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Old 31st October 2008, 02:31   #211
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Default 31st October

October 31, 1951
Zebra crossing (broad white and black stripes across the road for visual impact vs. metal studs in the road) introduced in Slough, Berkshire, England to reduce casualties at pedestrian road crossings.

October 31, 1957
On this day, two months after a three-man Toyota team flew to Los Angeles to survey the U.S. market, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. was founded in California with Shotaro Kamiya as the first president. Toyota's first American headquarters were located in an auto dealership in downtown Hollywood, California, and by the end of 1958, 287 Toyopet Crowns and one Land Cruiser had been sold. Over the next decade, Toyota quietly made progress into the Big Three-dominated U.S. car market, offering affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles like the Toyota Corolla as an alternative to the grand gas-guzzlers being produced in Detroit at the time. But the real watershed for Toyota and other Japanese automakers came during the 1970s, when, after enjoying three decades of domination, American automakers had lost their edge.
On top of the severe quality issues that plagued domestic automobiles during the early 1970s, the Arab oil embargoes of 1973 and 1979 created a public demand for fuel-efficient vehicles that the Big Three were unprepared to meet. The public turned to imports in droves, and suddenly Japan's modest but sturdy little compacts began popping up on highways all across America. The Big Three rushed to produce their own fuel-efficient compacts, but shoddily constructed models like the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto could not compete with the overall quality of the Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics. Domestic automakers eventually bounced back during the 1980s, but Japanese automakers retained a large portion of the market. In 1997, the Toyota Camry became the best-selling car in America, surpassing even Honda's popular Accord model.

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Old 1st November 2008, 22:46   #212
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Default 1st November

November 1, 1895
The first automobile club in the United States, the American Motor League, held its preliminary meeting in Chicago, Illinois, with 60 members on this day. Dr. J. Allen Hornsby was named president of the new organization, and Charles Edgar Duryea, the car manufacturer, and Hiram P. Maxim, car designer and inventor, were named vice presidents. Charles King, who constructed one of the first four-cylinder automobiles in the following year, was named treasurer.

November 1, 1927
Ford Model A production begins. For the first time since the Model T was introduced in 1908, the Ford Motor Company began production on a significantly redesigned automobile on this day--the Model A. The hugely successful Model T revolutionized the automobile industry, and over 15,000,000 copies of the "Tin Lizzie" were sold in its 19 years of production. By 1927, the popularity of the outdated Model T was rapidly waning. Improved, but basically unchanged for its two-decade reign, it was losing ground to the more stylish and powerful motor cars offered by Ford's competitors. In May of 1927, Ford plants across the country closed, and the company began an intensive development of the more refined and modern Model A. The vastly improved Model A had elegant Lincoln-like styling on a smaller scale, and used a capable 200.5 cubic-inch four-cylinder engine that produced 40hp. With prices starting at $460, nearly 5,000,000 Model As, in several body styles and a variety of colors, rolled onto to America's highways before production ended in early 1932.

Ford Model A
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Old 1st November 2008, 22:54   #213
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Default 2nd November

November 2, 1895
First gasoline-powered contest in America was organised
In early 1895, Chicago Times-Herald Publisher Herman H. Kohlstaat announced that his newspaper would sponsor a race between horseless carriages. It would be the first race in America to feature gasoline-powered automobiles. Kohlstaat, who was offering $5,000 in prizes, including a first-place prize of $2,000, received telegrams from European racing enthusiasts and from automobile tinkerers across America. After delaying the event for several months at the request of entrants who were still working on their racing prototypes, Kohlstaat finally settled on an official race date--November 2. When the day arrived, 80 automobiles had been entered, but only two showed up: a Benz car brought over from Germany by Oscar Bernhard Mueller, and an automobile built by Charles and Frank Duryea of Springfield, Massachusetts. The disappointed Kohlstaat agreed to delay the official race yet again until Thanksgiving, but approved an exhibition contest to be run on this day between the Duryea brothers and Mueller. Enthusiastic spectators gathered along the 90-mile course from Jackson Park in Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois, and back again, and the Duryea car, driven by Frank, took an early lead over Mueller's motor wagon. However, less than halfway through the race, a team of horses pulling a wagon, frightened by the racket from Frank's noisy car, bolted into the middle of the road and the Duryea automobile was forced off the road and into a ditch. The undriveable car was taken back to Springfield by railroad, and the brothers began hasty repair work for the official race on November 28. Mueller was declared the winner of the exhibition by default, but on Thanksgiving Day he would have to face the Duryeas again, in an event that would be known as the Great Chicago Race of 1895.

