Automotive History for January 23

1937 Cord 812. By Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England – CC BY 2.0

On January 23, 1914, the world welcomed Alex Tremulis. He would grow up and become beloved for his creative genius, as Tremulis left an impressive mark on the industry with iconic designs like the Cord 810 and 812 series, a custom Duesenberg roadster, and the visionary Tucker 48, showcasing his influence on the aesthetics of classic automobiles.

In 1948, January 23 witnessed the inaugural Annual Automotive Equipment Display and Hot Rod Exhibition at the National Guard Armory in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. This event not only showcased hot rods but also marked a pivotal moment in the culture of automotive exhibitions, laying the foundation for future showcases of custom and modified vehicles.

Jackie Stewart racing in 1969.

Turning the pages to 1972, January 23 saw the triumphant return of the Argentine Grand Prix after a hiatus since 1960. Jackie Stewart emerged victorious, etching his name in the history books and reigniting the thrill of Formula One racing in Argentina.

The automotive design landscape mourned on January 23, 1980, as Giovanni Michelotti, the visionary behind iconic models like the Ferrari 166, Ferrari 375MM, Maserati 5000 GT, BMW 700, Triumph GT6, Triumph Spitfire, Alfa Romeo 2600, Prince Skyline Sports Coupe, and many more, passed away. His legacy continues to resonate through the timeless elegance of his creations.

maserati 5000 gt
1 of 34 Maserati 5000 GTs, a car designed by Giovanni Michelotti. By Herranderssvensson – CC BY-SA 4.0

Shifting to a more contemporary era, January 23, 2006, marked the debut of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. This documentary delved into the failed attempt by the auto industry to establish an electric vehicle and posited a controversial theory of a conspiracy involving oil companies, automakers, and the government to suppress the electric car.

The same day in 2006, Ford made a significant announcement, revealing plans to cut up to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 plants by the year 2012. This decision echoed the challenges faced by the automotive industry during that period and signaled a shift in the landscape of automotive manufacturing.

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