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 Automobile Club de France, the first motor sports club, was formed in 1895 out of the committee which had organised the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Race.
The first car with a dipstick to check oil was launched in 1915 – the Morris Cowley. Unlike many automobile inventions this one is still used, unchanged in nearly all cars
Ernest Holmes of Chattanooga, US invented the first tow truck in 1916 after needing blocks, ropes, and six men to pull a Motel T Ford out of a creek. Holmes assembled a system consisting of three poles, a pulley and a chain, all connected to the frame of a 1913 Cadillac. Holmes soon patented his invention, and began manufacturing the equipment to sell to garages and other interested customers out of a small shop on Chattanooga’s Market Street. The Holmes brand went on to earn an international reputation for quality in the towing industry.
Most experts agree that Vauxhall built the first true sports car, the 1910 Prince Henry. It offered the race car thrills, but with much more civilised accommodation. It was a replica of the 3.0-litre car Vauxhall had successfully campaigned in the 1910 Motor Trial, a 1,200 mile race across Prussia. The Prince Henry – named after Prussia’s ruler – had further competition success, both in trials and at the Brooklands circuit. Few survive and are highly prized.
The prototype Rover two-seater (JET 1), built in 1949, was the world’s first gas-turbine-powered private car. JET1, an open two-seat tourer, had the engine positioned behind the seats, air intake grilles on either side of the car, and exhaust outlets on the top of the tail. t held a world speed record for a gas turbine powered car in 1952 with a speed of 152.691 mph. Rover won the Dewar Trophy in 1951 for this work, in recognition of its outstanding pioneering achievement. It was the first time this trophy had been awarded since 1929.