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.
According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Transit Database (NTD), the world's first designated bus lane was created in Chicago in 1940.
Zebra crossings for pedestrians were first introduced in Britain in October 1951. Although the origin of the name is disputed, it is generally attributed to British M.P. James Callaghan who, in 1948, visited the country's Transport Research Laboratory, which was working, on a new idea for safe pedestrian crossings. On being shown a black and white design, Callaghan is said to have remarked that it resembled a zebra.
Box junctions, marked with yellow cross-hatching, were introduced in London during 1964. The aim was to prevent traffic blocking junctions when it could not proceed and this was successful.
Making automobiles easier to start made them easier to steal, creating the need for car keys. Early electric starters just had push buttons, but one Indiana automaker included a key-controlled ignition switch on a 1914 model called the Inter-State. Car key ignitions came into wide use in 1949, when Chrysler added them to all of its cars. Ironically, automakers have been going the other direction in recent years and replacing key-controlled ignitions with push-button ones on many models. But unlike the early systems, modern keyless ignitions won't start unless you to have a special key fob that sends a signal to the auto to prove that you're authorised to drive.
One of the most complex interchanges in the country, Worsley Braided Interchange opened in 1970 to connect the then M62 (now M60) and M61 with the A580 and A666. It spans over 2.5 miles and featured the first lengths of dual four lane motorway in the UK. The M61 officially starts on the A580 with the links to the M60 forming part of the secretive A666(M). The distinctive pseudo-tunnels are an engineering solution to allow severely skewed carriageways to cross the mainline without the need for extensive support structures spanning the motorway. The southbound M61 suffers from severe congestion as traffic squeezes into a single lane to join the relatively empty three lanes from Bolton. It is not yet known if the proposals to add a fourth lane anti-clockwise on the M60 will also change this merge. The junction is also notable in that, where the M60 clockwise splits off a slip road for the M61, you can draw a line roughly East–West and count eighteen lanes of motorway running in parallel.