The Carnut's History of the World...of Cars
2/1/2008
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History according to a Carnut!!!

Special thanks to the History Channel
and other websites dedicated to the history of different forgotten parts of the history of the automobile
My own comments in Italics...not the views of the History Channel

Time for a little fun. Everyone should subscribe to the History channels amazing daily e-mail of what happened on this day in History. Subscribe here

I will take the most pertinent info from their amazing archive and add my own insitefull comments....and other info I find from other sources and try to entertain and inform.

January 31, 1960
January 31, 1942

Valiant performs valiantly(Check out the ne thesauras Valiant = Hideous)

In a special racing series for small-bodied cars at the Daytona International Speedway, the Valiant captured the top seven positions in the 10-lap race. The Valiant was introduced by Chrysler in 1959 (the 1960 models) as a separate make. Its light handling and curvaceous European styling set the Valiant apart from other American compact cars.
That's it...blame the Europeans for the styling. I call this "Eurapukin" style and no wonder they introduced it as a separate make to protect the innocent. This is one car that make me squeamish just looking at it. It seemed Chrysler had a a mandate to produce the most outlandish and garish cars the world has ever seen...and I hope we won't go thought this era again.

Chrysler, Plymouth, And Studebaker retool for war

The last pre-war automobiles produced by Chrysler, Plymouth, and Studebaker rolled off the assembly lines today. Wartime restrictions had shut down the commercial automobile industry almost completely, and auto manufacturers were racing to retool their factories for military gear.
I am sure this suited the quality control guys as who cares about paint finish on flat green paint. Unfortunately the big 3 didn't really stop building "tanks" until the late 80's
Read more about Chrysler's War Effort.
Ford and Willys Build Willy's design

January 31, 1897

First speed hill climb run(A hill that is not steep is called a gentle incline)

The final stage of the Marseille-Nice automobile race posed an unusual challenge: a steep slope that motorists had to climb at speed. It was the first speed hill climb in auto-racing history. The uphill dash was won by M. Pary in a steam-powered DeDion-Bouton automobile.
The only form of racing where you don't need brakes...oh, I forgot about Nascar. more>>

January 30, 1920
January 30, 1942

Future Mazda-maker founded(Not to mention Willy Wonka Wankel Producing)

The Toyo Kogyo Company, Ltd., was founded in Hiroshima, Japan, on this day. In 1960, the company began manufacturing Mazda automobiles.

You have to give them credit to keep flogging the proverbial dead horse Wankel Engine. They must have seen the writing on the wall because they produced most of their cars with Piston Engines and only kept the Wankel for the sporty cars. In 1973 the RX-3 was the first car to pass the new tough US emission standards. Another mark in their favour is bringing back affordable 2 seater sportcars when all others had forgotten about them. Hail to the Miata more>>

Last pre-WWII cars roll off the line

The last pre-war automobiles produced by Chevrolet and DeSoto rolled off the assembly lines today. Wartime restrictions had shut down the commercial automobile industry almost completely, and auto manufacturers were racing to retool their factories for production of military gear.
I guess Chrysler and Plymouth and Studebaker didn't get the memo and churned out cars for another day. See above.

January 29
1989 Yugo fizzles

Global Motors, the American company that imported the Yugo, filed for bankruptcy. Its astonishingly low price made it a popular car for a few years in the mid-1980s, but the car's flaws soon became apparent. The cars were also poorly warrantied, to the dismay of thousands of disappointed Yugo owners.
The folks at Global Motors went on to run the warranty service programs for almost all the car manufacturers that I have bought cars from in the 90's

1886 First Practical Automobile(Cup holders, AC, Multistacker CD?)

Karl Benz received a patent for his "Motorwagen" on this day. Benz completed his first four-wheeled motorcar in 1893.
A benz policy from way back, the speed governor limited the cars speed to the rated speed of the tires, The Motorwagen ran on "b" rated wheels capable of 10 KPH. It is interesting that the idea of the Autobahn was around even in those days. The Idea of cruising at top speeds hour after hour appealed to the well heeled enthusiast in those days just like today. Of course that meant that the original Autobahn of 1896 would have only had to be a few km long.

January 28, 1937
January 28, 1938
Rolls makes test run(English 60mph = German 268.496 mph)

The prototype of the Rolls-Royce Wraith made its first test run on this day. The first model of the postwar period was called the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, and it became the principal luxury sedan sold by Rolls-Royce in the decades following World War II.
Now that is coincidental...they design the principal Post WWII Luxury car years before WWII!?! Seems a bit funny...but if the Brits were more interested in making fast cars they may still be British and not owned by the Germans!!! See next story from the next year

Record set in Germany

Driver Rudolf Caracciola set a new land-speed record (not recognized by all organizations) of 268.496 mph on the German Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. His record remains the highest speed ever achieved on a public road. Later in the same day, a young driver named Bernd Rosemeyer died in a crash on the Autobahn in an attempt to surpass Caracciola's record.
Speed Smeed...drivers of the future will be more interested in the environment and safety and driving small slow electric cars...NOT!!! Who knew the best selling Porsche would be a gas swilling SUV!?! The Germans realizing their mistake at not have enough slow cars purchase all the British car manufacturers they can get their hands on.

January 27, 1899
January 27, 1904

New land speed record set(Let's use the word speed strictly in the School zone sense)

Frenchman Camille Jenatzy captured the land-speed record (49.932 miles per hour) in a battery-powered automobile of his own design.
He then went home and made an attachment for holding his golf clubs and made a ton of money!!


