THE DRIVING MILLENNIUM

With the passing of a millennium, the last 1000 years has been a time where the world was brought closer together in ways that some might say were for the better, others the worse.  The invention of the motor vehicle has changed the planet forever in a positive way, yet is responsible for more deaths than any other mechanical invention.

On many "Top Lists" of the century, the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg was hailed as a milestone, and I agree that is was.  The written word being available to masses brought the world a little closer together. (When I first heard Gutenberg was chosen by A & E Biography as the #1 person of the Millennium, I thought, "Boy, Steve Guttenberg wasn't THAT good an actor").


Here is how some driving was done at the beginning of the millennium in the East, Europe, and Africa.


THE first actual model of a steam-carriage, of which we have a written account, was constructed by a Frenchman, named Cugnot, who exhibited it before the Marquis de Saxe, in 1763. He afterward, in 1769, built an engine to run on common roads, at the expense of the French monarch.

1878  Karl Benz developed a two-cycle internal combustion engine and later a light four-cycle engine. He invented the differential drive and other automotive accessories. In 1885 he built a three-wheeled vehicle with an internal combustion engine and in 1886, patents the first "carriage with gasoline engine."

Bertha Benz and her two sons, Eugen and Richard, drove from Mannheim
to Pforzheim in the world's very first automo
bile in early August, 1888.
She was the first "Woman Driver."

Meanwhile, the Duryea Brothers were building the first internal combustion vehicle in the U.S. in 1893.

In 1896, when Henry Ford  was building his Quadracycle

the Duryea's were building over a dozen models and in Germany, Benz & industrialist Gottlieb Daimler were forming an alliance.  Daimler/Benz got a wealthy Monaco industrialist (Emil Jellinek) to order a fleet of  vehicles and D/B designer William Maybach designed them, in honor of Jellinek's daughter, called the cars (short for carriage) MERCEDES.


       DAIMLER                BENZ                MAYBACH        MERCEDES JELLINEK
 (now Maybach has a car named after HIM......see the bottom of the page)

 In 1897, Stanley began producing steam automobiles in 1897. With the appearance of Cadillac's selfstarter, the steam cars, which required warming up, gradually disappeared. However, production of the Stanley Steamer continued until 1927, because it was quiet, had little vibration, produced sufficient torque and was easy to handle.

In 1899, The first traffic fatality was recorded.  A man in NYC was killed by a car.

By 1900, 8000 vehicles were registered in the United States with vehicles being made by people like RANSOM ELI OLDS (ever hear of an REO Speedwagon...now you know what REO stood for) who had the hottest selling vehicle of his day by 1901-03. The $625 OLDSMOBILE had a marketing campaign that included a jingle:
Come away with me Lucille,
In my merry Oldsmobile,
Down the road of life we'll fly,
Automobubbling you and I.
To the church we'll swiftly steal,
Then our wedding bells will peal,
You can go as far as you like with me,
In my merry Oldsmobile.

1901  Henry Ford forms the Henry Ford Company, but quits in a dispute.  The company becomes known as Cadillac. In 1902, they produced the first Caddy:

1902 A speeding car on Polifly Road in Hackensack spooked a work horse towing a landscaper and a helper on a lawn mower. The landscaper was seriously hurt, his aide killed. The incident prompted a call to regulate the speed of automobiles.

Yet, some 50 small auto clubs had been formed by motoring enthusiasts across the country. Nine clubs soon joined together to create a national motoring organization and, at a March 4, 1902, Chicago meeting, founded the American Automobile Association.

Thus, the invention of the STOP SIGN!! (click on the picture to see the inventor & history of the sign....an incredible story about a black man's invention in the early century!!)
>Max Grabowski founds the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and builds trucks.
(ever hear of a GMC? Now you know what the G actually stood for....GRABOWSKI....NOT General, as in Motors!)

1903-4
Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Co. in Michigan and steering wheels replace tillers.
William Durant takes over the Buick Motor Company.
>Henry Royce built his first motor car in 1904 and in May of that year met Charles Rolls, whose company sold quality cars in London. Agreement was reached at the meeting that Royce Limited would manufacture a range of cars to be sold exclusively by C. S. Rolls & Co: they were to bear the name Rolls-Royce.

1905 In St. Louis, a car owner reported the first recorded auto theft.
>Tuscon issues drivers license numbers. #1 went to Dr. Hiram Fenner.

1908 Ford's Model T changed the world and manufacturing forever, and Durant forms GENERAL MOTORS out of Cadillac, Buick & Oldsmobile.
"You can paint it any color, so long as it's black." Henry Ford
(here is a 1908 Caddy)illac
This car set the stage for wider acceptance of the automobile by everyday drivers, introducing the concept of precision manufacturing of interchangeable parts: Cars would no longer be virtually "one of a kind."
>The Rapid Motor Vehicle Company is bought by GM.

