Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

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.

On This Day


Tuesday 14th August 1877

142 years ago

Nikolaus Otto was issued with a US patent for his 'Gas-Motor Engine', ten days after receiving a German patent for the same - his design defined the modern four-stroke internal combustion engine. Otto built his first gasoline-powered engine in 1861. Three years later he formed a partnership with the German industrialist Eugen Langen, and together they developed an improved engine that won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1867. In 1876 Otto built an internal-combustion engine utilizing the four-stroke cycle (four strokes of the piston for each ignition). The four-stroke cycle was patented in 1862 by the French engineer Alphonse Beau de Rochas, but since Otto was the first to build an engine based upon this principle, it is commonly known as the Otto cycle. Because of its reliability, its efficiency, and its relative quietness, Otto’s engine was an immediate success. More than 30,000 of them were built during the next 10 years, but in 1886 Otto’s patent was revoked when Beau de Rochas’ earlier patent was brought to light.

A 1880s era American Otto Engine for Stationary Use

A 1880s era American Otto Engine for Stationary Use

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