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Old 29th December 2008, 16:49   #271
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Default 29th December

December 29, 1800
Charles Goodyear was born on this day. Today he is famous for the invention of vulcanized rubber. In its natural form, rubber is sticky, and gets runny when hot, and stiff when cold. Goodyear discovered accidentally that when rubber is mixed with sulfur and heat-treated, it loses its adhesiveness but keeps its elasticity, even at extreme temperatures. He called the process "vulcanization." The industrial use of rubber is possible only because of vulcanization. Goodyear's process made millions of dollars, but not for him. Widespread infringements on his patents, together with poor luck in business, left him deep in debt at his death in 1860.

December 29, 1908
Otto Zachow and William Besserdich of Clintonville, Wisconsin, received a patent for their four-wheel braking system, the prototype of all modern braking systems. Zachow and Besserdich were also the inventor of the very first successful four-wheel drive (4x4) car, the "Battleship", in 1908. The following year they opened their auto company, Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company.

December 29, 1983
Arnold Schwarzenegger was cited for driving without a license after he drove his Jeep into a ditch with Maria Shriver aboard. No one was hurt.

December 29, 1989
Actor Christian Slater, stopped a second time for drunk driving, wrecked his car, fled from the police on foot, and, when caught, kicked a police officer on this day in 1989.

December 29, 2005
General Motors's stock traded at 20-year low of $18.33.

Charles Goodyear
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1917 FWD truck
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Christian Slater being taken into custody
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Last edited by SirAlec : 29th December 2008 at 16:50.
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Old 29th December 2008, 16:58   #272
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Default 30th December

December 30, 1905
French driver Victor Hemery, driving a gasoline-powered Darracq automobile, set a new land-speed record in Arles-Salon, France. He reached a speed of 109.589mph. Hemery's record stood until 1906, when American Fred Marriot set a record of 121.573 in a steam-powered Stanley.

December 30, 1936
Strikes closed seven General Motors factories in Flint, Michigan. The giant automaker employed upwards of 200,000 men, and more than one in six of them stopped working during the strike. The United Automobile Workers of America, a labor union, was quarrelling with GM over the right to bargain collectively with manufacturers. The work stoppage was so large that it threatened to force layoffs in the steel, glass, and battery-manufacturing industries, due to reduced demand.

December 30, 1940
California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.


Victor Hemery
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Old 30th December 2008, 20:52   #273
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Default 31st December

December 31, 1909
A graceful 1,470-foot span across the East River opened to traffic on this day. The Manhattan Bridge was the fourth bridge between Manhattan and the boroughs across the river.

December 31, 1936
Sit-down strike at GM's Fisher Body Plant became center stage for all unskilled labor struggles as GM moved to legally block strike, evict workers from its facilities; state government, under direction of Governor Frank Murphy, protected rights of workers to bargain collectively; workers invoked Wagner Act, GM forced to settle, recognized union, signed contract; first victory by unskilled laborers in America's largest industry.

December 31, 1941
America's last automobiles with chrome-plated trim were manufactured on this day. Starting in 1942, chrome plating became illegal. It was part of an effort to conserve resources for the American war effort. The chrome wasn't missed too much. Virtually no automobiles were produced in the U.S. from 1942 through the end of World War II.

December 31, 1955
General Motors announced net income of $1,189,477,082 for the year; first Auto Corporation to earn more than a billion dollars in a fiscal year.

The Manhattan Bridge
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Old 31st December 2008, 23:54   #274
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Default 1st January

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January 1, 1853
First successful U.S. steam fire engine, named Uncle Joe Ross after city councilman who championed it, began service in Cincinnati, OH; invented by Abel Shawk and Alexander Latta took nine months to build at a cost of $10,000.

January 1, 1919
Edsel Ford succeeded his father, Henry Ford, as president of the Ford Motor Company. That same day, the company announced that it would increase its minimum wage to $6.00 per day. Henry Ford made history in 1914 by increasing the minimum wage in his factories to $5.00 per day, far more than his competitors were paying.

