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Old 8th July 2008, 22:50   #91
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Default 9th July

July 9th 1919
The Ford Motor Company was reorganized as a Delaware corporation with Edsel Ford as company president on this day in 1919. The reorganization was the last step in Henry Ford's drive to gain 100% of the company's stock for his family. He borrowed heavily in order to buy out the minority shareholders. The extent to which the Ford family has maintained control over the company makes Ford unique in the annals of business history. Edsel Ford held the title of president until his death in 1943, but Henry effectively ran the company until 1945, when Henry Ford II took control of the company.

July 9th 1979
A car bomb destroys a Renault owned by famed "Nazi hunters" Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. Individuals purporting to represent the pro-Nazi ODESSA secret international organization took credit for the attack and demanded that the Klarsfelds stop pursuing (former) Nazis.
The Klarsfelds were involved in finding Klaus Barbie, René Bousquet, Jean Leguay, Maurice Papon and Paul Touvier and seeking prosecution for their war crimes committed during WWII.

Serge and Beate Klarsfeld
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Old 9th July 2008, 22:25   #92
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Default 10th July

July 10th 1958
The final production line of Trabant started at VEB Sachsenring factory in Zwickau, Saxony. It was considered to be East Germany's answer to Volkswagen. The Trabant was a steel monocoque design with roof, bootlid, bonnet, fenders and doors in Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton. This helped the GDR to avoid expensive steel imports, but in theory did not provide much crash protection, although in crash tests it has actually proven to be superior to some modern small hatchbacks. The duroplast was made of recycled material, cotton waste from Russia and phenol resins from the East German dye industry making the Trabant the first car with a body made of recycled material.

The engine for the Trabant was a small two-stroke engine with two cylinders, giving the vehicle modest performance of 25 horsepower from a 600 cc displacement. The car took 21 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and the top speed was 112 km/h. There were two main problems with the engine: the smoky exhaust and the pollution it produced. The fuel consumption was a modest 7 liters/100 km. However later models of trabant did had bigger 1.1L VW engine until 1991 when its production ended.

The name Trabant means "fellow traveler" in German and was inspired by Soviet Sputnik. Since it could take years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years.Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately, while the latter had the aforementioned waiting period of several years.

Trabant P50
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Minimalist Trabant Engine Bay
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Mural on the Berlin Wall at the East Side featuring Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German Leader Erich Honecker riding together in a Trabant.
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The Painted Trabants used by the band U2 on their Zoo TV Tour hanging in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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Trabants Car Show in Aleksandrow Kujawski, Poland.
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The mechanically simple, easily tunable engine makes Trabants interesting for low-cost rallying
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Old 10th July 2008, 22:50   #93
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Default 11th July

July 11th 1899
Company charter of Societa Anonima "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino” (FIAT) signed at Palazzo Bricherasio by Giovanni Agnelli with several of his investors.
Giovanni Agnelli founded and led the company until his death in 1945, while Vittorio Valletta administered the day-to-day activities of the company. Its first car the 3 ½ CV (of which only eight copies were built, all bodied by Alessio of Turin) strongly resembled contemporary Benz and had a 697 cc boxer twin engine.

Fiat Logo
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Giovanni Agnelli
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Vittorio Valletta (right) along with Giovanni Agnelli & Alberto Pirelli
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The first Fiat, 3 ½ CV
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Old 12th July 2008, 18:25   #94
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Default 12th July

July 12th 1904
Driver Harry Harkness won the first Mount Washington, New Hampshire, hill-climb race driving a 60hp Mercedes Benz on this day in 1904 and placed the record figures for the year at twenty-four minutes, thirty seconds in his $18000 imported Mercedes.

July 12th 1946
Spicer Manufacturing Company was renamed Dana Holding Corporation recently emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
The company has 35,000 workers and is listed on the Fortune 500. Originally incorporated in New Jersey in 1904 as the 'Spicer Universal Joint Manufacturing Company', named after Clarence W. Spicer, engineer, inventor, and founder of the company. It was renamed the 'Spicer Manufacturing Company' in 1909. It relocated to Toledo, Ohio in 1928 and was renamed the Dana Corporation after Charles Dana, who joined the company in 1914 and became president and treasurer in 1916.
Its key products include axles, driveshafts, frames, and sealing and thermal-management products.


Harry Harkness
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Harry Harkness in His Mercedes-Simplex
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Dana Logo
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Dana Factory
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Old 12th July 2008, 18:34   #95
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Default 13th July

July 13th 1995
On this day in 1995, the Chrysler Corporation opened a car dealership in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam. One week later, Chrysler opened another dealership in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with the intention of marketing 200 import vehicles per year through the two dealerships. The openings were a part of Chrysler's long-term goal of implementing auto production in Vietnam--something that rivals Ford and Toyota were also pursuing at the time. On September 6, Chrysler received permission from the Vietnamese government to assemble vehicles in Vietnam, allowing Chrysler to construct a production facility in Dong Nai Province, Southern Vietnam, with the aim of manufacturing 500 to 1,000 Dodge Dakota pick-up trucks for the Vietnamese market annually.

