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Author: Automotive History

June 25, 1956 – The last Packard leaves the Detroit plant
This Day

June 25, 1956 – The last Packard leaves the Detroit plant

The last true Packard rolled out of the Packard plant in Detroit on this day in 1956. The name lived for two more years on re-badged Studebakers built in Indiana. Packard is said to be born out of a feud that started in 1898 between James Ward Packard and Alexander Winton, the founder of Winton Automobiles. Packard had purchased a Winton, which was the largest automaker in the US at the time. Facing continuous problems with it, Packard began to offer numerous suggestions for improvements to Winton himself. In 1899, growing tired of Packard’s ideas, Winton exclaimed to him, “Well, if you are so smart, maybe you can build a better machine yourself!”  Packard accepted the challenge and went to work in his Warren, Ohio, workshop. By the next year, 1899, he had built his first vehicle, a ...
June 24, 1911 – F1 great Juan Manuel Fangio is born
This Day

June 24, 1911 – F1 great Juan Manuel Fangio is born

Juan Manuel Fangio, born in Argentina on this day in 1911, dominated the first decade of Formula One with five World Championships. That record, which he obtained while racing for four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Maserati) during 1951 and 1957 would stand for 46 years. During his F1 career he racked up 24 Grand Prix victories and stepped onto 35 podiums. All that took place between his first entry Driver's Championship F1 race at the 1950 British Grand Prix and his last, the 1958 French Grand Prix. While well remembered for his time in Formula One, his career began in 1938 in the Argentinian stock car series Turismo Carretera. He initially drove a Ford V8, then switched to Chevrolet in 1940 and won the Grand Prix International Championship. By 1947 he b...
June 23, 1971 – The movie Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen, debuts
This Day

June 23, 1971 – The movie Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen, debuts

Graphic via www.porschemotorcarsales.com "Le Mans," starring Steve McQueen as a Team Porsche driver, debuted in theaters on this day in 1971. In the film, McQueen's character Michael Delaney drives a Porsche 917K against his rivals, all in the midst of a love story, of course. To enhance the action, the film uses real footage captured during the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans race. McQueen, a passionate race car driver, was able to add to the realism of the film's driving sequences. The car, a real Porsche 917, certainly didn't hurt either. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=228f-dPxI3Q Steve McQueen's Porsche 917 From www.porschemotorcarsales.com: Considered by many as the most famous Porsche 917 ever built, it was last sold at an auction in 2017, bringing in a figure of 14 mil...
June 22, 2001 – The Fast and the Furious series begins
This Day

June 22, 2001 – The Fast and the Furious series begins

On this day in 2001 The Fast and the Furious debuted in theaters around the globe, launching one of the most successful film and entertainment empires to date. To date it is the tenth highest grossing film series ever, raking in $5.8 billion to date. The ninth film in the series scheduled for release in 2021, and the tenth and final film already in development. Aside from the primary films, known as The Fast Saga, there are a myriad of short films, video games, amusement park rides and other items that have been spun from the series’ web.  Above: Poster from the first movie.Top: Dom racing his 1970 Dodge Charger R/T against Brian in The Fast and the Furious. The first installment in the series follows Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), an undercover cop, who was given the assignment ...
June 20, 1903 – Tom Fetch begins SF to NYC trip in a Packard
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June 20, 1903 – Tom Fetch begins SF to NYC trip in a Packard

When the automobile was in its infancy, car companies would go to great extremes to prove their worth. While most people were making their way west by horse and buggy, the young Packard Motor Car company decided to go east, from San Francisco to New York, in one of their fancy new automobiles. Packard investor Henry Joy dreamed up the journey, believing it would prove that American-made cars, specifically Packards, could “negotiate the all but impassible mountain and desert roads and trails of the Far West.”   Selected for the journey was a 1902 Packard Model F. It would be driven by Packard plant foreman and test driver Tom Fetch, who would be accompanied by The Automobile magazine editor Marius Krarup. Fetch made some modifications to the car to prepare it for a rough journey acr...
Cool Car Shirts for the 4th of July
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Cool Car Shirts for the 4th of July