November 2, 1978
Chrysler hired Lee Iacocca as President.

November 2, 1989
On this day, Carmen Fasanella, a taxicab driver from Princeton, New Jersey, retired after 68 years and 243 days of service. Fasanella, who was continuously licensed as a taxicab owner and driver in the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey, since February 1, 1921, is the most enduring taxi driver on record.

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Old 2nd November 2008, 21:41   #214
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Default 3rd November

November 3, 1897
Ransom E. Olds received his first patent for a "Motor Carriage" ("in which the motive power is produced by a gasolene-motor to produce a road vehicle which will meet most of the requirements for the ordinary uses on the road, without complicated gear or requiring engine of great power and to avoid all unnecessary weight").

November 3, 1900
On this day, the first significant car show in the United States began in New York City. The week-long event, held in Madison Square Garden, was organized by the Automobile Club of America. Fifty-one exhibitors displayed 31 automobiles along with various accessories. Among the fathers of the automobile present at the "Horseless Carriage Show" was automaker James Ward Packard, who had completed his first car the year before, and brought three of his Packards to exhibit to the public. In addition to Packard, the show introduced a number of other fledgling automobile companies that became significant industry players in the coming decades, although none of the makes present would still be in business by 1980. The event also featured automotive demonstrations, such as braking and starting contests, and a specially built ramp to measure the hill-climbing ability of the various automobiles. Spectators paid 50˘ each to attend the event.

November 3, 1995
On this day, a team of British soldiers from the 21st Engineer Regiment broke all speed records in the construction of a bridge capable of transporting military vehicles. The British soldiers, based in Nienberg, Germany, built the bridge across a 26-foot, three-inch gap located in Hameln, Germany. Their five-bay single-story medium-girder bridge was completed in eight minutes and 44 seconds.

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Old 3rd November 2008, 22:25   #215
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Default 4th November

November 4, 1939
On this day, the 40th National Automobile Show opened in Chicago, Illinois, with a cutting-edge development in automotive comfort on display: air-conditioning. A Packard prototype featured the expensive device, allowing the vehicle's occupants to travel in the comfort of a controlled environment even on the most hot and humid summer day. After the driver chose a desired temperature, the Packard air-conditioning system would cool or heat the air in the car to the designated level, and then dehumidify, filter, and circulate the cooled air to create a comfortable environment. The main air-conditioning unit was located behind the rear seat of the Packard, where a special air duct accommodated two compartments, one for the refrigerating coils and one for the heating coils. The capacity of the air-conditioning unit was equivalent to 1.5 tons of ice in 24 hours when the car was driven at highway driving speeds. The innovation received widespread acclaim at the auto show, but the expensive accessory would not be within the reach of the average American for several decades. However, when automobile air-conditioning finally became affordable, it rapidly became a luxury that U.S. car owners could not live without.

November 4, 1965
Lee Ann Roberts Breedlove, wife of land speed record-holder Craig Breedlove, became the first female driver to exceed 300 mph when she sped to 308.50 mph in the Spirit of America - Sonic 1 vehicle over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The Sonic 1 was a four-wheel vehicle powered by a J79 jet engine. A few hours after Lee Ann jet-powered across the one-mile course, Craig Breedlove shattered his own record from the previous year when he reached 555.49 mph in the Spirit of America.