1910 Political pressure grew to build a bridge between New Jersey and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
>Drinking and driving became against the law. Intoxication was determined by arresting officers.
>Total vehicle production in the United States: 180,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 468,500.
>Durant loses control of GM.
 >Hand-operated windshield wiper introduced.

1911 Cadillac introduced the self-starter, invented by Clyde Coleman in 1899 but perfected by Charles Kettering at General Motors. It eliminated the dangerous job of cranking the engine, and it put women behind the wheel in greater numbers.
>The rearview mirror is introduced.
>Detroit installs first center lines.

This 1911 Hupmobile was built the year the founder of Hupp Motor Car Co., Robert C. Hupp, left the company he had launched in 1909. The car bearing his name was built until 1941. This 1911 model had a 112-cubic-inch four which put out 20 hp. The car cost $1,100 new.

1912  In Cincinnati, Ohio, Standard Oil began operation of a gasoline station. Previously, motorists had to patronize coal merchants, lumberyards, or hardware stores to buy fuel.
>The first GMC Truck appears.

 

1913 Henry Ford started the first assembly line at his automobile plant in Detroit. It multiplied worker productivity more than eight times, bringing average assembly time for a new car down to 90 minutes from 12 hours 30 minutes. However, worker wages increased less than 1.5 times, from $2.40 for a nine-hour day to $5 for an eight-hour day in 1914, so that they can buy cars.

>Lincoln Highway opened. It was the first interstate highway, linking Times Square in New York with Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Interstate 80 now follows most of the old 3,389 mile route.

1914 The Chevy "bowtie" logo appears for the first time. Legend maintains that the bowtie shape was inspired by a pattern of wallpaper in a Paris hotel room. In 1908, William Durant reportedly detached a small piece and kept it in his wallet, waiting for the day he’d put it to use.  Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet, a race car driver in 1908, to design a car to compete with Ford.
The bowtie became an advertising icon, and is still the marque of today's Chevrolet.

1915 Horace and John Dodge start sending wooden carriages into obsolescence; they introduce all-steel car bodies.

1916 Durant is back at GM and a national highway system begins to be designed.

1919 Oregon put the first tax on gasoline.

1920 Total vehicle production in the United States: 2,227,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 9,239,161.
>Top speed for new cars was 40 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 20 miles per gallon.
>Alfa Romeos  were first produced in 1910 by a new Italian automobile maker, Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, or A.L.F.A..
In 1915, the company was acquired by the Italian engineer and industrialist, Nicola Romeo -- and in 1920, the Alfa badge was changed to read, "Alfa Romeo."

 

1921 The Pig Stand, often called the first drive-in restaurant, opened in Dallas.


1921 Model T
The MODEL T would HAVE to be THE CAR OF THE CENTURY. The Model T Ford was built from 1909 to 1927, the same basic cars, but running improvements were made. The first Model T was priced at $850, the price dropped as low as $265 in 1923.

1922 George Frost invented the first car radio.
>The first suburban shopping mall opened outside St. Louis (Country Club Plaza).

1923 Alfred Sloan becomes president of GM and completely redesigns all their vehicles. (He IS the Sloan, and the previously mentioned Kettering of  The Sloan/Kettering Institute, something for which they are way better remembered).

A legend of the '20s was the Stutz Bearcat, a favorite of the aristocratic sporty set. Stutz was built in Indianapolis from 1911 to 1935 when it sunk under the weight of the Depression. This '23 Stutz Bearcat is powered by a 109-hp 360-cubic-inch four-cylinder engine and cost $2,765.

1924 Henry Ford paid $2,467,946 in income tax. A half million people wrote him, begging for money.

>Walter Chrysler exhibits a 4 wheel hydraulic braked vehicle.
He forms Chrysler Corporation.

1925 The Milestone Inn, the first motel, opened for business in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

>Route 66 opens between Chicago & L.A.

1927 The Holland Tunnel between Hudson County,N.J. and Manhattan opened for traffic.

>Rand McNally published the first road atlas.
>The Massachusetts Public Works Commission holds hearings on Car Radios.  It is argued that they should be banned from vehicles because:
1)They distract the driver and cause accidents  2)The act of tuning would distract the driver and cause accidents  3)The music would lull the driver to sleep   4)The drivers of other vehicles would be distracted by the noise!  (boy...what would they think of cellular phones!!)

1928 Coast-to-coast bus service began.
>Chrysler buys Dodge and introduces the DeSoto & Plymouth. Chrysler Corporation also established separate divisions for distribution of various lines of cars: Plymouth Motor Corporation, Dodge Brothers Corporation, DeSoto Motor Corporation and the Chrysler Sales Corporation. The Fargo Motor Corp. was also organized to handle national fleet business and the following year Chrysler Motors Parts Corp. was formed to merchandise parts for all of the Corporation's lines. Chrysler Export Corp., had been organized in 1927.

1930 The great depression begins and car sales drop 36%.
>Top speed for new cars was 60 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 25 miles per gallon.

