened [29 July 2011]. It formed part of the 4.0 mile Hindhead bypass that replaced the last remaining stretch of single carriageway on the 68 mile A3, the London – Portsmouth road……President Barack Obama and automobile manufacturers announced a deal designed to save American drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes [29 July 2011]. The agreement required cars and light trucks to achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025, up from 35.5 mandated by 2016.