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December 16, 1949 – The first Saab car
This Day

December 16, 1949 – The first Saab car

Saab’s first production passenger car, the 92, began rolling out of the Trollhättan Assembly plant on this day in 1949. Originally an airplane manufacturer, Saab began its automotive branch in 1945 when engineers initiated work on a prototype, known as the Ursaab, or original Saab, designed by Sixten Sason. As could be expected from an airplane company, the 92, like the Ursaab, was extremely aerodynamic. Thanks to the reduced drag, its small 25hp engine could move the Saab at approximately 105 kilometers per hour (65 mph) when pushing it to its limits. A unique aspect of the 92 was that it had a body made of a single piece of stamped sheet metal, which was then cut to accommodate doors and windows. In the early days, this body would have likely been painted a dark green col...
July 10, 1962 – The three point seat belt is patented
This Day

July 10, 1962 – The three point seat belt is patented

Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin received a US patent for his three-point automobile safety belt “for use in vehicles, especially road vehicles” on this day in 1962. Volvo had hired Bohlin four years earlier as the company’s first chief safety engineer. At that time, seatbelts were rarely used outside of auto racing because the common lap belt system of the era often resulted in internal injuries in accidents. Above: 1963 Volvo P1800.Top: Nils Bohlin demonstrating his invention. Courtesy Volvo. By Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 To remedy the problem Bohlin designed the three point seat belt system that is still used today. The primary advantage of Bohlin’s design is its ability to secure both the upper and lower parts of the body in a collision. The design woul...

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