The first airconditioned car, Packard (Courtesy Flickr user Mr. Dok1)
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The Air conditioner mechanism
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The Vents
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Spirit of America on exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
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Mrs. Lee Breedlove's Plaque
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Old 5th November 2008, 19:15   #216
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Default 5th November

November 5, 1895
On this day, inventor George B. Selden received a patent for his gasoline-powered automobile, first conceived of when he was an infantryman in the American Civil War. After 16 years of delay, United States Patent No. 549,160 was finally issued to Selden for a machine he originally termed a "road-locomotive" and later would call a "road engine." His design resembled a horse-drawn carriage, with high wheels and a buckboard, and was described by Selden as "light in weight, easy to control and possessed of sufficient power to overcome any ordinary incline." With the granting of the patent, Selden, whose unpractical automotive designs were generally far behind other innovators in the field, nevertheless won a monopoly on the concept of combining an internal combustion engine with a carriage. Although Selden never became an auto manufacturer himself, every other automaker would have to pay Selden and his licensing company a significant percentage of their profits for the right to construct a motor car, even though their automobiles rarely resembled Selden's designs in anything but abstract concept. In 1903, the newly created Ford Motor Company, which refused to pay royalties to Selden's licensing company, was sued for infringement on the patent. Thus began one of the most celebrated litigation cases in the history of the automotive industry, ending in 1909 when a New York court upheld the validity of Selden's patent. Henry Ford and his increasingly powerful company appealed the decision, and in 1911, the New York Court of Appeals again ruled in favor of Selden's patent, but with a twist: the patent was held to be restricted to the particular outdated construction it described. In 1911, every important automaker used a motor significantly different from that described in Selden's patent, and major manufacturers like the Ford Motor Company never paid Selden another dime.

November 5, 1960
Country and rockabilly artist Johnny Horton was killed instantly in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on Highway 79 at Milano, Texas while he was returning home from a performance at the Skyline Club in Austin.

George B. Selden
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Selden's Road Engine
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Old 5th November 2008, 19:24   #217
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Default 6th November

November 6, 1899
James Ward Packard, an electrical-wire manufacturer from Warren, Ohio, first demonstrated his interest in automobiles when he hired Edward P. Cowles and Henry A. Schryver to work on plans for a possible Packard automobile in 1896. Although a functional engine was completed in 1897, it would take another two years, and James Packard's purchase of a Winton horseless carriage, before his company fully flung itself into the burgeoning automobile industry. In 1898, James Packard purchased an automobile constructed by fellow Ohio manufacturer Alexander Winston, and Packard, a first-time car owner, experienced problems with his purchase from the start. Finally, in June of 1899, after nearly a year of repairing and improving the Winston automobile on his own, Packard decided to launch the Packard Motor Company. On this day, only three months after work on his first automobile began, the first Packard was completed and test-driven through the streets of Warren, Ohio. The Model A featured a one-cylinder engine capable of producing 12hp. Built around the engine was a single-seat buggy with wire wheels, a steering tiller, an automatic spark advance, and a chain drive. Within only two months, the Packard Company sold its fifth Model A prototype to Warren resident George Kirkham for $1,250. By the 1920s, Packard was a major producer of luxury automobiles, and this prosperity would continue well into the late 1950s.

November 6, 1986
On this day, the destitute Alfa Romeo company approved its acquisition by fellow Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat, shortly after rejecting a takeover bid by the Ford Motor Company. Alfa Romeo was founded by Nicola Romeo in 1908, and during the 1920s and 1930s produced elegant luxury racing cars like the RL, the 6C 1500, and the 8C 2900 B. Alfa Romeo saw its peak business years during the 1950s and 1960s, when Alfa Romeo chairman Giuseppe Luraghi oversaw a company shift toward more functional and affordable cars. The Giuletta, the Spider, and the Giulia series received enthusiastic responses from consumers, and Alfa Romeo flourished. However, during the 1970s, the company fell out of touch with a changing market, and, like many other automobile companies, failed to meet the demands of recession-era consumers who preferred fuel efficiency and reliability to luxury and design. By the mid-1980s, Alfa Romeo was bankrupt, and Fiat took over the company, assigning it to a new unit called Alfa Lancia Spa, which opened for business in 1997.

