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August 14, 1988 – Enzo Ferrari dies
This Day

August 14, 1988 – Enzo Ferrari dies

Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the sports car company that bears his name, passed away on this day in 1988 at age 90. His professional auto racing career began October 5, 1919, when he took fourth place at a hill climb race in Parma, Italy. He'd go on to compete in a total of 47 races, including 13 first place awards. Many believe he would have won more if his love for automobiles did not from pushing them to a little bit harder. Perhaps that is the reason why he stopped racing cars in the mid 1920s to pursue a passion for building them.  In 1929 Ferrari formed the Scuderia Ferrari racing team in Modena at about the same time he took over as the head of Alfa Romeo’s racing department. In 1933 Scuderia Ferrari became the official racing department of Alfa Romeo after canceling its in...
August 13, 1955 – Hideo Fukuyama, first Japanese NASCAR driver, is born
This Day

August 13, 1955 – Hideo Fukuyama, first Japanese NASCAR driver, is born

Hideo Fukuyama, born on this day in 1955, became the first Japanese driver to compete in the top tier of NASCAR, after receiving encouragement from Dale Earnhardt Sr. His road to NASCAR began many years earlier in open wheel racing. His first major road racing career came at the 1979 Formula Libre 500 Japanese championship. In 1988 he would make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, earning a second-place class finish. Other highlights from the era include wins at the 1992 Japanese Touring Car Championship and 1997 Super GT GT300 class championship. In 2000 Fukuyama would earn a LMGT class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Porsche 911 GT3. At Dover International Speedway in September 2002, riding on words of wisdom from Earnhardt, Fukuyama became the first Japanese driver to qu...
August 12, 1988 – “Tucker, The Man & His Dream” premieres
This Day

August 12, 1988 – “Tucker, The Man & His Dream” premieres

On this day in 1988 "Tucker, The Man & His Dream," hit US theaters. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starred Jeff Bridges as Preston Tucker, the businessman and auto designer behind the iconic Tucker Corporation. The movie followed his efforts to bring an all new safe and affordable car, the Tucker 48, to the US marketplace amid fierce backlash from Detroit's Big 3. The Tucker movie goes on to show with the downfall of Tucker amid controversial accusations from the SEC. The film's accuracy, as with any Hollywood product, is up for debate; yet it remains a popular feature with many automotive history lovers and drama fanatics alike. Learn more about Preston and the Tucker 48 here. Watch the trailer below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tZKbk27yXo
August 11, 1965 – The Ford Bronco debuts
This Day

August 11, 1965 – The Ford Bronco debuts

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the hot car to have for many WWII vets wasn't a car at all. It was the Jeep that likely saved their lives at least once on the battlefield. Those rugged 4x4s built by Willys and Ford had plenty of pep and excellent maneuverability, but even when new they lacked the creature comforts of most modern vehicles. However, soon after the war, Willys began offering a civilian model of the iconic Jeep, giving way to radios heaters and other desires. Production continued without direct domestic competition until 1961 when International Harvester unleashed the Scout. in 1961. Ford jumped into the sport utility vehicle marketplace on this day in 1965 when it unveiled the Ford Bronco. Buyers had three body style options for the first generation of the Bronco, ...
August 10, 1978 – 3 teenage girls die in fiery Ford Pinto crash
This Day

August 10, 1978 – 3 teenage girls die in fiery Ford Pinto crash

The Ford Pinto hit the market in response to highly economical imports from Japan and Europe. The subcompact sat on an all new platform, but featured a drivetrain for the Euro-spec Ford Escort. While the car sold well, it hardly drew attention from reporters when released for 1971. In the years that followed, a controversy would erupt. The issue with the car stemmed from the placement of the gas tank in the Pinto, which sat outside the frame. By 1974, rumors of fiery accidents related to the tank began to swirl inside and outside of Ford. Things really blew up in Ford's face when on of the most devastating accidents related to the Pinto occurred on this day in 1978. Sisters Lyn (16) and Judy Ulrich (18), and their cousin Donna Ulrich (18), were on the side of U.S. 33 in Indiana...
August 9, 1917 – Barney Oldfield sets new speed records in Golden Submarine
This Day