January 1, 1937
Safety glass in windshields became mandatory in Great Britain. Unlike ordinary glass, safety glass shatters into thousands of tiny pieces when it breaks, instead of large jagged sheets. In early automobile accidents, ordinary glass windows often turned into large, deadly blades. Broken safety glass is relatively harmless. The most common type of safety glass is a sandwich in which a layer of clear, flexible plastic is bonded between two layers of glass. It was first produced in 1909 by French chemist Edouard Benedictus, who used a sheet of clear celluloid between glass layers. Various plastics were tried over the years. In 1936, a plastic called polyvinyl butyral (PVB) was introduced. It was so safe and effective that it soon became the only plastic used in safety windows. The British government was so impressed by the safety record of PVB windows that it required their use by law.

January 1, 1942
The U.S. Office of Production Management prohibited sales of new cars and trucks to civilians. All automakers dedicated their plants entirely to the war effort. By the end of the month, domestic car manufacture had stopped. Automobile plants were converted wholesale to the manufacture of bombers, jeeps, military trucks, and other gear.

January 1, 1952
Colin Chapman founded Lotus Engineering Company in Norfolk, England; first production car - Lotus, the Mark VI.

January 1, 1961
McNamara resigned from Ford to become secretary of defense for the new administration of President John F. Kennedy.

Edsel Ford
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Colin Chapman
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Lotus Mark VI
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Old 1st January 2009, 23:27   #275
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Default 2nd January

January 2, 1969
Robert W. Gordon an American racing driver, was born in Bellflower, California. He competed in three Dakar rally, scoring over 8th in 2007 driving Hummer H3.

January 2, 1994
The Chrysler Corporation introduced the Neon compact car on this day. The Neon, a sporty plastic-bodied economy car, quickly became a popular car, particularly among young drivers.

Robert W. Gordon
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Robert Gordon's Monster Energy Hummer H3
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Chrysler Neon
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Old 3rd January 2009, 00:42   #276
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Default 3rd January

January 3, 1899
An editorial in the The New York Times made a reference to an "automobile" on this day. It was the first known use of the word.

January 3, 1921
The Studebaker Corporation announced that it would no longer build farm wagons. Studebaker began in 1852 as a horse-drawn wagon shop. Over the following years, the company became the world's single biggest manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages and carts. In 1897, Studebaker began experimenting with the newfangled "horseless carriage." By 1902, the company had produced several electric automobiles; and by 1904, gasoline-powered motorcars were rolling out of Studebaker factories. Throughout the early twentieth century, Studebaker remained one of the biggest names in the automobile business. In 1954, Studebaker merged with the Packard Motor Car Company. Production of Studebaker automobiles ended in 1963 in the U.S., and in 1966 in Canada.

January 3, 1926
General Motors introduced the Pontiac brand name on this day. The new Pontiac line was the descendant of the Oakland Motor Car Company, acquired by General Motors in 1909.

First Pontiac, a 1926 Coupe with leatherette top, Serial#1
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Old 3rd January 2009, 18:18   #277
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Default 4th January

January 4, 1921
International Motor Company registered MACK trademark first used October 13, 1911 for trucks.

January 4, 1937
Nash Motors merged with Kelvinator Corporation, manufacturer of high-end refrigerators and kitchen appliances. The new company was named Nash-Kelvinator Corporation with George W. Mason as President.

January 4, 1955
The 1955 Packards were introduced to the public on this day. Corvettes and Thunderbirds were upping the horsepower ante, and Packard struck back with the Packard Caribbean, the first V-8 Packard and the debut of highly stylized cathedral taillights. The era of the mighty tailfin was beginning.

January 4, 1990
The Lincoln Town Car was named Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine. It was the first luxury sedan to win that title in 38 years.

January 4, 1996
General Motors announced that it would release an electric car, the EV-1, in the fall. The EV-1 was sold through GM's Saturn dealerships, and met with modest success. While sales have been quite modest by the standards of internal-combustion cars, the EV-1 is the best-selling electric consumer car of its time.

General Motors EV1
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EV1 Control Panel
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Old 4th January 2009, 19:04   #278
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Default 5th January

January 5, 1904
Ransom Eli Olds retired from Olds Motor Works on this day. Olds had founded the company in 1899 with financial help from Samuel L. Smith, a lumber tycoon. Olds made the most profitable car in the early 1900s, the tiller-steered Oldsmobile Runabout. In 1904, Olds was approached by his head of engineering, Henry Leland, who had designed a lighter, more powerful engine that could improve the Runabout dramatically. Olds refused to use the new engine, to the dismay of his backer, Samuel Smith. Smith forced Ransom Olds out of the company. Olds went on to found the Reo Motor Car Company, and Oldsmobile went on without him. Henry Leland, the clever engineer, took his motor elsewhere: it powered the world's first Cadillac.