The first Packard, now owned by Lehigh University, Packard’s alma mater
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Old 6th November 2008, 23:03   #218
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Default 7th November

November 7, 1957
Before World War II, Audi-founder August Horch cranked out his innovative Audis in the Zwickau Automobile Factory in the eastern German state of Sachsen. It was here that Audi manufactured the first automobiles with four-wheel hydraulic brakes and front wheel drive, decades before these innovations became standard throughout the automobile industry. After World War II, Germany was separated into Eastern and Western occupation zones, and Audi, like most other significant German corporations, fled to the capitalist West. Among the deserted factories the Soviet occupiers faced in postwar East Germany was the former Horch-Audi works in Zwickau. Under the authority of the Soviet administrators, and later under the East German Communist government, the Zwickau factory went back into service in the late 1940s, producing simple, pre-war German automobiles like the Das Klein Wonder F8, and the P70, a compact car with a Duroplast plastic body. In 1957, the East German government approved the updated P50 model to enter the market under a new company name--Trabant. On this day, the first Trabant, which translates to servant in English, was produced at the former Horch auto works in Zwickau. For the Trabant's first marque, the designers settled on "Sputnik," to commemorate the Soviet Union's launching of the first artificial Earth satellite the month before. The Trabant Sputnik was the first in the P50 series, featuring a tiny engine for its time--a two-cylinder 500 cc engine capable of reaching only 18bhp. In design, the Trabant Sputnik was the archetypal eastern European car: small, boxy, and fragile in appearance. Yet, despite the lack of style or power found in the Sputnik and its descendants, these automobiles were affordable, and provided the citizens of East Germany and other Soviet bloc countries with a capable means of getting from here to there.

November 7, 1965
In 1964, Art Arfons, a drag racer from Ohio, built a land-speed racer in his backyard using a military surplus J79 jet aircraft engine with an afterburner. Arfons christened the vehicle Green Monster, and in September took the racer to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to join in the race to set a new land- speed record. On October 5, the Green Monster jet powered to 434.022--a new land-speed record. However, Arfons' record would only stand for six days, for on October 13, Craig Breedlove set his second land-speed record when he reached 468.719 in his jet-powered Spirit of America. In 1965, Arfons returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in a revamped Green Monster, and on this day shattered Breedlove's record from the previous year, when he raced to 576.553mph across the one-mile course.

Trabant P50
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Art Arfons and his Green Monster
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Old 7th November 2008, 21:54   #219
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Default 8th November

November 8, 1866
Herbert Austin, the founder of the Austin Motor Company, was born the son of a farmer in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, on this day. At the age of 22, Austin moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he served as an apprentice engineer at a foundry, before becoming the manager of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company. Long journeys into the wide-open spaces of Australia gave him insight into the benefits of gasoline-driven vehicles, and Austin decided to try his luck in the burgeoning automobile industry. In 1893, Austin returned to England with the Wolseley Company and began work on his first automobile. Like his American counterpart, Henry Ford, Austin hoped to produce an affordable motor car for the masses, and by 1895 the Wolseley Company completed its first vehicle, a three-wheeled automobile, followed by the first four-wheeled Wolseley vehicle in 1900. In 1905, Herbert Austin founded the Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England, and by 1914, the company was producing over 1,000 automobiles a year. During World War II, Austin and his factories joined in the British war effort, a service for which he was knighted in 1917. In 1922, with the introduction of the Austin 7 Tourer, Sir Herbert Austin finally fulfilled his ambition to produce a mass-produced automobile. The diminutive vehicle, boasting four-wheel brakes and a maximum speed of 50mph, was an instant success in England. In 1930, the Austin 7 was introduced to America, and enjoyed five years of modest U.S. sales before falling prey to the hard times of the Depression in 1935.