What's more American than muscle cars and the stars and bars? We're created a line of cool car shirts that represent American made cars and our love for the classics. If you are looking for a new shirt for the 4th of July, you've got to check out this collection. Use code CARS at checkout for 15% off! Made in America Muscle cars are only Made in America. Get this automotive history tee right here. Stars, bars and muscle and cars Stripes of the flag or burnt rubber? Get it here. Classic trucks are an American tradition Keep the tradition alive. Get your classic truck tee right here. Drive History Every Day Muscle cars changed American history. Keep driving it with this shirt. Cool truck shirt! This 4x4 truck shirt says 'merica like nothing else. Get it here. ...
June 19, 1966 -Ford goes 1, 2, 3 at Le Mans
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June 19, 1966 -Ford goes 1, 2, 3 at Le Mans

When the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans came to an end on this day in 1966 it was a Ford GT40 in first, second and third place, marking the first time an American automobile won the race. With the three Mk. II Fords so far out in front of the rest of the field during the last pit stop, Henry Ford II decided to stage a publicity photo at the finish line, having all three cross nearly simultaneously. The leading #1 car driven by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme crossed the finish line next to the #2 car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, with the #5 GT40 trailing shortly behind. The #1 and #2 cars had both completed 360 laps but the #2 car started farther back, meaning even though they tied, the #2 car covered more ground anad therefore received the the first place trophy. Ken Miles, who wa...
June 18, 1923 – The first Kalamazoo Checker is built
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June 18, 1923 – The first Kalamazoo Checker is built

Checker Motors Company was founded 1922 after Morris Markin, Chicago clothier and owner of an auto body repair business, loaned an associate $15,000 to support Commonwealth Motor Company. When the loan could not be paid back, Markin took ownership of Commonwealth. The car company had been manufacturing personal passenger cars at a Joliet, Illinois facility, but Markin altered production to focus on building taxis. He then merged his existing auto body business with Commonwealth to form Checker, and he moved the production facility to Kalamazoo, Michigan. On this day in 1923, the first Checker assembled at the Kalamazoo plant rolled off the assembly line.  Checker Taxi Kalamazoo remained the home of Checker production until the last one left the factory 59 years later, in 1982. I...
June 17, 1928 – E.L. Cord founds Cord Corporation
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June 17, 1928 – E.L. Cord founds Cord Corporation

E.L. Cord with an Auburn automobile. (Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum) Errett Lobban Cord, better known as E. L., founded the Cord Corporation on this day in 1928. It would become a holding company for his many transportation interests, including Auburn, Duesenberg and his own company, Cord. The car that carried his name is among the most mechanically unique of the era thanks to its front wheel drive layout and other innovations. How he became a transportation baron starts with a career in racing, engineering and even bus driving. The early life of E.L. Cord Born in Missouri in 1894, Cord became a jack of all trades type. Aside from working on, racing and selling cars, he ventured into numerous other areas of business. At one point or another in his early career, Cord hauled ore, ...
June 16, 1903 –  The paperwork to incorporate Ford Motor Company is signed
This Day

June 16, 1903 – The paperwork to incorporate Ford Motor Company is signed

Henry Ford driving a 1903 Model A. At approximately 9:30 am on this day in 1903, in Detroit, Michigan, Henry Ford and 12 investors met to sign the paperwork to form Ford Motor Company. The documents were notarized and sent to the office of the Michigan Secretary of State for incorporation. The papers, dated June 16, 1903, did not reach the office until the next day. On June 17, 1903 Ford became a legal company. Within a month, the company had its first order for the company's new Model A. It had a two-cylinder engine that pumped out 8 horsepower and could hit speeds of up to 30 mph. Ford Motor Company soon earned a reputation for affordable, reliable, and mass produced automobiles that effectively changed the United States and many other parts of the world throughout the early 20th ...

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