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.
John Walter Christie (78), a pioneer designer of front-wheel-drive cars, died in Falls Church, Virginia, US. Although he is best known for developing the Christie suspension system used in a number of World War II-era tank designs, he had earlier been working on designs for a front-wheel-drive car, which he promoted and demonstrated by racing at various speedways in the United States, including the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup race. Christie was seriously injured in a crash when his car struck loose debris during a lap at Brunots Island Race Track in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Christie then switched his energies away from automobile racing to developing his front wheel drive New York taxicab design. With benefit of hindsight, the taxi design's importance came in large part from the fact that it incorporated a transversely mounted engine/transmission assembly, applying a basic architecture that would be greeted as revolutionary when applied by Alec Issigonis in the BMC Mini fifty years later. However, in 1909 the vehicle's more striking novelty lay the fact that the entire "forecarriage", incorporating all the key mechanical components, could be detached and replaced in "less than one hour", so that the vehicle could stay on the road while the engine maintenance took place.