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Old 26th January 2011, 21:41   #391
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January 27, 1965
On this day in 1965, the Shelby GT 350, a version of a Ford Mustang sports car developed by the American auto racer and car designer Carroll Shelby, is launched. The Shelby GT 350, which featured a 306 horsepower V-8 engine, remained in production through the end of the 1960s and today is a valuable collector's item.
Carroll Shelby was born in Texas in 1923 and gained fame in the racing world in the 1950s. Among his accomplishments was a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, making him just the second American ever to win the iconic endurance race. By the early 1960s, Shelby had retired from racing for health reasons and was designing high-performance cars. He became known for his race cars, including the Cobra and the Ford GT40, as well as such muscle cars as the Shelby GT 350. According to The New York Times: "In the 60's, at the apex of the Southern California car efflorescence, his name was synonymous with muscle cars, relatively small vehicles with big, beefy engines. It was an era that many car buffs consider Detroit's golden age, and Mr. Shelby was arguably its prime mover."
The Shelby GT 350 was an iteration of the first Ford Mustang, which was officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, on April 17, 1964. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Named for a World War II fighter plane, the Ford Mustang had a long hood and short rear deck. More than 400,000 Mustangs sold within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations. Over the ensuing decades, the Mustang has undergone numerous evolutions and remains in production today, with more than 9 million sold.
In addition to collaborating with Ford, Shelby partnered with other automakers, including Chrysler, for whom he designed the Dodge Viper sports car, which launched in 1992.
The Times in 2003 quoted comedian Jay Leno, an avid car collector who has owned several Shelby cars, as saying: "Carroll is sort of like the car world's Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays... Unlike so many racers, he didn't come from a rich family, so he signifies that everyman, common-sense ideal. When I was kid, American cars were big, clunky things, until Carroll used his ingenuity to make them compete with European cars. He was a populist, the kind of guy that other car buffs could emulate."

Carol Shelby during his racing days.
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Carol Shelby in 2007
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Shelby beside his 1957 Maserati 450S at Virginia International Raceway in 2007
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'65 Shelby Mustang GT350
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Old 5th February 2011, 21:17   #392
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February 6, 2009
On this day in 2009, the Honda Insight, billed as "the world's first affordable hybrid," goes on sale in Japan. Honda took some 18,000 orders for the car within the first three weeks, pushing Toyota's Prius, known as the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, out of the top-10-selling cars for that month, according to a March 2009 report in The New York Times.
The Insight, a five-door hatchback, went on sale in America on March 24, 2009, and carried a price tag of just under $20,000. In 1999, a three-door hatchback version of the Insight became the first-ever gas-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the U.S. The Toyota Prius, which debuted in Japan in 1997, arrived in America in July 2000 and went on to outsell the first-generation Insight, which was retired in 2006. By the time the second-generation Insight launched in 2009, Toyota controlled 70 percent of the hybrid market in the U.S. (the planet's biggest market for hybrid vehicles). Between 2000 and February 2009, Toyota had sold upward of 700,000 Priuses, or more than half of the 1.2 million purchased worldwide, in America. In March 2009, Toyota announced it had sold more than 1 million gas-electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S. under six Toyota and Lexus brands which in addition to the Prius, include the Highlander SUV and a hybrid Camry sedan, among others.
American automakers trailed behind the Japanese when it came to developing hybrid vehicles. The same week that Toyota announced it had sold its 1 millionth hybrid in America, Ford Motor Company reported that it had built its 100,000th hybrid vehicle in the U.S.
In 2008, Toyota passed General Motors to become the world's largest automaker, a title the American company had held since 1931. GM, which at the time had been hobbled along with the rest of the auto industry by a global economic crisis, received criticism for being the home of the gas-guzzling Hummer and for failing to develop a hybrid vehicle when Toyota first launched the Prius.

Honda Insight
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Old 15th March 2012, 03:24   #393
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14 March

Founder of the iconic Mack Truck company was killed in a car crash today, in 1922.

Mack Truck was taken over by Volvo in 2001.

Mack trucks - known for their imposing road presence and heavy duty builds - are seen rumbling around in 45 countries.

The brand's tough looking vehicles have prompted a popular phrase in America "Hit in the face by a Mack"
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Old 15th March 2012, 18:02   #394
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15 March

Birth day of one of the most popular brands of all time, Rolls Royce is 106 years old today.

The cars began being made in 1904, but it was on this day in 1906 that Charles Rolls and Henry Royce officially created RR, a company that would go on to create a legendary status for itself in the aviation and the automotive industries.


