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 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 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 roadside petrol pumps became operational in St Louis, USA in 1905. Roadside petrol pumps were first installed in Britain in 1913, though they did not enter into general use until 1921. In 1920 the Automobile Association opened the first roadside petrol station (solely for the purpose of supplying fuel as opposed to being a garage) at Aldermaston, Berkshire. A number of similar stations were established around the country. They were operated by AA Patrolmen and exclusively for the use of AA members. They established the modern pattern of vehicles pulling off the public road and drawing up alongside petrol pumps rather than being filled at the kerbside as at garages. Britain’s first self-service petrol pump became operational in November 1961 at Southwark Bridge, London.
In 1931 the first practical roadside breath-testing device was the drunkometer developed by Rolla Neil Harger of the Indiana University School of Medicine. The drunkometer collected a motorist's breath sample directly into a balloon inside the machine. The breath sample was then pumped through an acidified potassium permanganate solution. If there was alcohol in the breath sample, the solution changed color. The greater the color change, the more alcohol there was present in the breath. The drunkometer was manufactured and sold by Stephenson Corporation of Red Bank, New Jersey.
The first windscreen washer offered for automobiles was in 1936, as an aftermarket option to be installed on cars after they were bought.