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.
Rumble strips, also known as sleeper lines, rumple strips, audible lines, "the corduroy", and growlers, are a road safety feature to alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior. Rumble strips were first implemented on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey in 1952.
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.
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.
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 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.