November 8, 1895
Diamler returned to his own company as chief engineer. He received shares worth 30,000 marks that he was entitled to through 1882 contract with Daimler. In mid 1893 - Daimler was forced to sell his stake in company, rights to his inventions for 66,666 marks to avoid bankruptcy. In 1895 - group of British industrialists, fronted by Frederick R. Simms, looked to acquire license rights to Maybach-designed Phoenix engine for Britain for 350,000 marks only if Daimler and Maybach returned to company. Daimler returned as expert advisor, general inspector. His stake in company returned (worth 200,000 marks) additional 100,000 mark bonus was also paid.

November 8, 1918
McLaughlin Carriage and Motor Company Limited and Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada Limited merged and formed General Motors of Canada Limited. R.S. "Sam" McLaughlin) became president but GM already owned 49% of company.

November 8, 1956
On this day, the Ford Motor Company decided on the name "Edsel" for a new model in development for the 1958 market year. The new addition to the Ford family of automobiles would be a tribute to Edsel Bryant Ford, who served as company president from 1919 until his death in 1943. Edsel Ford was also the oldest son of founder Henry Ford and father to current company President Henry Ford II. The designer of the Edsel, Roy Brown, was instructed to create an automobile that was highly recognizable, and from every angle different than anything else on the road. In the fall of 1957, with great fanfare, the 1958 Edsel was introduced to the public. With its horse collar grill in the front and its regressed side-panels in the rear, the Edsel indeed looked like nothing else on the road. However, despite its appearance, the Ford Edsel was a high-tech affair, featuring state-of-the-art innovations such as the "Tele-Touch" push-button automatic transmission. Nevertheless, buyer appeal was low, and the Ford Edsel earned just a 1.5 percent share of the market in 1958. After two more years, the Edsel marque was abandoned, and its name would forever be synonymous with business failure.

November 8, 1992
On this day, daredevil Jacky Vranken of Belgium set a record for the highest speed ever attained on the rear wheel of a motorcycle. At St. Truiden Military Airfield in Belgium, Vranken reached 157.87 while performing an extended "wheelie" with his Suzuki GSXR 1100 motorcycle. The year before, Yasuyuki Kudo of Japan had set the record for the longest wheelie when he covered 205.7 miles nonstop on the rear wheel of his Honda TLM 220 R motorcycle at the Japan Automobile Research Institute in Tsukuba, Japan.

Sir Hebert Austin
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Wolseley with Sir Hebert Austin at the wheel.
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Old 8th November 2008, 23:03   #220
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Default 9th November

November 9, 1960
Robert McNamara was hired as Ford president. In 1946, Henry Ford II, the president of the Ford Motor Company, hired 10 young former intelligence officers from the Air Force, a group that the press soon dubbed the "Whiz Kids." Part of the genius of Henry Ford II, who was second only to his grandfather in business acumen, was his ability to find the most talented people in the industry and bring them into key positions in his rapidly growing postwar corporation. Robert McNamara, one of the Air Force "Whiz Kids," was one such individual. In addition to his other talents, McNamara was a financial disciplinarian who brought quantitative analysis and the science of modern management to the Ford Motor Company. Under the guidance of Henry Ford II and employees like Robert McNamara, Ford flourished during the 1950s, yielding such success stories as the Ford Thunderbird in 1954. On this day, Robert S. McNamara was named president of Ford, as Henry Ford II stepped down from the presidency and became chief executive officer. However, McNamara would remain at the reigns of Ford for less than two months--on January 1, 1961, McNamara resigned from Ford to become secretary of defense for the new administration of President John F. Kennedy.

November 9, 1989
East German citizens were allowed to buy western cars.