1932 The U.S. Government taxes gasoline.

1933  The first Drive-in movie opens in Camden New Jersey.

>Detroit banks, funded by Henry Ford and other refused to let customers withdraw their money. The action triggered nationwide bank panic.

1934  The LaSalle was Harley Earl's huge design success.

(remember the words from the theme song of  "ALL IN THE FAMILY" that no one understood?)
"...didn't need no welfare state
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great...
Those were the days."

1935 The Works Progress Administration put millions to work on public projects, many of them roads.
>Oklahoma City operated the first parking meters.

1936 Detroit car manufacturers recognized the United Auto Workers union, organized a year earlier.
>Elmo Geoghan opened the first multi-franchise drive-in restaurant, Bob's Big Boy, in Glendale, Calif.

1937 The Lincoln Tunnel's first tube opened to traffic.

>Drive-up banking began in Los Angeles.
>Tubeless tires were introduced.

1937 Cord 812
The Cord was one of the most technically innovative cars of its time, with front-wheel drive, retractable headlights and aircraft-style levers controlling throttle, choke and lighting.

This 1937 Lincoln Touring Cabriolet has a body by Brunn and is powered by a 414-cubic-inch 150-hp V-12 engine. It cost $8,915 in that Depression year.

1938 GMC  introduces it's pick-up T-14

 

1939 The Nash offered air conditioning.
(1939 Nash Lafayette Slipstream Sedan)

>Buick introduced electric turn signals.
>Oldsmobile introduced "Hydramatic" transmission, the prototype of modern automatic transmissions
>The first CONCEPT car, the GM Buick Y-Job is debuted.

1940 GMC Trucks are now available in different colors and there are over thirty six-wheel models.

1942 The U.S. auto industry converted to war production. Assembly lines stopped producing cars and started turning out bombers, tanks, guns, and grenades. For the next 3 years, all cars were basically variations on the 1942 model.

 

1945 The second tube of the Lincoln Tunnel opened to traffic.
>Private passenger automobile production resumed on July 6, midway between victory in Europe and victory in the Pacific.

1947 Packard offers power seats and windows in its automobiles.

>Henry Ford dies.
>The radar gun is used for the first time to catch speeders in Glastonbury, Connecticut

1948 The Tail Fins debut on Cadillacs.
inspired by the flying P-38 
>"Dynaflow" automatic transmission pioneered by Buick.
>Tucker is charged with "fast-sell" tactics. While he is exonerated, it proves the end of his automobile.
>Cadillac & Oldsmobile get V-8's.
>Ford introduces its popular Pick-Up truck.

1949 The first Volkswagen Beetle came to the United States. 
>Chrysler automobiles start with key.
>Dr. Ferry Porsche introduces his creation.

1950 Nash introduced the first compact car. The Rambler has a 100-inch wheelbase and introduces seat belts.

>Total vehicle production in the United States: 8,007,000, or 75.7 percent of the world total of 10,577,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 49,161,691.
>Top speed for new cars was 105 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 15 miles per gallon.
>Ford shows it's idea of what a Continental will look like in the future.

>But, probably the most famous concept car of all was GM's 1950 LeSabre, shown here with Designer Harley Earl at the wheel. Earl used the car as his everyday driver for a while. Many of the styling concepts used on the LeSabre found their way into GM models and the name was used on a Buick car line.

1951 Power steering introduced by Chrysler.
>Kaiser features a padded dashboard, and a pop-out windshield.
>Ferdinand Porsche Sr., dies.
>Sears markets the Allstate in the southeastern United States, although it can be purchased through their catalog.
>The Frazer line of cars is discontinued by Kaiser-Frazer, and the Henry J model of inexpensive small cars is begun.

1952 Packard offers power brakes.

1953 General Motors introduced the Corvette to compete with European sports cars. 
>Difficulty in marketing the Allstate causes Sears to cancel the project early in the year.
Caddy offers its Eldorado Convertible.
(remind you of the LeSabre? This was Harley Earl's design too!)

1954 President Dwight Eisenhower proposed a highway modernization program to be funded by state and federal governments.
>Ford joined the competition with its introduction of the Thunderbird

but hoped that people would be inspired by the "rocket age" with its show car ATMOS.

>The medium-size automotive division of Ford, Edsel, is started.
Packard and Studebaker merge to form the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.
>Clipper separates as a marque from Packard, introducing a line of five medium-priced cars.
>Chrysler shows its FIRST Turbine Car

1955 Michigan pioneered the requirement that motorists learn about safe driving.
>Bucket seats appeared for the first time, in Corvettes and Thunderbirds.
>The first McDonald's drive-in opens.
>Ford shows it's car of the future, MYSTERE.

>Lincoln takes fins to a NEW height with it's concept car LA TOSCA.

>and the forerunner to the BATMOBILE is displayed, the FUTURA.

