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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...
October 15, 1970 – The West Gate Bridge collapse
Business

October 15, 1970 – The West Gate Bridge collapse

The West Gate Bridge after it collapsed. By Petersod - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 On this day in 1970, during the second year of construction on the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia, a section of the bridge collapsed into the Yarra River and mud flats below, killing 35 workers. The tragedy marks the largest loss of life in any industrial accident in Australian history to date. Many of the workers that died were crushed in the workers huts below, while others fell from the span as it dropped 165 feet. A Royal Commission set up to find the cause of the West Gate Bridge collapse released its findings in July of 1971. The report pointed to two faults: the structural design by designers Freeman Fox & Partners, and an unusual method of construction by World Services and Constructi...
October 4, 1983 – Thrust 2 sets new land speed record
Business

October 4, 1983 – Thrust 2 sets new land speed record

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If you found yourself in The Black Rock Desert in Nevada on this day in 1983 you would not find yourself at Burning Man. However, youwould have witnessed the land speed record being broken by Richard Noble driving the Thrust 2, a jet propelled car designed by Britain's John Ackroyd. The vehicle hit a top speed of 650.88 mph but held the record at 633.468 mph, as that was the average of its two runs held within one hour of each other.  The vehicle is powered by a single Rolls-Royce Avon jet engine from an English Electric Lightning fighter plane from the Cold War era. The land speed record set by Thrust2 held steady until Andy Green drove ThrustSSC to 714 miles per hour in September 1997. He topped that, hitting 760 miles per hour, a month later. Today bot...
September 26, 1982 – Knight Rider debuts
Business

September 26, 1982 – Knight Rider debuts

On this day in 1982 the TV show Knight Rider made its prime time debut. The show starred David Hasselhoff as crime fighter Michael Knight who drove a customized 1982 Pontiac Trans AM named K.I.T.T., which stood for Knight Industries Two Thousands. The following is a previously written description of the car from Wikipedia: K.I.T.T. was designed by Michael Scheffe using Pontiac's 1982 Trans Am. Michael Scheffe had worked for Mattel designing toys, and had done some design work on Blade Runner. Scheffe had around 18 days to create his first mock up of K.I.T.T. for the network.  Stuntman Jack Gill says the car was dropped about an inch and a half from GM's stock height. The car also had around $2,000,000 worth of modifications. Spare cars were always on hand, and Universal eventually ...
September 13, 2004 – Oprah gives away 276 free cars
Business

September 13, 2004 – Oprah gives away 276 free cars

(Oprah/Motor1) "You get a car! And you get a car! Everybody gets a car!" The moment Oprah gave away 276 Pontiac G6 sedans to her studio audience on this day in 2004 certainly ranks among the most memorable TV moments in history, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Yes, the announcement solicited real screams and cheers, but when the dust settled, recipients found themselves stuck with a tax bill totaling about $6,000. So, while Oprah had asked producers to fill the audience with people who really needed a new ride, more than a handful couldn't afford to keep the car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pviYWzu0dzk Furthermore, it was certainly charitable, but the giveaway didn't come out of Oprah's pocket. Pontiac footed the bill for the whole event. The automaker donated the ...
September 1, 1997 – The airbag law goes into effect
Business

September 1, 1997 – The airbag law goes into effect

El Laguna tras el accidente en la SG-500, km 11 On this day in 1997 the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 finally goes into effect for cars and light trucks. The law required that all vehicles sold in the United States to have airbags on both the driver’s and passenger’s side of the front seat. Airbags were initially inspired by inflatable protective covers of Navy torpedoes. In 1953 an engineer named John Hetrick patented a design for a “safety cushion assembly for automotive vehicles.” He sent sketches and specs to the Big Three, GM, Chrysler and Ford, but he never received a response and the idea flatlined until 1965 when Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” was published. The book speculated that airbags and seat belts together could prevent thousands of ...
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...
July 23, 2007 – 6,000,000th North American Civic
Business

July 23, 2007 – 6,000,000th North American Civic

On this day in 2007 the 6 millionth Honda Civic produced in North America. The small, fuel efficient first-generation Honda Civic arrived an opportune time, during the oil crisis of the early 1970s. The subcompact, two-door model, made its debut in July 1972, followed by a three-door version two months later. In Japan the car won Car of the Year three years in a row starting the year it debuted. In Canada the Civic became the best-selling import car for 28 consecutive months between 1976 and 1978. By July 2007, when the 6 millionth North American Civic rolled out of the plant, Honda was operating 12 manufacturing plants and employed upwards of 30,000 people in North America. More than 75 percent of all Honda vehicles, including its Acura division, sold in North America are produce...
July 18, 1969 – The Chappaquiddick Accident
Business

July 18, 1969 – The Chappaquiddick Accident

Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy drove his mother’s 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 off of Dyke Bridge on this day in 1969. The accident appeared to have claimed the life of his young passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, but there may be more than what meets the eye. The circumstances surrounding the accident are rather strange. It starts with the fact that Kennedy did not report the accident until after it had been discovered by fisherman, some 8 hours later. Mary Jo was one of the boiler-room girls, who served Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. The party was a reunion for these girls. When Ted Kennedy declared he was leaving the party Mary Jo supposedly had asked for a ride back to her hotel room. Along the way a p...

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