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Old 9th November 2008, 20:55   #221
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Default 110th November

November 10, 1885
Paul Daimler, son of German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, became first motorcyclist when he rode his father's new invention for six miles; frame and wheels made of wood; leather belt transferred power from engine to large brass gears mounted to rear wheel; no suspension (front or rear); single cylinder engine had bore of 58mm, stroke of 100mm giving a displacement of 264cc's, gave 0.5hp at 700 rpm, top speed was 12 km/h.

November 10, 1965
On this day, Formula One racer Eddie Irvine was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. In 1996, Irvine won a coveted place on the Ferrari team, racing alongside the likes of World Champion Michael Schumacher, but Irvine is also famous as one of the last of Formula One's most endangered species--the playboy racing driver. The popular bachelor, who maintains an impressive neutrality in regard to his British or Irish nationality, has not won a grand prix as of 1998, yet enjoyed seven career-podium finishes and reached a Formula One ranking of fourth in the world in 1998. Irvine got his start in racing at the young age of 17, competing in his father's Crossle FF 1600 Chassis, and by 1988 had worked his way up to British Formula Three series. 1990 saw him driving for the Jordan F3000 team, and he won his first race at Hockinheim that year, finishing third overall in the series. In the fall of 1993, Irvine made his Formula One debut driving for Sasol Jordan, and at the Suzuki racetrack in Japan he placed sixth, becoming the first driver since Jean Alesi to score points on a Formula One debut. In his first few years of Formula One racing, Irvine, a notoriously fearless and reckless driver, earned the nickname "Irv the Swerve." However, he also demonstrated enough driving potential to be offered the number-two position on the championship Ferrari team in 1996.

Pual Diamler's motorcycle
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Eddie Irvine
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Old 10th November 2008, 19:41   #222
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Default 11th November

November 11, 1926
Official numerical designation 66 (Will Rogers Highway) assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles Route (2,448 miles). It is one of nation's principal east-west arteries; diagonal course linked hundreds of predominately rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas to Chicago; enabled farmers to transport grain, produce for redistribution; diagonal configuration of Route 66 particularly significant to trucking industry (rivaled railroad for preeminence in American shipping) traversed essentially flat prairie lands, enjoyed more temperate climate than northern highways.

November 11, 1949
Rex Mays, a 1993 inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, earned his place among the all-time greats of motor racing as much for his willingness to put the welfare of others before his own as for his actual racing ability. Mays got his start on the West Coast midget racing circuit in the 1930s, winning numerous races before entering national competition where he added sprint and champ-car racing to his repertoire. In 1934, he entered the racing big leagues when he placed ninth in his first Indianapolis 500. Mays never managed to win the esteemed event, but he placed second in 1940 and 1941, the same two years that he won the national titles for champ-car racing. In 1941, Mays gave up the fame and fortune of motor racing to serve his country as an Air Force pilot during World War II. After the war, Mays returned to racing. Although he was not as winning a racer as before the war, two separate incidents demonstrated the distinction of his character, and guaranteed his venerable place in the racing history books. In June of 1948, while competing in a champ-car race at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin, Mays deliberately crashed into a wall, nearly ending his life, in order to avoid hitting racer Duke Dinsmore, who was thrown from his car a moment before. And in the fall of 1949, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, May prevented a possible fan riot when he silently took to the racetrack alone after other racers refused to compete because of a dispute over prize money. One by one the other racers joined him and violence was prevented. A few months later, on November 11, 1949, Rex Mays was killed during a race held at Del Mar, California, when he was run over by another car after being thrown from his vehicle in a mishap. In addition to his place in the Motorsports Hall of Fame, Rex is honored with a special plaque at the Milwaukee Mile, at the exact spot on the Turn One wall where he nearly gave up his life to save another.

