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.
Anti-lock braking systems were first developed for aircraft. An early system was Dunlop's Maxaret system, introduced in the 1950s and still in use on some aircraft models. This was a fully mechanical system. It saw limited automobile use in the 1960s in the Ferguson P99 racing car, the Jensen FF and the experimental all wheel drive Ford Zodiac, but saw no further use; the system proved expensive and, in automobile use, somewhat unreliable. The first car (worldwide) to have ABS fitted as standard (across the entire range) was the Ford Granada Mk 3 (of 1985).The German firm Bosch had been developing anti-lock braking technology since the 1930s, but the first production cars using Bosch's electronic system became available in 1978. They first appeared in trucks and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. ABS Systems were later introduced on motorcycles.
The first dual carriageway was built in 1925 at the London end of the Great West Road. There was already a single carriageway road called the Great West Road bypassing Brentford and Hounslow which had been built in 1920. The addition of a second carriageway turned it into the first dual carriageway in Britain.
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.
The Issigonis-designed Morris Minor, was the first million selling British model. More than 1.3 million were manufactured between 1948 and 1972 in three series: the MM (1948), the Series II (1952) and finally the 1000 series (1956).
Southern Counties Car Auction staged the world’s first veteran and vintage car auction at the Montague Motor Museum in Beaulieu. On this occasion an open 1923 20 hp Rolls Royce made only £170 ($470)!