January 5, 1914
Henry Ford established a minimum wage of $5.00 per day in his automobile factories. These wages were twice what Ford had paid the year before, and much more than Ford's competitors were paying. The lofty minimum wage was made possible by Henry Ford's manufacturing breakthrough: the constant-motion assembly line, which carried moving cars past lines of workers. The first modern assembly line, Ford's process allowed him to build cars faster and cheaper than anyone else could. The profits rolled in, and Ford's workers shared in the wealth: an ironic beginning for an auto company that would go on to be a notorious enemy of labor in the 1930s and 1940s.

January 5, 1924
Walter Chrylser, a General Motors executive who had pioneered the introduction of all-steel bodies in automobiles (instead of wood), introduced his first motorcar. After his departure from GM in 1920, Chrysler had breathed new life into the failing Maxwell Motor Company. The first Chrysler-built Maxwell was put on display in New York City's Commodore Hotel, where it drew admiring crowds. In 1925, the Maxwell Motor Company was renamed the Chrysler Corporation.

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Old 5th January 2009, 22:31   #279
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Default 6th January

January 6, 1917
At the New York Automobile Show, Studebaker unveiled a Studebaker touring sedan that had been almost entirely gold-plated. The gold car became legendary.

January 6, 1973
A Mercedes-Benz 770K sedan, supposedly Adolf Hitler's parade car, was sold at auction for $153,000.00, the most money ever paid for a car at auction at that time.

January 6, 1980
Jimmy Carter signed a bill authorizing $1.2 billion in federal loans to save the failing Chrysler Corporation. It was the largest federal bailout in history until recently. The "Big Three" American car makers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) had suffered through the 1970s, as Japanese competitors led by Honda and Toyota outperformed them in quality and price. Chrysler, which lacked the vast cash reserves of GM and Ford, was brought to the brink of bankruptcy by 1980. The federal bailout, which required Chrysler to find billions in private financing in order to receive the federal money, brought Chrysler back from the brink. Lee Iacocca, the charismatic executive largely responsible for Ford's successful Mustang, joined Chrysler in late 1979, and engineered the company's return to profitability during the 1980s. A similar scenario occured recently due to recent economic crisis.

Hitler's Mercedes
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Old 6th January 2009, 18:54   #280
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Default 7th January

January 7, 1985
GM launched the Saturn Corporation as a wholly owned but independent subsidiary. The Saturn, a sporty and affordable plastic-bodied two-door, has since met with considerable success. A new mid-sized Saturn sedan and a station wagon was released in 1999.

January 7, 1989
The Dodge Viper was introduced at the North American International Automobile Show. The Viper, a modernized tribute to the classic Shelby Cobra, won such rave reviews that the company delivered a production version in 1992, just three years later.


Saturn Corp. logo
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Dodge Viper
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:10   #281
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Default 8th January

January 8, 1916
Rembrandt Bugatti, brother of race-car maker Ettore Bugatti, committed suicide on this day. The Bugatti brothers were a talented crew: Carlo Bugatti was a noted furniture designer. Ettore, a self-taught engineer, produced some of the world's most striking early race cars. Rembrandt Bugatti was a sculptor noted for his depictions of wild animals.

January 8, 1927
The Little Marmon, later known as the Marmon Eight, was introduced in New York City.

Rembrandt Bugatti, with one of his creation.
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The grill of the Bugatti Royale boasted a bronze sculpture designed by Rembrandt
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Marmon Eight driven by Joe Dawson in Indy 500
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:21   #282
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Default 9th January

January 9, 1911
In 1895, George Selden was awarded the first American patent for an internal-combustion automobile, although Selden hadn't yet produced a working model. Other inventors, such as Ransom Olds and the Duryea brothers, were already driving their home-built automobiles through the streets. Beginning in 1903, however, the Selden patent began to make itself felt. The Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (A.L.A.M.) was organized to gather royalties on the Selden patent from all auto makers. Soon, every major automobile manufacturer was paying royalties to the A.L.A.M. and George Selden, except for one major standout, a young inventor named Henry Ford. Ford refused to pay royalties. The A.L.A.M launched a series of lawsuits against Ford. On this day in 1911, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Ford Motor Company was not infringing on the Selden patent. It was the beginning of the end for the A.L.A.M. and Selden's royalties.