July 13th 1998
General Motors announced recall of 800,000 vehicles due to malfunctioning airbags. A large number of Chevrolet and Pontiac cars displayed "an increased risk of airbag deployment in a low speed crash or when an object strikes the floor pan.

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Old 13th July 2008, 22:15   #96
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Default 14th July

July 14th 1955
Volkswagen introduced the Karmann-Ghia coupe at the Kasino Hotel in Westfalia, Germany. As the European car market finally recovered from the war, Volkswagen felt that it needed to release an "image car" to accompany its plain but reliable "Bugs and Buses." Volkswagen was not the only automotive company looking for a flagship car at the time. Chevrolet had released the Corvette, and Ford the Thunderbird. The Chrysler Corporation had contracted with the Italian design firm Ghia to create designs for a Chrysler dream car; however, none of the designs came to fruition. Meanwhile, Volkswagen had contracted with German coach-builder Karmann for their own image car, and Karmann, in turn, had sub-contracted to Ghia for design offerings. Eventually Ghia supplied Karmann with a version of their Chrysler design, modified for the floor plan of the Volkswagen Beetle. The Karmann-Ghia was released as a 1956 model by Volkswagen. The car's sleek lines and hand craftsmanship attracted the attention Volkswagen had hoped for. Nevertheless, as sporty as the Karmann-Ghia looked, it suffered from its 36hp flat four engine in the area of power. Still, the Karmann-Ghia sold 10,000 units in its first full production year ,and with the release of the convertible in 1958, production reached 18,000 units for one year. Sales climbed steadily through the 1960s, peaking at 33,000 cars per year. While General Motors and Ford focused on their Corvette and Thunderbird, respectively, Volkswagen found that the Bug had increased in popularity, especially in the U.S. market. Executives decided to focus their marketing attention on the Bug, abandoning the Karmann-Ghia, which was last produced in 1974.

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Volkswagen 1600 Karmann Ghia
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Last edited by SirAlec : 13th July 2008 at 22:19.
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Old 15th July 2008, 00:09   #97
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Default 15th July

July 15th 1939
Carl Fisher, the founder of both the Indy 500 and Miami Beach, died in Miami at age 65. Born in Greensburg, Indiana, Fisher grew up racing cars and bicycles and aspired to be a successful inventor. He turned out to be a better businessman than an inventor, and left his first imprint on the business world when he partnered with Fred Avery, who held the patent for pressing carbide gas into tanks. Together, they manufactured car headlamps as the Presto-O-Lite Corporation. By 1910, six years after starting the business, Fisher was a multimillionaire. He bought land and built a track in Indianapolis, paving the track with local brick. By offering the largest single day purse in sport, Fisher guaranteed interest in his epic 500-mile race, and in less than five years "Indy" had become one of the premier car races in the world. In 1915, Fisher led the development effort for the Lincoln Highway, the nation's first continuous cross-continental highway from New York to California. Later, in the 1920s, Fisher developed the Dixie Highway, a road that ran from Michigan to Miami. Fisher fell in love with Miami, and in 1910 he bought a house there. It became his project to develop Miami Beach into a city. Fisher gave $50,000 of his own money to complete the longest wooden bridge in the state, stretching between Miami and Miami Beach. At that time Miami Beach was wild, and Fisher set about cleaning up the beach. He built lavish facilities near the water and invited the rich and famous to check out his creation. The Florida land bust of 1926 and the subsequent stock market crash of 1929 left Fisher penniless, and he lived in a small home on Miami Beach until his death.

Carl Fisher
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Fisher at the Harlem racetrack, near Chicago, Illinois
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Carl Fisher's Miami Beach Casino Hotel 1922
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Early Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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Old 15th July 2008, 22:01   #98
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Default 16th July

July 16th 1955
Stirling Moss won his first Grand Prix race, the British Grand Prix in Aintree, driving a Mercedes Benz W196. Moss is considered the greatest racer that never won a World Driving Championship, having finished second to Juan Manuel Fangio for four consecutive years. Most impressive is Moss' record of having won 16 of 66 Grand Prix starts and 194 of his 466 starts in major events.

Stirling Moss
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Old 17th July 2008, 00:09   #99
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Default 17th July

July 17th 1964
Donald Campbell, the son of Britain's most prolific land-speed record holder, Sir Malcolm Campbell, drove the Proteus Bluebird CN7 to a four-wheel, gasoline-powered land-speed record with two identical runs of 403mph at Lake Eyre, South Australia.

Donald Campbell
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Bluebird CN7 at Lake Eyre.
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Bluebird Campbell CN7, today at National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire. England
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Old 17th July 2008, 22:21   #100
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Default 18th July

July 18th 1911
James D. Robertson, of Toledo, OH, received a patent for a "terminal Clamp"; assigned to Champion Spark Plug Company. It was company's first patent.

