This Day

July 1, 2005 – The final Ford Thunderbird
This Day

July 1, 2005 – The final Ford Thunderbird

On this day in 2005 the last Ford Thunderbird rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Wixom, Michigan plant. The Thunderbird was developed in the years following World War II as a competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette, though billed as a personal luxury vehicle. When it was released in 1955 it outsold the Corvette 14,000 units to just 700. Above: First generation Ford ThunderbirdTop: Last generation Ford Thunderbird In the decades that followed, the Thunderbird would go through numerous changes, including growing from two seats to four in 1958. In an attempt to capitalize on buyers’ nostalgia, Ford released a retro Thunderbird in 2002 to much fanfare. Despite promising initial sales of the old school T-Bird, the success eventually waned, leading to the car being discontinued.
June 30, 1953 – The first production Corvettes leave the factory
This Day

June 30, 1953 – The first production Corvettes leave the factory

The automotive industry changed forever when the first production Chevrolet Corvette rolled out of a General Motors’ assembly facility in Flint, Michigan, on this day in 1953. The Corvette, which was conceived as a dream vehicle by auto designer Harley Earl, was first introduced to the public as a prototype fiberglass bodied sports car in January of 1953 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City during GM's annual Motorama. The response from the crowd was enough to warrant putting the vehicle into production, in highly limited numbers. https://youtu.be/Oxyy8_K03w0 Above: Video of 1953 Corvette productionTop: The first Chevrolet Corvettes leave the factory (GM) There were only 300 1953 Corvettes manufactured and each was a white convertible with red interior and a black canv...
June 29, 1985 – John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce goes to auction
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June 29, 1985 – John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce goes to auction

Imagine there’s no...eh, it’s got it all. It, being the Rolls-Royce originally owned by Beatle John Lennon, which sold at auction for $2,229,000 on this day in 1985. Lennon purchased the Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine at age 25, making it just the second car he ever purchased, the first was a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT just six months earlier. As luxurious as the RR was, it just didn’t suit his taste when it left the factory and Lennon soon had his way with it. He converted the rear seat into a fold down bed, added tinted the windows, and installed a TV, telephone, refrigerator and a custom sound system. Of course, the original black paint simply wouldn’t do either. Inspired by a psychedelically themed camper he purchased for his garden, he hired the same gypsies who hand painted it to give his...
June 28, 2001 – The final Plymouth
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June 28, 2001 – The final Plymouth

Plymouth was introduced in July 1928 as Chrysler Corporation’s entry into the low cost auto market. It was an immediate success thanks to its affordability, a trait that allowed Plymouth to carry Chrysler, Dodge and DeSoto through the Great Depression. By 1931 the brand was the number three best selling car in the United States.  Above: 1928 Plymouth, the first year of productionTop: The final Plymouth, a Neon By the late 1960s sales started to slip as Plymouths became less and less unique, sharing features with other Chrysler products. A resurgence during the muscle car era, with the introduction of powerhouses such as the ‘Cuda and  Road Runner, shone light on the division's potential once again. Unfortunately, the love wouldn’t last forever. A 1970 Plymouth Superbird...
June 27, 1985 – Route 66 is decertified
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June 27, 1985 – Route 66 is decertified

The “Main Street of America,” U.S. Route 66, was officially decertified on this day in 1985 when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials voted to remove all of its highway signs. The road, which was completed and given a highway designation in 1926, stretched from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, over the course of roughly 2,200 miles.  The road was originally constructed along a path forged in 1857 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale and his pack of camels. Before Route 66 became a highway the path had grown popular as a passageway for people heading west in the growing country. Over the years, horses and wagons gave way to cars and trucks. By the 1950s, new multi-lane highways were being built all across the country as part of a...
June 26, 1906 – The first French Grand Prix
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June 26, 1906 – The first French Grand Prix

The Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, the first Grand Prix event in France, started on this day in 1906 and would come to an end the following evening. Each day of the race had the drivers completing six laps of a 103.18-kilometre (64.11 mi) circuit composed of closed public roads outside the city of Le Mans with the driver’s daily times being combined for their total time. The Grand Prix was won by Ferenc Szisz driving a Renault, followed by Felice Nazzaro in a FIAT, and in third was Albert Clément and his Clément-Bayard. Both images from the first French GP
June 25, 1956 – The last true Packard
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June 25, 1956 – The last true Packard

The last true Packard rolled off the assembly line on this day in 1956, although the name would be used on re-badged Studebakers through 1958. Packard is said to be born out of a feud that started in 1898 between James Ward Packard and Alexander Winton, who produced Winton Automobiles. Packard had purchased a Winton, which was the largest automaker in the US at the time, but continuous problems with the car led Packard to offer numerous suggestions for improvements to Winton. 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 single cylinder automobile.&nb...
June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded
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June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA ) was founded on this day in 1910, the predecessor to Alfa Romeo. Born out of the French Darracq car company that was founded four years prior, ALFA got its start after Italian Giuseppe Merosi was hired by the French company to design more appealing cars for the Italian market. Upon finding success in Italy, ALFA broke away from Darracq in 1910, officially becoming its own entity.  Above: 1906 Darracq Italian, the precursor to ALFATop: c.1910 ALFA 24 hp The next year ALFA made its racing debut at the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. From then on, racing would always be a part of Alfa Romeo. The company name was officially changed to Alfa Romeo after Nicola Romeo took over as director in 1920. In 1925 Alfa Romeo would win the in...
June 23, 2007 – Ferrari world tour comes to an end
This Day

June 23, 2007 – Ferrari world tour comes to an end

To celebrate its 60th anniversary Ferrari conducted a global relay that lasted nearly five months and passed through more than 50 countries before coming to an end on this day in 2007 at Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy. The event began in January of that year in Abu Dhabi before traveling through Saudi Arabia, China, Australia, Mexico, United States, Canada, Russia and tens more nations. Thousands of Ferrari owners and their cars took part in the relay, each carrying a baton featuring 60 badges that represented important milestones in Ferrari’s history.
June 22, 2001 – The Fast and the Furious series begins
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June 22, 2001 – The Fast and the Furious series begins

On this day in 2001 The Fast and the Furious was released in theaters around the globe. It launched 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 ass...