26 October – 1st November: Motoring Milestones

Discover the momentous motoring events that took place this week in history ……

120 years ago this week, the Remington automobile was introduced [30 October 1900]…….70 years ago this week, 1949 NASCAR champion Red Byron, who ranked sixth in the 1950 NASCAR Grand National standings, had all 1315.5 points stripped for participating in a non-NASCAR-sanctioned race at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway. Byron drove at Atlanta rather than the NASCAR Grand National finale at Hillsboro [30 October 1950]. The Lakewood race was sanctioned by the National Stock Car Racing Association (NSCRA)……..60 years ago this week, the Stretford-Eccles bypass, the first local authority motorway in the UK, was opened to traffic [29 October 1960]. It formed the first section of an Outer Ring Road of Manchester, which was subsequently numbered the M63, then the M60 (J7 to J3). Construction of the 5 mile By-pass, which included a total of 22 bridges, started in April 1957 when work began on the first of several contracts. This section runs from the Worsley Interchange (what is now Junction 13 of the M60) as far as the junction with the A56 at Chester Road (now junction 7 of the M60). This section includes the Barton High Level Bridge, a bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. The embankments for the bridge were the first physical step towards the construction of any motorway in the UK. With the extension of the M62 west to Liverpool, the section from the Eccles Interchange down to Stretford was redesignated M63. The junctions were numbered in the opposite direction to the current M60 numbering, with M63 junction 1 being the Eccles Interchange, running to junction 7 at Chester Road. Originally there was no junction 6……..50 years ago this week, California became the first US state to offer vanity license plates as Governor Ronald Reagan presented the special plate ‘AMIGO’ to Mr and Mrs Robert E Klees of Fullerton [26 October1970]…….on the same day, The Mercedes Benz ESF 05, the second of five experimental safety vehicles, was introduced to the public. Externally, the ESF 05 wore a comically exaggerated energy-absorbing front bumper, which protruded more than 14.5 inches from the car’s grille. While the rear bumper was a bit more tasteful, it was still more pronounced than that of a production car. The biggest limiting factor of the ESF 05, however, was likely its weight; in addition to the increase in wheelbase and modifications to the cabin, the car also carried significant structural modifications to front and rear, and combined these changes added a significant 1,463 pounds to the ESF 05. At the time of its reveal, the experimental ESF 05 may have been the safest sedan in the world, but Mercedes-Benz knew that few customers would park such a car in their driveway…….33 American cars by 4 makers, 18 English cars by 11 makers, 25 German cars by 8 makers, 5 French cars by 3 makers, 8 Italian cars by 4 makers, 4 Swedish cars by 2 makers, and 2 Australian cars by 1 maker for a total of 95 cars by 33 makers from 7 countries were exhibited at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show [30 October 1970]. Test cars made public included a Toyota electric car based on the Commuter, a Nissan electric car with a 120V-60AH battery, a Toyo Kogyo (now Mazda) hybridelectric car with a combination motor and a small rotary engine, a Mitsubishi electric car and a Daihatsu hybrid car. Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Honda, and Fuji Heavy Industries also displayed electronic injection systems, and Nissan and Mitsubishi publicized gas turbine engines.The number of visitors to this show, 1,452,900, decreased somewhat from the previous show. This was partly because parking was prohibited around the show site to avoid traffic congestion in Tokyo…….20 years ago this week, The Automobile Association signed up its ten-millionth member at the British Motor Show in Birmingham, England……….John Force won his tenth NHRA Funny Car championship. Angelle Sealing became the first woman to win the NHRA Pro Stock Bike title [29 October 2000]…… Bill Devin, founder of Devin Cars and a major influence on the automobile industry by demonstrating the world’s first (dual) OHC driven by rubber-toothed belt, died [1 November 2000]…….10 years ago this week, in China four driverless vehicles arrived at the Shanghai Expo at the end of an 8,000-mile test drive from Italy [28 October 2010].

 

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