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January 29, 1886 – The automobile is patented
This Day

January 29, 1886 – The automobile is patented

On this day in 1886 Karl Benz applied for a German patent for his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. He ultimately received patent number 37435 for the vehicle, which is widely regarded as the world’s first purpose built automobile. Above: The engine in a replica of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Top:Benz Patent-Motorwagen Benz, who first developed stationary engines in his career, utilized his own design of a 954cc single cylinder, four stroke engine that weighed just 220lb (100kg) and produced ¾ horsepower, to build his auto. While Benz designed and built the car, it was his wife Bertha who financed the operation. She also succeeded in marketing its success by taking the third Motorwagen built on the first long distance automobile trip. Here 121 mile (194km) journey demonstrated the vehicl...
January 28, 1896 – The first speeding ticket
This Day

January 28, 1896 – The first speeding ticket

In early 1896 the speed limit in London was a blazing 2 mph (3 km). With automobiles being so new, every motorist taking to the streets also had to have a flag waver walk in front of them to alert people a car was coming through. God forbid you scare the horses! So when Walter Arnold raced through the streets of Paddock Wood, Kent on this day in 1896 in his new machine at an astonishing 8 mph with no flag waver, bystanders were absolutely flabbergasted. A local constable was quick to give chase in hopes of bringing this heinous crime to an end. The officer jumped on his bicycle and pedaled for 5 miles before catching the driver. Mr. Arnold’s terror through town would earn him a spot in the record books, for he was issued the world’s first recorded speeding ticket for an automobile...
May 7, 1998 – Daimler-Benz buys Chrysler
This Day

May 7, 1998 – Daimler-Benz buys Chrysler

On this day in 1998 Daimler-Benz purchased Chrysler Corporation for $36 billion. At the time, the deal was the costliest acquisition of a US company by a foreign buyer. The sale proved to be quite beneficial in the short term, as stock prices rose quickly on the New York Stock Exchange, but the sweetness soon soured. In 2006, following a $1.5 billion loss on the year, Daimler sold Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management for a measly $7.4 billion. Pictured is a 1998 Dodge Viper, a Chrysler product from the year of the sale.

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