November 11, 1989
In 1935, British car designer William Lyons introduced the SS Jaguar 100 as a new marque for his Swallow Sidecar Company. Swallow Sidecar had been manufacturing complete luxury cars for four years, but the SS Jaguar 100 was Lyons' first true sports car. During World War II, Lyons dropped the Swallow Sidecar name, and the politically incorrect SS initials, and Jaguar Cars Ltd. was formally established. The first significant postwar Jaguar, the XK 120, was introduced in 1948 at the London Motor Show to great acclaim. Capable of speeds in excess of 120mph, the XK 120 was the fastest production car in the world, and is considered by many to be one of the finest sports cars ever made. Over the next three decades, Jaguar became the epitome of speed coupled with elegance, and the company flourished as its racing division racked up countless trophies. On this day in 1989, Jaguar entered a new era when the company became a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company. The integrity of the Jaguar marque was recognized and maintained, and throughout the 1990s the company continued to produce distinguished automobiles such as the Jaguar XK8 and the luxurious Vanden Plas.

Rex Mays
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Old 11th November 2008, 21:00   #223
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Default 12th November

November 12, 1927
The Holland Tunnel between New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey, was officially opened on this day when President Calvin Coolidge telegraphed a signal from the presidential yacht, Mayflower, anchored in the Potomac River. Within an hour, over 20,000 people had walked the 9,250-foot distance between New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River, and the next day the tunnel opened for automobile service. The double-tubed underwater tunnel, the first of its kind in the United States, was built to accommodate nearly 2,000 vehicles per hour. Chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland resolved the problem of ventilation by creating a highly advanced ventilation system that changed the air over 30 times an hour at the rate of over 3,000,000 cubic feet per minute.

November 12, 1946
On this day, the Exchange National Bank of Chicago, Illinois, instituted the first drive-in banking service in America, and anticipated a cultural phenomenon that would sweep across America in the coming decade. In 1946, America's Big Three automobile companies were still engaged in the laborious process of retooling from war production to civilian automobile company. With the influx of returning soldiers, and economic signs pointing to a period of great American prosperity, market demand for automobiles was high. At first, U.S. carmakers responded by offering their old pre-war models, but beginning in 1949, the first completely redesigned postwar cars hit the market, and Americans embraced the automotive industry as never before. By the early 1950s, the U.S. was a nation on wheels. With a seemingly endless reserve of cheap gas available, drive-in culture--featuring everything from drive-in movie theaters to drive-in grocery stores--flourished alongside America's highways and main streets. In 1946, the Exchange National Bank of Chicago anticipated the rise of America's drive-in society by several years, featuring such drive-in banking innovations as tellers' windows protected by heavy bullet-proof glass, and sliding drawers that enabled drivers to conduct their business from the comfort of their vehicle.

November 12, 1998
Daimler-Benz completed merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.

The Holland Tunnel
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Old 12th November 2008, 20:58   #224
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Default 13th November

November 13, 1916
Errett Lobban Cord, the genius behind the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg family of automobiles, first became involved with automobiles as a racing car mechanic and driver. On this day, the 20-year-old Cord won his first motor race in Arizona. Cord, driving a Paige vehicle designed by Harry Jewett, won the 275-mile race from Douglas, Arizona, to Phoenix, Arizona. From his racing beginnings, Cord moved into automobile sales, and in 1924 came to Auburn, Indiana, to save the faltering Auburn Automobile Company. Cord, a brilliant salesman, rapidly pulled the company out of debt by clearing out hundreds of stockpiled Auburn vehicles and excess parts, and was subsequently named the vice president and general manager at Auburn. Under Cord's guidance, the Auburn line was entirely refashioned, and the new Auburns were known as some of the most luxurious and fashionable cars on the road. In 1926, Cord acquired the expert design skills of Fred Duesenberg, and in 1928, the Duesenberg Model J, one of the finest automobiles ever made, was introduced to the public. To make the family complete, the Auburn plant introduced the Cord L-29 in 1929, which was America's first successful front-wheel drive car. The Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles that sold so well in the roaring 1920s also proved surprisingly resilient during the early years of the Depression, but by 1937, America's hard times were too much even for E. L. Cord, and manufacturing ceased as his entire corporation was sold.