January 9, 1958
The Toyota and Datsun (later Nissan) brand names made their first appearances in the United States at the Imported Motor Car Show in Los Angeles, California. Previously, these auto makers had sold in the U.S. only under American-brand names, as part of joint ventures with Ford and GM.

January 9, 1967
Construction of the Volga Automobile Works began in Togliatti in the Soviet Union. By April of 1970, Zhiguli automobiles (later known as "Lada" autos) were rolling off the assembly lines. In association with Fiat, the Volga works became (and remains) the largest producer of small European automobiles.

GAZ 21 Volga, one of vwery first model by Volga.
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:30   #283
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Default 10th January

January 10, 1901
Texans strike oil

In the town of Beaumont, Texas, a 100-foot drilling derrick named Spindletop produced a roaring gusher of black crude oil. The oil strike took place at 10:30 a.m. on this day in 1901, coating the landscape for hundreds of feet around in sticky oil. The first major oil discovery in the United States, the Spindletop gusher marked the beginning of the American oil industry. Soon the prices of petroleum-based fuels fell, and gasoline became an increasingly practical power source. Without Spindletop, internal combustion might never have replaced steam and battery power as the automobile power plant of choice, and the American automobile industry might not have changed the face of America with such staggering speed.

January 10, 1942
The Ford Motor Company signed on to make Jeeps, the new general-purpose military vehicles desperately needed by American forces in World War II. The original Jeep design was submitted by the American Bantam Car Company. The Willys-Overland company won the Jeep contract, however, using a design similar to Bantam's, but with certain improvements. The Jeep was in high demand during wartime, and Ford soon stepped in to lend its huge production capacity to the effort. By the end of the war, the Jeep had won a place in the hearts of Americans, and soon became a popular civilian vehicle. And that catchy name? Some say it comes from the initials G.P., for "General Purpose." Others say it was named for Jeep the moondog, the spunky and durable creature who accompanied Popeye through the comics pages.

January 10, 1979
The last convertible Volkswagen Beetle was produced on this day. The VW "Bug" was a popular car throughout the 1970s, leading to innovations such as sun roofs and convertible tops, in an otherwise unchanging design.

January 10, 1996
As of this date, Albert Klein of Pasadena, California, held the world's record for automobile mileage: his 1963 VW Beetle had accumulated 1,592,503 miles, and was still running.

1942 Ford GPW
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49' Convertible Beetle
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Old 10th January 2009, 16:05   #284
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Default 11th January

January 11, 1913
The world's first closed production car was introduced: Hudson Motor Car Company's Model 54 sedan. Earlier automobiles had open cabs, or at most convertible roofs.

January 11, 1937
Twelve days into a general sit-down strike at the General Motors (GM) factory in Flint, Michigan, General Motors security forces and the Flint Police Department moved in to evict the strikers. A pitched battle broke out at Fisher body plant #2, as strikers held off police and GM security with fire hoses and jury-rigged slingshots, and the police responded with bullets and tear gas. The many picketers outside the plant assisted the strikers however they could, breaking windows to ventilate the factory when police filled it with tear gas, and creating barricades with their own vehicles to prevent police from driving past the plant's open doors. Finally, Governor Frank Murphy ordered the National Guard in to stem the violence. The sit-down strike lasted 44 days, and ended in GM's surrender to the demands of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). GM was the first of the "Big Three" auto makers to make a deal with the UAW. The era of repressive labor practices in the auto industry was ending.

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Old 10th January 2009, 16:07   #285
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Default 12th January

January 12, 1900
The Detroit Automobile Company finished its first commercial vehicle, a delivery wagon. The wagon was designed by a young engineer named Henry Ford, who had produced his own first motorcar, the quadricycle, before joining the company. Ford soon quit the Detroit Automobile Company, frustrated with his employers, to start his own company.

January 12, 1904
Racing driver Barney Oldfield set a new speed record in a stripped-down Ford automobile. Driving across the frozen surface of Lake St. Clair, he reached a top speed of 91.37mph. Not bad, considering that the automobile was only invented a few years earlier. Oldenfield chose the frozen lake because it was wide and flat, and there was nothing to crash into. Luckily, the ice didn't break.

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