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.
Snow chains were invented in 1904 by Harry D. Weed in Canastota, New York. Weed received U.S. Patent Number 768495 for his "Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires" on August 23, 1904. Weed's great-grandson, James Weed, said that Harry got the idea of creating chains for tires when he saw drivers wrap rope, or even vines, around their tyres to increase traction on muddy or snowy roads, which were the norm at the turn of the 20th century. He sought to make a traction device that was more durable and would work with snow as well as mud.
With a front-mounted vertical engine, foot operated friction clutch and sliding-pinion change-speed gear, the vehicle produced by Panhard et Levassor in Paris, in 1901, is generally considered to be the first ‘conventional’ motor car.
The first windscreen washer offered for automobiles was in 1936, as an aftermarket option to be installed on cars after they were bought.
In October 1897 Henry Sturmey, Editor of Autocar, successfully drove a Coventry built Daimler with Mulliner body (of which he himself designed) from John o’ Groats to Lands End in order to promote the Daimler Company and demonstrate the cars durability. The actual running time over 99 miles was 93.5 hours, or nearly 10 mph average speed. Sturmey described the journey as trouble-free. Such chores as putting in new inlet valves, wiring lose tyres, taking links out of worn drive chains etc., were just part of the game!
The first multi-story car park in Britain was constructed in 1901 in Deman Street, just off Piccadilly Circus in central London. Also the world's largest car park at the time, it covered more than 19,000 square feet and the six upper levels were reached via a hydraulic lift which was capable of raising a three-ton vehicle.