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December 4, 1955 – József Galamb, Designer of the Ford Model T, dies
Business

December 4, 1955 – József Galamb, Designer of the Ford Model T, dies

The answer to the question, who built the Model T, is not simple. Sure, you could say Ford Motor Company, and you wouldn't be wrong, but it doesn't answer the deeper question. Who really created and built the car. Was it Henry Ford? Well, he was a solid businessman with good ideas, but at that early point in his automotive career, he was hardly an engineer. Of course, it was his company afterall and he is the one who stated he'd build a car for the masses. József Galamb The Ford Model T, is exactly that. However, he needed help to bring it to fruition. Heck, even Clara, his wife, is the one who became adament about placing the steering wheel on the left side so she didn't have to step in horse poop getting out of the car on a street. But if not Henry, or Henry alone, then who? C. H...
December 3, 1979 – The last AMC Pacer
This Day

December 3, 1979 – The last AMC Pacer

The 1970s gas crisis forced automakers to rethink their rather bulbous lineups. By the middle of the decade, consumers interest in style and power waned as focused shifted to value and fuel efficiency. AMC's answer? The Pacer. When it debuted in February 1975, AMC appeared to have an instant hit on its hands. More than 145,000 Pacers sold in their first year of production alone. Like the 70s, sales soon ran out of gas. Between 1976 and the end of 1979, the car averaged sales of about 35,000 units per year. That's good, if you're selling pet rocks. By the time Pacer production ended on this day in 1979, some 280,000 had left the assembly line in total. 1975 AMC Pacer interior and dash. By Christopher Ziemnowicz. Top: The large amount of glass used in the Pacer gave it the name ...
December 2, 2002 – Toyota delivers FCHV
This Day

December 2, 2002 – Toyota delivers FCHV

2015 Toyota Mirai. By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Toyota delivered its first fuel cell vehicles on this day in 2002. Of the six Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHVs) produced, the Japanese leased four and two went to researchers at the University of California. Toyota originally began development of a fuel cell vehicle in 1992. These FCHVs produce only water vapor as an emission, as they are powered by generating electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen. That electricity then powers the vehicle’s motors and charges its batteries. Toyota's efforts resulted in a market ready production car, the Mirai, which went into production in December 2014 and is still offered today.
December 1, 1928 – Duesenberg Model J debut
This Day

December 1, 1928 – Duesenberg Model J debut

1929 Duesenberg Model J. By Craig Howell CC BY 2.0 On this day in 1928 Duesenberg unveiled the Model J at the New York Auto Show. The Duesenberg Model J debut marked the first all new car built by the company since E.L. Cord acquired the luxury automaker two years prior. Designed to compete directly with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza, the Model J was unlike anything to have ever hit the road before. At the time of the show, only one had been completed, serial number J-101. Finished in silver and black, the impressive automobile attracted quite a crowd, in large part thanks to its giant price tag of $8,500. That's for the chassis alone, mind you, and that sum in 1928 equals around $175,000 in 2022. Duesenberg Model J engine. By Larry Stevens Duesenberg J-101 origina...
November 30, 1960 – The last DeSoto
This Day

November 30, 1960 – The last DeSoto

1961 DeSoto Less than a week after Chrysler acquired Dodge Brothers, it debuted its new mid-priced DeSoto line for 1929. The two brands gave Chrysler two makes aimed at the same consumer, resulting in a back and forth flip flop in terms of price seniority. The original plan had Chrysler at the top, followed by DeSoto, then Plymouth as their entry level ride, but buying Dodge threw a bit of a wrench in things. Ultimately, DeSoto faced identity problems as executives tried to figure out where it sat on the Mopar totem pole. At its introduction, DeSoto rode below Dodge and above Plymouth. In an attempt to boost Dodge sales, Chrysler reversed the Dodge and DeSoto pricing models in 1933. This resulted in DeSoto receiving a futuristic new design that mimicked top-of-the-line Chrysler cars. U...
November 29, 1906 – Lancia is founded
This Day

