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 first prearranged match race of two self-powered road vehicles over a prescribed route occurred at 4:30 am on August 30, 1867, between Ashton-under-Lyne and Old Trafford, a distance of eight miles. It was won by the carriage of Isaac Watt Boulton, one of six he said he had run over the years, perhaps driven by his 22-year old-son, Philip. The race was against Daniel Adamson's carriage, likely the one made for Mr. Schmidt and perhaps driven by Schmidt. The reports do not indicate who was driving, since both were violating the red-flag law then fully in force. Boulton's carriage was developed from a scrapped John Bridge Adams light-rail vehicle. These were solid fired steam carriages. This event and the details of the vehicles were recorded in the contemporary press, The Engineer.
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
The first road legal production car to hit 200mph was the Ferrari F40. Although the Dodge Charger Daytona and Ford GT-40 which were around earlier could reach 200mph, neither of them were the same as their production car versions. They were race modified and therefore not counted as production car records.
Czech automaker Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft added bumpers to its "Prasident" model in 1897, but they're said to have fallen off after a short trip. British engineer Frederick R Simms, a friend of Mercedes-Benz co-founder Gottlieb Daimler, ultimately received the first patent for car bumpers in 1905.
Rover unveiled the first car powered with a gas turbine engine in March 1950. JET1, a two-seater model was powered by the same kind of engine used in a jet, positioned behind the seats. The air intake grilles were on either side of the car and exhaust outlets on the top of the tail. During tests, the car reached top speeds of 90 miles an hour, with the engine running at 50,000 revs per minute.The Royal Automobile club recorded an acceleration speed of 0-60 (97km) in 14 seconds. The car ran on petrol, paraffin or diesel oil, but consumption was high - about five to seven miles a gallon (2 km to 2.5 km per litre). Rover and the BRM Formula 1 team joined forces to produce a gas turbine powered coupe, which entered the 1963 LeMans 24-hour race, driven by Graham Hill and Richie Ginther. It averaged 107.8mph (173km) and had a top speed of 142mph (229km). However, it proved difficult to build an engine small enough to fit in a car, which was also fuel efficient, so the gas turbine powered car was never going to be a viable alternative to the combustion engine.