1956 Chrysler introduces push-button automatics.
>Ford automobiles offer seat belts, but the public is uninterested.
>Packard offers power doors.
>The Continental marque appears separate from Lincoln, producing the Mark II.
>The first Volvos begin appearing in the United States.
>The Federal Highway Defense Act became law, setting up a system of limited access interstate highways. It would contribute to the nation's sub urbanization and urban decay.
>But what could beat the MERCEDES GULLWING!

1957 Tail fins and length captured the imagination of Detroit's designers. One of its most extreme examples became the Cadillac Eldorado, whose 200-inch wheelbase was twice that of the Nash Rambler.

But the 1957 Chrysler that took them to new levels of garishness.
Designed by Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner, they kindled the tailfin craze that reached its gaudy pinnacle with the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.

>Ford introduced the mid-priced Edsel, a car that few people would buy. By the time it ceased production in late 1959, the company had spent $250 million, and the English language had a new synonym for the word "flop."

>But one car is a HUGE success...the CHEVROLET BelAir

An average car sells for $2,749.
>Ford's retractable hardtop debuts.
>Jack Kerouac publishes "On The Road."

1958 The first Toyotas and Datsuns went on sale in the United States.
>Ford came up with more "rocketry" in their concept cars.
DePaolo

X-2000

1959 Chevrolet introduced the Corvair. 
With GM's management techniques, the car became the biggest-selling model in the nation and helped GM surpass Ford as the nation's biggest car maker. But its checkered safety record would also serve as the emblem of a rapacious auto industry, more interested in profits than customer safety. As the centerpiece of Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed," published six years later, the Corvair would become rallying point in the movement for better built cars with more safety features. GM discontinued the model in 1969.
>American Motors introduces head restraint.
 

1960 Total vehicle production in the United States: 7,905,000, or 47.9 percent of the world total of 16,488,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 74.5 million.
>Top speed for new cars was 120 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 15 miles per gallon.
>The Big Three American car companies introduce compact cars to fight Volkswagen.
>Eighty percent of U.S. families have cars.
>Cadillacs offer self-adjusting brakes.
>Mazda begins producing passenger cars with the R360 Coupe.
>TRW pioneers rack-and-pinion steering.
>DeSoto production is ceased over Christmas.
>American Motors discontinues production of the Nash line of automobiles.
>After production of only 3000 Edsels, the Division is discontinued. Ford reportedly suffers a loss of $250 million.
>Checker Motors Corporation begins building passenger cars, using the same design as its taxicabs.

>Ford thinks there is a NEUCLEON in your future.

1961 Chrysler thinks the TURBOFLITE is a good idea for the future.

1962 Wisconsin is the FIRST state to require seat belts.
>Six lanes of the George Washington Bridge lower deck opened to traffic. They would contribute to making the 4,260 foot long crossing the most heavily traveled bridge in the nation, handling 235,000 vehicles each day.
>The Horsepower war is in top gear, and the Plymouth Fury hits 190 m.p.h. - a production car record.
>The Ford Fairlane and the Mercury Meteor are the first "intermediates,"
but thinks FORD SEATTLE is a good name for a concept car...

>The Japanese motorcycle company Honda begins producing automobiles.
>Kia begins production of the K-360, a three-wheel cargo truck.
>Chevrolet introduced its concept car THE MAKO SHARK I which would be the forerunner to future Corvette design.

1963 Honda sold its first cars.
>The first emission controls are mandated.
>Tilt steering becomes optional in General Motors cars.
>Chrysler purchases 40 percent of the shares of the Spanish car company Barreros.
>The first Lamborghini, the 350 GTV is unveiled at the Turin auto show.
>The most famous Chrysler Turbine Car designed by Ghia makes its Debut.

For more on the Chrysler Turbines, Click on the photo.

1964 Ford introduced its Mustang. 100,000 sold in 100 days.

>The Lincoln Continental has "suicide doors" (This is MY fav!!)

>All new American cars have front seat belts standard.
>Cadillacs offer climate control.

1965 Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed" is published about the Corvair. He argued that car companies put profits ahead of safety.
>Front disc brakes are offered on many new cars.
>Tilt/telescoping steering wheel is optional on Cadillacs.
>Production of the defunct Studebaker Avanti begins, under the new company of the Avanti Motor Corporation, and the model name of Avanti II.
>Carroll Shelby begins producing specialty versions of the Ford Mustang.
>Mitsubishi produces the Colt 800, Japan's first fastback.
>Ford tries a Mustang based concept car THE ALLEGRO.

>And Chevy counters with its MAKO SHARK II, the concept which became the 1968 Vette.

1966 Responding to the call for greater safety for car drivers and passengers, President Lyndon Johnson signed the U.S. Motor Vehicle Safety Act into law. It mandated seat belts, energy absorbing steering columns and dashboards, warning flashers, and head restraints on all cars sold in the country.
>Oldsmobile launches the front-wheel drive Toronado.