Gas-powered Mors makes mark

American racer William K. Vanderbilt set a new land-speed record of 76.086mph in a gasoline-driven Mors automobile at Ablis, France. It was the first major speed record to be set by an internal-combustion car. All previous records had been set by steam- and battery-powered cars.
Going from almost 50mph to 76 mph only 5 years later. Absolutely a time of "So what have you done Lately"

Jan 26
1979 Let the Carnage Begin!

The Dukes of Hazzard aired for the first time on this day. "The General Lee," a 1969 Dodge Charger with a bright orange paint job and a Confederate flag on its roof, was shown doing impossible stunts that destroyed many many Chargers.
Approx. 300 were built...how many destroyed...I have to sit down...I never liked the show and I hated seeing all those Charger Bodies being crumpled up....a very Black Day in Carnut History!!!
A special note...all the websites with info on the car are kind of ...homesy. I tried to link to one with good info. My Apologies.

1920 Lincoln Is Born

The car not the President!!

The Lincoln Motor Car Company was founded on this day. It was acquired by the Ford Motor Company just two years later.
Don't forget the Carrera Pan America racers or the song Hot Rod Lincoln or the big 4 door convertibles or one of the coolest cars from the 70's the Capri V-6(admittedly a bit of a stretch from the Capri's of the 50's)


Jan 25
1905 Brit Scorches Daytona Beach

Arthur MacDonald of Great Britain set a new land speed record of 149.875mph at Daytona Beach, Florida.
Read below to see how just 6 years earlier 44mph was an electric car's world record.

Jan 24
Henry Ford goes one step closer to being a King!!!

Henry Ford Created a Village, Kingsford, Michigan. And it was incorporated as a village on this day in 1924. Named for a Ford Executive Edward G. Kingsford, the company planned this community and was active in the harvesting of timber from the area. Ford used the wood for it's cars bodies.
Kind of Ironic that the city that gave us Kingsford Briquettes was started so Ford could get wood

1860 Frances first "Le Car"

French inventor Etienne Lenoir was issued a patent for the first successful internal-combustion engine. Its two-stroke action was simple but reliable--many of Lenoir's engines were still working after 20 years of use. The first engines he produced were for pumps and bellows.
Lenoir built an internal-combustion engined car in 1862, but it was slow and unreliable.
..insert joke here.

Jan 23 1912
First "Boom Car" introduced
The Aermore Manufacturing Company of Chicago introduced the Aermore Exhaust Horn, a multiple-pipe horn powered by engine exhaust sounds like a church organ...probably still beats "Rap"

Jan 20 1971
Ill-Fated Jaguar Introduced

The Jaguar XJ13 prototype was displayed by British Leyland, the automotive conglomerate that included Jaguar at that time. The XJ13 was destined to become the next luxury Jaguar, but bad luck changed its destiny: the prototype car was wrecked on its first test run by test-driver Norman Dewis, ending the XJ13 development program. The ruined car was kept and later restored by the company.
Careful measurements were made of the wrecked hulk and it proved to be the template for all Jags for the next few decades...

Jan 19 1954
1954 GM Spends A Billion

General Motors announced a $1 billion plan to expand its automobile operation.

On expanding it's automobile operation....what about bonuses???

January 18
1919 Bentley Motors Founded(VW starts smiling)

Bentley Motors was established in London, England. A manufacturer of sports cars and luxury automobiles, Bentley was acquired by Rolls-Royce in November, 1931. From that point forward, the Bentley line acquired more and more features of the Rolls-Royce, until the two makes became nearly indistinguishable.

And then along came the Germans and Bentley was sold to Volkswagen...no that was Rolls Royce...no that was just the name Rolls Royce...at any rate let's just say that the Rolls and Bentleys are as wicked as big Passats...oh yeah, that's what they are!!

1946 Jeep-Maker Returns To Auto Business(Dragged Kicking and screaming more likely)

The Willys-Overland Company, the primary contractor that built the Jeep for the U.S. military during World War II, reentered the commercial automobile market on this day. It offered the Willys Aero, a sporty two-seater.

Company Officials want to apologize...as it turns out they should have stuck to building Jeeps...Who Knew???
January 17
1949 German Bug Invades America(The big three pull out their bugspray...the comet, the Valiant and the Corvair...I guess VW lost in the end...the end up with Bentley, the most anti Small car invented!!!)

The first Volkswagen Beetle in the U.S. arrived from Germany. The little Volkswagen ("people's car") was a sturdy vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche at the request of Adolf Hitler.
Could there be truth to the rumour that Hitler hated it so much that he had it crushed by a Tank...hence Hitler is the true designer of the Porsche!?!?

1964 Stylish Porsche-Carrera

See above story regarding the Beetle...

1899 Battle For Land Speed Record

Camille Jenatzy captured the land speed record in an electric car of his own design: 41.425mph at Acheres Park, France. On the same day, however, previous record holder Gaston Chasseloup-Laubat raised the record again, posting a speed of 43.690mph in an electric Jeantaud automobile. The feud wasn't over yet. Jenatzy took the record again 10 days later, on January 27. Chasseloup-Laubat took it back on March 4, and Jenatzy reclaimed the record on April 29, the last time an electric car held the speed record.

Until his death Jenatsky had to explain that yes he did hold a world speed record..almost 44 mph and if Diehard batteries had been around he was sure he could break the 50MPH Barrior!!!

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