August 9, 1917 – Barney Oldfield sets new speed records in Golden Submarine

The Golden Submarine. By Raynardo -CC BY 3.0 After Bob Burman, a close friend of fellow racing great Barney Oldfield, died when his open cockpit car rolled over in a race, Oldfield pledged to make racing safer. He teamed up with Fred Offenhauser and Harry Miller to build the Golden Submarine race car in 1917. The car was a first of its kind streamlined, closed cockpit racing car. After many tests, Oldfield set out to test the car's limits. In doing so he broke several speed records. During his trials he drove the Golden Submarine to a new one mile at 80 miles per hour. He followed that with a five mile record with an average speed of 77.2 mph. Next came a 25 mile average speed record of 75.4 mph and lastly a 50 mile record at 73.5 miles per hour.
August 8, 2018 – The ten millionth Ford Mustang
Business

August 8, 2018 – The ten millionth Ford Mustang

(Ford) On this day in 2018 Ford Motor Company celebrated the production of the ten millionth Mustang, America's best selling sports car of the last 50 years. The honor took place at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. The 10 millionth Ford Mustang is a high-tech, 460 horsepower 2019 Wimbledon White GT V8 six-speed convertible saluting Ford Mustang VIN 001 – the first serialized 1964.5 Ford Mustang that featured a 164 horsepower, three-speed V8. As a part of the celebration, 60 Ford Mustang owners used their cars to spell out the milestone number. A WWII era P-51 Mustang, the car's namesake, then conducted a flyover. Read Ford's entire press release detailing the event below. DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 8, 2018 – Ford is celebrating the production of its 10 millionth Mustang – Am...
August 7, 1937 – Auburn Automobile Company closes
Business

August 7, 1937 – Auburn Automobile Company closes

An Eckhart Buggy with a 1904 Auburn, the earliest known Auburn automobile The Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn, Indiana grew out of a horse-drawn carriage business founded in 1874 by Charles Eckhart. His sons began automobile production in 1900, but by the end of World War I, could not generate a profit and closed its doors. The pair sold the company to a Chicago investment group who revived the brand, but ran into a similar profitability issues. This led them to approach successful automobile salesman Errett Lobban Cord, better known today as E.L, with an offer to run the company. Cord countered with to buy out plan. The group accepted and by the end of 1925, Cord took over full control of Auburn. The next year he acquired Duesenberg, then began building Cord automobiles in 192...
August 6, 1991 – Peugeot leaves North America
This Day

August 6, 1991 – Peugeot leaves North America

French automaker Peugeot an faced sales hardship in the US and Canada in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This resulted in the release of the Peugeot 405 for 1987 as a last ditch effort by the company to remain viable in North America. It proved unsuccessful, selling less than 1,000 units. When total Peugeot sales only hit 4,261 in 1990 and 2,240 between January and July of the following year, the company decided to pull the plug on the US and Canadian markets after 33 years. The fateful announcement was made on this day in 1991. What is the history of Peugeot? AboveL 1913 Peugeot Phaeton. By haitham alfalah. Top: Peugeot 405. By Ehsanpsa - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 The original Peugeot company was a steel foundry founded in 1810. At that time they made hand tools, kitchen equipm...
August 5, 1955 – The one millionth VW Beetle
This Day

August 5, 1955 – The one millionth VW Beetle

The one millionth VW comes off the assembly line. By August of 1955 Volkswagen produced the Type 1 Beetle, the Type 2 Bus and it had recently introduced the Karmann Ghia. While the latter two would help capture new buyers, it was the original VW that firmly planted the success of the automaker. While it took years to bring the People's Car to life in Nazi Germany, the war nearly ended production before it truly began. Yet, when the dust settled, the plant was standing just enough to begin operations. Soon after the white flags flew, workers of the Wolfsburg plant drug machinery they hid in the woods to save it from bombs back to the plant. They started hand building cars with bits and pieces by June 1945. The 1,000,000th VW Beetle (VW) Occupying forces did direct the workers to ...

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