>Rear seat belts become standard in the United States.
>Variable power steering is available on Cadillacs.
>Persistent financial problems finally forces Studebaker to go out of business.
>Chrysler now owns 76 percent of the French car company Simca, giving it total control.
>The British Motor Corporation merges with Jaguar to form British Motor Holdings.
>Renault signs an agreement with Peugeot to pool their technical resources. They create a cooperative engine factory, with Volvo as a partner.
>To improve sales, the DKW two-stroke engine is ditched, along with the name, and the new version re-introduces the Audi name (dormant since 1940).

1967 The Mercury Cougar, Chevrolet Camaro,
and the
Pontiac Firebird
join Mustang as "ponycars."
>Hyundai Motors Company is established in Korea.
>Ford merges its British and German subsidiaries into Ford-Europe. They begin work on the Fiesta, which was assembled in Britain, German and Spain.
>Leyland purchases Rover in Britain.

1968 Front shoulder harnesses are required in addition to settles, in America.
>The restyled Corvette features flip-up headlights.

>British Motor Holdings and Leyland merge to form British Leyland Motor Corporation.

1969 GM stopped building the Corvair, the vehicle that symbolized everything that was right and wrong in the U.S. automobile industry.
>Honda enters the U.S. Market.
>Front headrests are mandated in the United States.
>The Ford Thunderbird is offered with a primitive anti-lock brake system (ABS)
>The mid-engined sports car, VW Porsche 914, is launched on the world's markets in a marketing cooperative with the Volkswagen factory. It was joined by the Type 914/6 with 911 engine. Porsche captures the World Championship for Makes for the first time.
>With new management at the helm of American Motors, the Rambler name is dropped.
Volkswagen merges Audi with NSU.

1970 Congress passed the Clean Air Act, setting standards for fuel consumption to increase engine efficiency and reduce air pollution. It also mandated installation of engine emission control devices. Engine horsepower dropped to accommodate the machinery.
>Total vehicle production in the United States: 8,284,000, or 28.2 percent of the world total of 29,403,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 111.2 million.
>Top speed for new cars was 125 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 12 miles per gallon.
 >I get my first Corvette (I LOVED this car SOOOOO much.....my parents HATED it SOOOO much).

>Catalytic converters are introduced.
>Imports grab 14.6 percent of U.S. automotive sales.
>Cadillac offers signal-seeking radio.
>A combination of government regulations and increasing insurance rates on his models prompts Shelby to end production of his specialty automobiles.
>Mazda begins exporting automobiles to the United States.
>Mercedes-Benz thinks a C111 is in your future.

1971 Emission controls are on their way up, horsepower is on its way down, and muscle cars are on their way out.
>The Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega are launched.
>General Motors leads the shift to unleaded gas and maintenance-free batteries.

1972 Fiberglass radials go on sale and prove to be very popular.

1973 In response to the U.S. backing of Israel in an Arab-Israeli war, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries began the first oil embargo to the Western industrial world. Gasoline prices soared. Motorists cut back on driving.
>Congress requires seat belt starter interlock system that prevents drivers from starting engine if seat belt is unbuckled. Public outcry forces mandate’s withdrawal.

1974 Congress imposed a 55 mph nationwide speed limit in response to the Oil Crisis.
>I get my 2nd Corvette (weird color huh..CHOCOLATE BROWN)

>General Motors offers the first air bags in its 1974-1976 model year Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs.
>Traffic deaths are reduced by the new 55 m.p.h. speed limit in the United States.
>Emission controls lower fuel economy.
>Peugeot takes over control of Citroën's management.

1975 Chrysler offers $400 rebates on the Superbowl...starts the rebate craze.
>Convertibles go away, except at Cadillac.
>Production of Imperials cease, being brought back into Chrysler under the model name Brougham.

1976 Cadillac builds the last U.S. ragtop, until the 1980s revival.

>Porsche is the first manufacturer to offer standard, hotdip, galvanized bodies. The Porsche 924 with transaxle chassis arrives as the successor to the VW Porsche 914. Porsche is World Champion for Makes again; a first time for the 935 turbo race sports car which dominates until 1981.

1977 Import sales in the United States hit 2 million for the first time.
>General Motors begins downsizing cars.
>Peugeot and Citroën merge to become Peugeot-Citroën, producing 1,343,389 automobiles this year.
>Tennessee adopts first child restraint use law.
>GM also creates the first sophisticated crash dummy.

>I get my 3rd Corvette (think I was obsessed with Vettes?)

 

1978 Volkswagen became the first foreign company in decades to open an assembly plant in the United States. Within months, it suffered its first strike as 2,000 workers staged a two-week walkout at the New Stanton, Pa., factory, an abandoned Chrysler project. The plant, which produced VW Rabbits, closed in 1988.

1979 Lee Iacocca is fired by Ford and took the reins of Chrysler, which faced bankruptcy. He appealed to Congress for a bailout.
>2nd Oil crisis happens.