November 29, 1906 – Lancia is founded

1909 Lancia A group of Fiat racing drivers, including Vincenzo Lancia and his friend Claudio Fogolin, founded Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili on this day in 1906 in Turin, Italy. Lancia achieved commercial success with their first vehicle, the Tipo 51. This 12 hp car remained in production from 1907 through 1912. Lancia earned a reputation for innovation when it became the first automaker to offer production V4 and V6 engines, as well as independent suspension.   By the end of the 1960s Lancia skimmed the possibility of bankruptcy. A bid by Fiat to take over the company was accepted. A reorganization put the company back on track, literally. A fresh focus on racing boosted sales after many dominating rally performances throughout the 1970s and 1980s. By the mid 20...
November 28, 1980 – Yugo production begins
This Day

November 28, 1980 – Yugo production begins

1990 Yugo. By Chamelfo Ropatras CC BY-SA 2.0 The legendary, yet often ridiculed Zastava Yugo began to move down a Yugoslavian assembly line on this day in 1980. While the car may not be looked upon unfavorably due to design, safety and performance issues, it caused quite a stir when new, both domestically in Eastern Europe and abroad. See, Zastava began life as a Yugoslavian arms company in 1853. So if you mocked their cars, they'd simply show you to a backroom and convince you to take it back with a variety of other Zastava products. Joking aside, the company began producing vehicles in the 1930s and manufactured Ford trucks for its Army under license during WWII. After the war it produced Willys Jeeps under contract for civilian and government use until 1950. Being no stranger to ...
November 27, 1996 – The last Cadillac Fleetwood
Automotive, This Day

November 27, 1996 – The last Cadillac Fleetwood

The Fleetwood Metal Body was an early 20th century automobile coach builder that specialized in applying traditional methods of carriage construction that dated back as far as 300 years to modern automotive design. From its founding in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania in 1909, until Fisher Body purchased it in 1925, the company manufactured custom coaches for a variety of top tier automakers. One could order a Fleetwood body for their Packard, Duesenberg, Bentley, Mercedes, Pierce-Arrow, Stutz and sever other fine automobiles. Cadillac, too, was a customer of Fleetwood in its early days. Above: 1922 Duesenberg Model A bodied by Fleetwood. By Rex Gray CC BY 2.0 Top: Second generation Cadillac Fleetwood, similar to the last one made on this day in 1996 When Fisher Body acquired Fleetwood, ...
November 26, 1948 – The first Holden cars
This Day

November 26, 1948 – The first Holden cars

A first generation Holden J. A. Holden & Co became a leading saddlery in South Australia soon after its founding in 1856. When the original owner’s grandson joined the company almost 50 years later, he added automotive upholstery repair to the company’s services. Following WWI, the formation of subsidiary Holden Motor Body Builders occurred, which began to produce car bodies in Adelaide, South Australia. The next decade would have HMBB manufacturing car bodies for Austin, Chrysler, DeSoto, Ford, Morris, Hillman, Humber, Hupmobile and Willys-Overland. Then, in 1931, General Motors bought the company.  When the Australian government began to encourage growth of the Australian auto industry, Holden executives made a compromise with GM to build a Chevrolet based, Australian ca...
November 25, 1949 – The 1,000,000th Cadillac
This Day

November 25, 1949 – The 1,000,000th Cadillac

On this day in 1949, a 1949 Cadillac Coupe de Ville rolled off the assembly line, marking the 1,000,000th Cadillac to be manufactured since the company's inception in 1902. Pictured with the vehicle above are John F. Gordon, General Manager; Don E. Ahrens, General Sales Manager; and C.A. Raftrey, Works Manager. Standard specs for the 1949 Cadillac Coupe deVille included a 331 V8 that made 160 horsepower. It could power the approximately 4,250 pound car to nearly 100 mph. It averaged 13.5 miles per gallon when equipped with 4 speed Hydra-Matic transmission. 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, same model as the two millionth Cadillac While it took Cadillac nearly 50 years to reach the one million mark, it'd only be 9 more before the two millionth Caddy hit the streets. It was Februa...

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