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.
A random selection of firsts from the world of motoring.
The Brooklands Ciruict, in Surrey, was the first purpose-built motor racing venue, opening in June 1907. It featured a 4.43 km (2.75 mi) concrete track with high-speed banked corners. Brooklands was also a centre of the aviation industry, with Vickers setting up a factory and aerodrome there during World War I. The racing circuit was closed in 1939 as war-time aircraft production took over. Damage done to the track during World War II meant the track never reopened for racing.
The Smith Flyer of 1917, was the world’s first five-wheeled car. The fifth wheel incorporated a small air-cooled engine and took the drive. Very similar was a ‘car’ made by Briggs and Stratton in 1920.
The first windscreen washer offered for automobiles was in 1936, as an aftermarket option to be installed on cars after they were bought.
Directional headlights provide improved lighting for cornering. Some automobiles have their headlamps connected to the steering mechanism so the lights will follow the movement of the front wheels. Czech Tatra was an early implementer of such a technique, producing the Tatra 77 in 1937 with a central directional headlamp. The American 1948 Tucker Sedan was likewise equipped with a third central headlamp connected mechanically to the steering system.
Rumble strips, also known as sleeper lines, rumple strips, audible lines, "the corduroy", and growlers, are a road safety feature to alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior. Rumble strips were first implemented on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey in 1952.