1980 Total vehicle production in the United States: 8,010,000, or 20.8 percent of the world total of 38,514,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 164.9 million.
>Top speed for new cars was 115 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 14 miles per gallon.
>Candy Lightner's daughter Carrie is killed by a drunk driver and she forms MADD.

>Japanese automakers agree to import restraints.
>Congress acceded to Chrysler, pledging $5 billion provided workers granted wage and benefit concessions.
>Computers now control emissions.
>I get a 280zx which I customize with T-Tops.

>Japan passes US as the top car maker.

1981 Roger Smith is named the General Motors chairman.
>John DeLorean introduces his ill-fated car.

 

1982 Chrysler, Dodge and Buick resurrect ragtops.
>Renault takes over AMC.
>The 911 is offered for the first time as a Cabriolet.
>In June, General Motors launches the Saturn project to develop new designs and advanced manufacturing techniques for small-car production.
>Honda Motors opens a United States manufacturing plant in Marysville, Ohio.
>Declining sales cause Checker to cease production midway through the year.

1983 General Motors and Toyota announced a joint venture to produce Chevrolet Novas in an old GM factory in Fremont, Calif. Production started in September 1986.
>Chrysler builds the Mini-Van..starts a revolution.
>The U.S. Government halves the 5 m.p.h. bumper standard.
>Ford and General Motors fail to reach CAFE mandates.

1984 Tiny spares are now standard.
>Chrysler starts the SUV craze first with it's Jeep Cherokee.

>Federal law requires passive restraints (automatic seat belts or air bags) in 1987 vehicles. Air bags mandated for 1999 cars and 2000 trucks.

1985 Nissan became the third foreign auto maker to assemble cars in the United States. The company began producing light trucks in a new plant it built in Smyrna, Tenn.
>CAFE standard peaks at 27 m.p.g.
>The Saturn company is founded as a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors.

1986 Ford launches the radical designed Taurus/Sable.
>Center-mounted brake lights are mandated.
>Air bags are offered optionally on the Ford Tempo.

1987 Chrysler bought American Motors.
>Cadillac Allante debuts.

>Isuzu trucks begin to appear in the United States.
>TRW develops the first seat belt pretensioners.

1988 Buick debuts the two-seat Reatta.

>The new Continental is Lincoln's first car with a V-6, front-wheel drive.
>Chrysler debuts the Eagle marque from the remains of its AMC purchase.
>TRW introduces the first original-equipment keyless remote entry system.
>General Motors introduces its Geo brand of Suzuki, Isuzu and Toyota models.
>Mazda establishes Mazda Motor of America.
>The average new car costs $14,920.
>The first complete front air bag system with integrated sensor is developed by TRW.
>Honda sold 417,179 domestic and imported Accords in the United States. The model outpaced its nearest rival, Ford Taurus, by almost 104,000 vehicles, and became the top-selling car in the United States.

1990 Total vehicle production in the United States: 9,783,000, or 20.2 percent of the world total of 48,345,000.
>Total vehicle registration: 190.2 million
>Top speed for new cars was 125 mph; gasoline fuel efficiency was 20 miles per gallon.
>Ford buys Jaguar.
>The 375-horsepower Corvette ZR-1 debuts.
>Lexus unveils its first line of automobiles
 

1991 U.S. carmakers produced 8.8 million vehicles, 18.9 percent of the world total of 46.7 million. It was the smallest share in history for domestic manufacturers.
>Saturn's line debuts, the first new U.S. make in 30 years.
>General Motors offers low-cost Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS).
>A new Porsche sports car bears the model designation 968.

1992 Dodge releases the 400-horsepower Viper.
>Restructuring was the watchword in Detroit. GM started closing 25 factories and laying off 75,000 people.

1993 Pickup and sport utility vehicle sales begin to take off again in the United States.

1994 The U.S. auto industry staged a recovery, of sorts. It produced 12,263,000 vehicles, and captured 24.7 percent of the total world production of 49,693,000.
>Nonpolluting air-conditioning coolant is adopted.
>TRW begins production of the first gas-inflated air bag.

1995  The 65 mph speed limit is finally returned to state control. Many states go to 70, some to 75.

>Chevrolet unveils the first three-door pickup.
>General Motors begins to offer daytime running lamps.

1996 General Motors announces plans to market an electric car. Its called the EV1 (but in a move of brilliance.....originally....it was called the IMPACT.....Dumb eh?).

1997 Drivers & Passenger Air Bags are required on all vehicles.
>Volvo first to introduce side air bag.

1998 Daimler-Benz buys Chrysler.  October is the first month EVER where trucks outsell cars.
>The first radio show for and about drivers & driving safety debuts on KRLA, LA TALK1110,. "THE DRIVING SHOW with MR. TRAFFIC."

1999 17 MILLION vehicles are sold in America...a record.
>The City of Brooklyn, Ohio passes a law against the use of Cell Phones while driving.
>Honda introduces the INSIGHT...a hybrid electric/gas vehicle which gets 70 mph.