November 13, 1940
Willys-Overland completes original Jeep prototype. In 1939, the U.S. Army asked America's automobile manufacturers to submit designs for a simple and versatile military vehicle. It would be two full years before the official U.S. declaration of war, but military officials, who knew this declaration to be inevitable, recognized the need for an innovative troop-transport vehicle for the global battlefields of World War II. The American Bantam Car Company, a small car manufacturer, submitted the first design approved by the army, but the production contract was ultimately given to Willys-Overland, a company that had a larger production capability and offered a lower bid. The Willys Jeep, as it would become known during the war, was similar to the Bantam design, and featured four-wheel drive, an open-air cab, and a rifle rack mounted under the windshield. On this day, the first Willys-Overland Jeep prototype was completed, and submitted to the U.S. Army for approval. One year later, with the U.S. declaration of war, mass production of the Willys-Overland Jeep began. By the war's end in 1945, some 600,000 Jeeps had rolled off the assembly lines and onto the battlefields of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The efficient and sturdy four-wheel drive Jeep became a symbol of the American war effort--no obstacle could stop its advance. Somewhere along the line the vehicle acquired the name "Jeep," likely evolving from the initials G.P. for "general purchase" vehicle, and the nickname stuck. In 1945, Willys-Overland introduced the first civilian Jeep vehicle, the CJ-2A--the forefather of today's sport utility vehicles

Errett Lobban Cord on the cover of Time Magazine, January 18, 1932.
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Willys Prototype
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1941 trials from left to right: Bantam, Willys MA and the Ford GP
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Old 14th November 2008, 00:28   #225
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Default 14th November

November 14, 1899
August Horch founded A. Horch & Cie in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, Germany.

November 14, 1914
On this day, John and Horace Dodge completed their first Dodge vehicle, a car informally known as "Old Betsy." The same day, the Dodge brothers gave "Old Betsy" a quick test drive through the streets of Detroit, Michigan, and the vehicle was shipped to a buyer in Tennessee. John and Horace, who began their business career as bicycle manufacturers in 1897, first entered the automotive industry as auto parts manufacturers in 1901. They built engines for Ransom Olds and Henry Ford among others, and in 1910 the Dodge Brothers Company was the largest parts-manufacturing firm in the United States. In 1914, the intrepid brothers founded the new Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company, and began work on their first complete automobile at their Hamtramck factory. Dodge vehicles became known for their quality and sturdiness, and by 1919, the Dodge brothers were among the richest men in America. In early 1920, just as he was completing work on his 110-room mansion on the Grosse Point waterfront in Michigan, John fell ill from respiratory problems and died. Horace, who also suffered from chronic lung problems, died from pneumonia in December of the same year. The company was later sold to a New York bank, and in 1928, the Chrysler Corporation bought the Dodge name, its factories, and the large network of Dodge car dealers. Under Chrysler's direction Dodge became a successful producer of cars and trucks marketed for their ruggedness, and today Dodge sells a lineup of over a dozen cars and trucks.

November 14, 1945
Tony Hulman purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Edward Rickenbacher for $750,000 on this day. The speedway was in deplorable condition after four years of disuse during World War II, and before Hulman made his offer Rickenbacher was considering tearing the facilities down and selling the land. Hulman installed himself as chairman of the board of the raceway and named Wilbur Shaw as president. The two hastily renovated the racetrack for the return of Indy racing in the next year, but also launched a long-range program of improvements that included replacing all of the old wooden grandstands with structures of steel and concrete. In May of 1946, the American Automobile Association ran its first postwar 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. George Robson, driving a pre-war Adams-Sparks automobile, won the event with an average speed of 114.82mph, and, thanks to the efforts of Tony Hulman and Wilbur Shaw, a great American racing tradition was reborn.

Dodge 15
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