365 Days of Motoring On-Line Magazine

The Online Magazine for Motoring History, Facts, News and Advice

20-26 September: Motoring Milestones

Discover the most momentous motoring events that took place this week in history……. 

100 years ago this week, the Metropolitan Police formed the Flying Squad, following an announcement on 17 February that their horses would be replaced by cars [22 September 1921]…….. The Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft presented the 6/20-hp and 10/35-hp car models with 4-cylinder super charger engines at the Berlin Automobile Show [23 September 1921]…..on the same day [23 September  1921], The Maybach W3 was also unveiled at the Berlin Motor Show [21 September 1921] and immediately attracted considerable attention due to its advanced technology. The in-line, 6-cylinder, 5.4-litre petrol engine rated at 70 bhp could propel the car to a top speed of 68 mph via a rear-wheel drive, setting a top-speed threshold highly uncommon at the time. In 1929 the Maybach 12 was released, to be followed a year later by the Maybach ‘Zeppelin’. Production of Maybach models ceased in 1940, but the marque was briefly revived when Daimler presented a luxury concept car at the 1997 Tokyo Motorshow. Production models based on it were introduced in two sizes – the Maybach 57 and the Maybach 62, reflecting the lengths of the cars in decimetres……. The first race at the Avus circuit in Germany was won by Fritz Von Opel driving an Opel [24 September 1921]. At the time of opening, AVUS was  19 1⁄2 km (12 miles) long – each straight being approximately half that length, and joined at each end by flat, large-radius curves, driven counter-clockwise……..70 years ago this week, Herb Thomas took the lead from pole-starter Billy Carden in the 160th lap and leads the rest of a 200-lap main event at Charlotte Speedway, North Carolina, US becoming the first driver in NASCAR’s top series to win three races in a row [23 September 1951]. Thomas, in a Fabulous Hudson Hornet, led 105 of the 200 laps on the .75-mile dirt track, site of the the first NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Sprint Cup) race. Shorty York took second place with Donald Thomas third, both in 1950 Plymouths……60 years ago this week, Stirling Moss won the Gold Cup race at Oulton Park, England in a FergusonClimax P99, the final victory in a major race for a front-engined car [23 September 1961]……..40 years ago this week, Ford announced that its best-selling Cortina nameplate (cover image) would be discontinued in 1982, and its replacement would be called the Sierra [25 September 1981]…….30 years ago this week, Harry Gant’s late-race brake failure opened the door for Dale Earnhardt to win the Tyson Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, US Gant was attempting to become the first driver to win five straight races since 1971 [23 September 1991]…… Another Nigel Mansell championship bid ended in heartache as well as semi-farcical circumstances at the Portuguese Grand Prix [22 September 1991]. Starting the race from fourth on the grid, Mansell drove superbly to take the lead. But during a pit stop, one of his tyres was not fitted properly, came off the car and began bouncing down the pit lane. With Mansell gesticulating frantically, his Williams mechanics ran to his car to attach another wheel. Mansell emerged 17th and broke a string of lap records to battle his way back up to sixth only to be black flagged and disqualified for illegally having mechanics work on his car in the pit lane. He drove into the pits, got out without a word to his team and headed tearfully back to his motorhome. “I just don’t believe it,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can and just don’t know what else I have to do.”…….20 years ago this week, Toronto became first Canadian and North American city to officially host a Car Free Day [22 September 2001]…. And on the same day [22 September 2021], the 1.5-mile lap record at the Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire, Europe’s fastest banked oval racing track, was set at 24.719 seconds by Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan in his Ford/Lola Champ Car – at an average speed of 215.397 mph!…… General Motors announced the 2002 model year would be the last for the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird [25 September 2001]…….10 years ago this week, GM and the UAW unveiled a modest 4-year pay agreement [20 September 2011]. The deal included a $5,000 lump sum payment to production line workers and $4,000 more over the next 4 years plus a slightly higher share of profits. It also allowed the hiring of new “tier-two” employees…… also on the same day [20 September 2011], the UK’s first commercial hydrogen filling station opened in Swindon, Wiltshire, Capable of filling fuel cell and other hydrogen fuelled vehicles with gaseous hydrogen at 5,000psi and 10,000psi pressures, the single-pump facility is located within the Honda site, but is open to members of the public who have undergone a BOC safety training course – it even gives Nectar points with hydrogen fuel purchases.

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