>and the VW BEETLE is selling like hotcakes.....everyone made is sold!

and SATURN introduces the first 3DOOR car ever!

 

AND FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM...............
2000 Y2K panic causes the automotive industry to spend millions of dollars for nothing.
>Cars are now sold on the Internet and makes car dealers and the business of buying cars totally re-evaluate the way they've been doing business.
>Toyota introduces the PRIUS, a hybrid vehicle.
tturns into
>SUV craze continues with the introduction of even a BMW vehicle, the X5.

2001  General Motors announced the end of OLDSMOBILE division after 2004!!!

2002  When everything old is new again.......Ford introduces the Thunderbird. Look familiar?
becomes 
and the return of the NISSAN Z CAR

2003 at Chevrolet
turns into Chevy SSR
and Ford will introduce air curtains in SUV's to prevent ejection in rollovers (which are 60% of the fatalities in SUV crashes.)

Hows about the Porsche SUV...the Cayenne!!

The Beetle gets its roof torn off...

2004  Caddy brings out the XLR.

The Mustang gets its makeover

or maybe you've heard Celine Dion singing about the new CHRYSLER CROSSFIRE? (or should we call it the MISfire?)


THE FUTURE IS TODAY

the MERCEDES VISION SLR GULLWING

or...

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The Origin of Car Names

 
CarMeaning / OriginLand
AbarthNamed after Carlo AbarthI
A.C.Abbreviation for "Auto Carriers, Ltd."GB
AdlerThe German word for eagleD
ALFA RomeoALFA is an abbreviation for "Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili", Italian for "Lombardian Car Manufacturing Ltd.", while Romeo the name of Nicola Romeo, a businessman who bought ALFA a couple of years after its creationI
Aston MartinNamed after the race "Aston Clinton" in Buckinghamshire in England and after the constructor Lionel MartinGB
AudiNamed after August Horch, whose family name would be "Audi" in LatinD
AustinNamed after Herbert AustinGB
Austro-DaimlerNamed after Gottlieb Daimler; this was his Austrian factoryA
BentleyNamed after W.O. BentleyGB
BenzNamed after Carl BenzD
BMCAbbreviation for "British Motor Corporation"GB
BMWAbbreviation for "Bayrische Motorenwerke", German for "Bavarian Motor Factory"D
BorgwardNamed after Carl BorgwardD
BristolNamed after the town Bristol in EnglandGB
BugattiNamed after Ettore Bugatti. The factory was situated in Alsace-Lorraine, ceded from Germany to France after the First World WarD, F
BuickNamed after David Dunbar BuickUSA
CadillacNamed after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (1656-1750), French explorer in North America, first Mayor of DetroitUSA
ChevroletNamed after Louis ChevroletUSA
ChryslerNamed after Walter ChryslerUSA
CitroenNamed after Andre CitroenF
CordNamed after Errett Lobban CordUSA
DAFAbbreviation for "Van Doorne Aanhangwagen Fabriek", Dutch for "Van Doorne Side Waggon Factory". They were not building cars from the startNL
DaimlerNamed after Gottlieb DaimlerGB
Datsun"DAT" for the constructors K. Den, R. Aoyama och A. Takeuchi, "sun" for "son"; the first car was named DAT, the following cars got the name DatsunJPN
DelahayeNamed after Emile DelahayeF
De LoreanNamed after John Z. De LoreanGB
De SotoNamed after Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer in the 16th centuryUSA
de Dion-BoutonNamed after Count Albert de Dion and Georges BoutonF
DKWAbbreviation of "Dampfkraftwagen", German for "steam motor car". It has also been interpreted as "Das kleine Wunder" ("the little wonder") and "Des Knaben Wunch" ("the boy's wish")D
DodgeNamed after John and Horace DodgeUSA
DuesenbergNamed after Frederick and August DuesenbergUSA
EdselNamed after Edsel FordUSA
EMWAbbreviation for "Eisenacher Motorenwerke", German for "Eisenachian Motor Factory". This was the BMW factory that happened to be in the Soviet Zone (which became East Germany) when Germany was occupied after the Second World War. Due to intellectual property law, it had to change namesDDR
ExcaliburNamed after the sword of the mythological King Arthur of EnglandUSA
FerarriNamed after Enzo FerarriI
FIATAbbreviation for "Fabrica Italiana Automobili Torino", Italian for "Italian Car Factory in Turin"I
FordNamed after Henry FordUSA
FrazerNamed after Joseph W. FrazerUSA
GinettaGinetta is just a nameGB
HondaNamed after Soichiro HondaJPN
HorchNamed after August HorchD
IFAAbbreviation for "Industrievereinigung Volkseigener Fahrzeugwerke", German for "Industry Association of People's Owned Vehicle Factory"; actually DKW cars, but made in those factories which happened to come to the Soviet Zone when Germany was occupied after the Second World War, and therefore was taken over by the communist regimeDDR