NASCAR gets its first "Million dollar bill" man. Bill Elliott drives Melling Racing's Ford Thunderbird to victory in Daytona 500, Winston 500 and the Southern 500, three of NASCAR's prestigious 4 tracks (~NASCAR's equivalent of the Wimbledon, French and US open) and becomes the first man to earn the million dollar bill today.
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Old 17th March 2012, 20:03   #395
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17 March:

Today is the birthday of Gottlieb Daimler (born 1834), a person whose name makes for one of the best known consumer brands of all time.

Diamler founded an engine-and-car company with his own name in 1890.

It is a bit ironic to note that "Mercedes" did not exist in Mr. Diamler's life time. The same year that Diamler died (1900), a customized automobile from the Diamler factory that was specially designed by Mr. Maybach (later the creator of the famous Maybach brand) was given the name "Mercedes" after its intended owner, the daughter of a client.
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Old 20th March 2012, 03:24   #396
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19 March:
Today marks the death anniversary of John DeLorean, the eccentric executive at General Motors who walked out to create his own brand - DeLorean - that was destined for a quick doom.

The car was nonetheless immortalized in Michael J Fox's superhit "Back to the Future" movies.
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Old 20th March 2012, 18:17   #397
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20 March:
James Packard, founder of the famous Packard Automobile company died this day in 1928.
Packard was an extremely famous brand. In 1937, Fortune magazine named the Packard brand "most valuable name in the automobile industry", next only to the Ford brand.

Many Indian celebrities from the past era touted Packards in their garages.
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Old 21st March 2012, 18:04   #398
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March 21:

My childhood hero and one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time - Ayrton Senna - was born on this day in 1960, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He blazed around circuits, scoring 41 Grand Prix win in his short but stupendous career. Senna was the highest paid athlete in the world in his day, and "about as popular as Pele, in Brazil", which is an ultimate qualifier of his success.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 06:59   #399
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March 22:


This day, in 1983 may just be the birthday of the Hummer. The American Defense HQ's at Pentagon awarded a billion dollar contract to AM General today, to produce 55,000 'humvees'. Humvee roughly stands for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV).



The non-military version of the humvee (Hummer H1)came in 1992. The behemoth weighed over 10,000 lbs and got around 10 mpg at best.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 19:09   #400
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March 23:

Craig Breedlove was born this day in 1937.
Craig was the first human to reach land speeds of 400mph, 500 mph and 600 mph in his radical jet powered vehicles.
He and his wife own the title of the fastest couple ever in 1965, (which still stands). Together they took the "Sonic 1" jet powered vehicle to 308 mph.
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Old 25th March 2012, 21:29   #401
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March 25: Catch me if you can.

NASCAR racing hottie, and the only woman to win the Indy-500 Danica Patrick was born today in 1982.

This 5'2" 100lb pocket rocket of a woman is ranked 17th on the NASCAR circuit presently. Per Racer mag, she was the third highest grossing female sportsperson in the world, with earnings of ~12Mil USD (behind Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki).
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Old 26th March 2012, 18:36   #402
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March 26:

Not sure if this is 'history' already, but 4 years ago on this date Jaguar and Land Rover changed ownership form Ford to Tata for a $2.32Bn price tag. The two iconic British brands were American briefly before becoming Indian.

Jaguar has an interesting origin. The iconic car company was spun out of the "Swallow Sidecar" company which manufactured side-cars for motorcycles circa WW-I
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Old 27th March 2012, 17:57   #403
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March 27:

Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Motor Corporation died today in 1952, at the age of 57.

Kiichiro took his fathers loom machine business into automobiles. He stayed in Detroit (Ford) for 4 years learning as much as he could about automobile manufacturing and returned to Japan to set up his own manufacturing unit.

The Toyota AA, Toyota's first born car in 1936, was a shameless copy of a Chevrolet sedan. But back then there were literally thousands of auto manufacturers around the world it would be unreasonable to think everyone was original?
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Old 20th October 2012, 17:32   #404
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Just got this update on my Facebook wall:

Quote:
Ten years ago this very day, a pokey little motoring show called Top Gear returned to BBC Two. Yes, its our tenth birthday, and wed like to say a big thank you to you all for the support over the years. To celebrate, heres a random list of ten of our favourite moments so far let us know your own in the handy space below...
http://www.TOPGEAR.com/uk/photos/Top...-10-2012-10-10
I assume there are quite a few fans of the show here, I myself have watched quite a few episodes and found it to be very informative and funny at the same time.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 11:17   #405
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On 3 July 1886 Benz, a Karl Benz invention, began promotion of the vehicle and about 25 Benz vehicles were sold between 1888 and 1893. These engines were 4-stroke which were designed by Karl Benz himself.

Images (courtesy Wikipedia): Karl Benz and the first Benz Patent Motorwagen build in 1885.
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