JaguarNamed after the animal jaguarGB
JensenNamed after Alan and Richard JensenGB
KaiserNamed after Henry J. KaiserUSA
LamborghiniNamed after Ferrucio LamborghiniI
LanciaNamed after Vincenzo LanciaI
LincolnNamed after Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America 1861-1865USA
LotusNamed after the lotus flowerGB
MaseratiNamed after Alfieri, Bindo and Ettore MaseratiI
MazdaNamed after Jujiro MatsudaJPN
MercedesA name given to the cars manufactured by Gottlieb Daimler by its importer in France, Emil Jellinek..whose daughter was named MercedesD
Mercedes-BenzThe car trademarks Mercedes and Benz put togetherD
MercuryNamed after the planet Mercury and the Winged Greek GodUSA
MesserschmittNamed after Willy MesserschmittD
M.G.Abbreviation for Morris Garages, where  versions of Morris cars where being madeGB
MiniMeans small, mini (originally a model name on a Morris, which latter on rather became a car of its own)GB
MitsubishiJapanese for "three diamonds"JPN
MorganNamed after H.F.S. MorganGB
MorrisNamed after William Richard MorrisGB
MVSAbbreviation for "Manufacture de Voitures de Sport", French for "Manufacturer of Sport Vehicles"F
NSUAbbreviation for "Neckarsulmer" as in "Neckarsulmer Fahrradwerke A.G.", German for "Neckarsulmian Bicycle Ltd."D
OldsmobileNamed after Ransom Eli OldsUSA
OpelNamed after Adam Opel, whose sons started the manufacturing of cars in the company he had foundedD
PackardNamed after James och William PackardUSA
Panhard et LevassorNamed after René Panhard and Emile Levassor. The car was latter on just called PanhardF
PeugeotNamed after Jean-Jaques Peugeot (1699-1741)F
Polski-FIATA Polish car factory built by FIAT in Poland on commission of the Polish governmentPL
PontiacNamed after the town Pontiac in Michigan, USA, which in turn is named after an Indian chief by that nameUSA
PorscheNamed after Ferdinand Porsche, jr.D
RenaultNamed after Louis RenaultF
REOThe initials of Ransom Eli OldsUSA
Rolls-RoyceNamed after Lord Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry RoyceGB
RoverThis name is meant to describe the character of the carGB
SAABAbbreviation for "Svenska Aeroplanaktiebolaget", Swedish for "Swedish Airplane Ltd." The company started as a manufactory of airplanes to the Royal Swedish AirforceS
SachsenringNamed after a race track in Saxony (Sachsen) in GermanyDDR
ScaniaThe Latin name of the province Scania (in Swedish "Skåne") in SwedenS
SIMCAAbbreviation for "Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile", French for "Industrial Association of Automobile Mechanic and Body"F
SkodaNamed after Emile SkodaCS, CZ
StoewerNamed after Emil and Bernhard StoewerD
StudebakerNamed after Henry and Clem StudebakerUSA
StutzNamed after Henry and Clayton StutzUSA
SubaruThe Japanese name for the Pleiades constellationJPN
TalbotNamed after Lord TalbotF
TatraNamed after the mountain Tatra in SlovakiaCS
ThulinNamed after Enoch ThulinS
TidaholmNamed after the town Tidaholm in SwedenS
de TomasoNamed after Alejandro de TomasoI
ToyotaNamed after Sakichi ToyodaJPN
TrabantGerman for "satellite", to honor the Soviet satellite SputnikDDR
TuckerNamed after Preston T. TuckerUSA
TVRAfter the letters in Trevor Wilkinson's first nameGB
VABISAbbreviation for "Vagnfabriksaktiebolaget i Södertälje", Swedish for "Waggon Factory Ltd. in Södertälje"S
ValiantThis name is meant to describe the character of the carUSA
VauxhallNamed after Vauxhall Gardens, EnglandGB
VAZAbbreviation for "Volzjskij Avtomolbilnij Zavod"SU
VolgaNamed after the river Volga in RussiaSU
VolkswagenGerman for "car for the people", a car that everyone should be able to haveD
VolvoMeans "I'm rolling" in LatinS
WandererGerman for "rover", it is meant to describe the character of the carD
WartburgNamed after a castle in Saxony in GermanyDDR
WillysNamed after John North WillysUSA
WolseleyNamed after Frederick York Wolseley (1837-1899)GB
YugoNamed after YugoslaviaYU
ZILAbbreviation for "Zavod Imiena Likhachov". Ivan Likhachov was the constructor of the first cars and director of the companySU
ZISAbbreviation for "Zavod Imiena Stalina", "Stalina" for Josef Stalin. Was latter renamed ZILSU
ZwickauNamed after the town Zwickau in Saxony in GermanyDDR
AtvidabergNamed after Atvidaberg in SwedenS

Wow........that's it.......amazing page eh? I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

 

Kenny Morse
MR. TRAFFIC