July 18th 1948
Juan Manuel Fangio, a.k.a. "the Maestro," made his Formula One debut finishing 12th at the Grand Prix de l'ACF in France. Fangio was 37 years old at the start of his first Formula One race, but his late appearance onto the racing scene did not diminish his impact. Born to an Italian immigrant family outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fangio learned to race on the death-trap tracks of Argentina for little reward. Finally, his excellence was recognized by Argentine dictator Juan Peron, who agreed to sponsor Fangio's racing career. Formula One Grand Prix racing began in 1950, and Fangio took second place in the World Driver's Championship driving for Alpha Romeo. The next year he won. A crash kept him out of the circuit for the next two years, but in 1954, he switched to the Mercedes team and won his first of four consecutive World Driver's Championships. He is the only man to ever have won five titles.

Juan Manuel Fangio
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Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Mercedes-Benz W196 in the 1986 Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring
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A statue of Fangio in Monaco
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Old 18th July 2008, 22:18   #101
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Default 19th July

July 19th 1934
Harold T. Ames filed a patent application for his retractable headlamps. The design would later become one of the defining details on Ames' most triumphant project, the Cord 810. Ames, then the chief executive at Duesenberg, asked Cord designer Gordon Buehrig to make a "baby version" of the Duesenberg car. Buehrig's response, the Cord 810, is widely held to be one of the most influential cars in American automotive history. It was the last great offering of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg triumvirate, as the company became insolvent at the end of the Depression. In 1952, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) chose the 1937 Cord as one of eight automotive works of art for a year-long exhibition.

July 19th 1935
The first automatic parking meter in the U.S., the Park-O-Meter invented by Carlton Magee, was installed in Oklahoma City by the Dual Parking Meter Company. Twenty-foot spaces were painted on the pavement, and a parking meter that accepted nickels was planted in the concrete at the head of each space. The city paid for the meters with funds collected from them. Today parking meters are big business. Companies offer digital parking meters, smart parking meters, and, even more remarkably, user-friendly parking meters. The user-friendly parking meters are an attempt to stem the tide of "violent confrontations" between users and their meters.

1936 Cord 810
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Parking Meter
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Old 19th July 2008, 22:32   #102
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Default 20th July

July 20th 1894
Errett Lobban Cord was born in Warrensburg, Missouri, on this day in 1894. Cord moved to Los Angeles while he was in high school and remained there after his graduation, starting a number of car dealerships. His prowess as a salesman led him to pursue bigger goals and to look for a way to invest the $100,000 he had managed to save in a few years of work. "Then I started looking around," he said, "I wanted to do something with that $100,000."

Errett Lobban Cord
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Old 21st July 2008, 01:09   #103
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Default 21st July

July 21st 1904
On this day in 1904 Louis Rigolly, driving a 15-liter Gobron-Brillie on the Ostend-Newport road in Belgium, became the first man to break the 100mph barrier in a car by raising the land-speed record to 103.55mph. On the same day in 1925, Sir Malcolm Campbell was first to best the 150mph mark when he drove his Sunbeam to a two-way average of 150.33mph at the Pendine Sands in Wales.

July 21st 1917
Rapp-Motorenwerke renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (Bavarian Motor Works or BMW) Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH was one of the first aircraft engine manufacturers in Germany founded by Karl Rapp and Julius Auspitzer with a capital stock of Reich Mark 200,000 on 28 October 1913 on the site of Flugwerke Deutschland.

July 21st 1987
Enzo Ferrari (89), in ceremony commemorating his company's 40th year, unveiled Ferrari F40 at factory in Maranello, It had 2.9litre twin turbo v8 under the hood and Italy's first production sports car to top 200mph barrier and capable of 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, could hold top speed of 201mph.

Karl Friedrich Rapp, founder of BMW
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Ferari F40
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Old 21st July 2008, 23:10   #104
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Default 22nd July

July 22 1908
Albert Fisher and his nephews, Frederic and Charles Fisher, established the Fisher Body Company to manufacture carriage and automobile bodies. Albert Fisher personally supplied $30,000 of the company's total of $50,000 in initial capital. Charles and Frederic had been trained in their father's carriage building shop and supplied the technical know-how required at the company's inception. Fisher Body quickly abandoned carriage building to concentrate on car frames. By 1910, Fisher supplied some car bodies for General Motors (GM), and in 1919 GM purchased controlling interest in the company to shore up a supplier for its car bodies. At that time, Fisher was the largest supplier of car bodies in the world. The Fisher brothers were early advocates of closed-body, steel and wood frames, and they pre-empted their competition by creating more closed-bodied cars than open-bodied. They were also early in their adoption of aluminum and steel frames.

July 22nd 1911
General Motors organized General Motors Truck Company (later GMC) to handle sales of GM's Rapid and Reliance products.
In 1901, Max Grabowski established a company called the "Rapid Motor Vehicle Company", which developed some of the earliest commercial trucks ever designed. The trucks utilized one-cylinder engines. In 1909, the company was purchased by General Motors to form the basis for the General Motors Truck Company, from which GMC Truck was derived.
Another independent manufacturer purchased by GM that same year was Reliance Motor Car Company. Rapid & Reliance were merged in 1911 by GM, and in 1912 the marque "GMC Truck" was first shown at the New York International Auto Show.

July 22nd 1912
Edward G. Budd formed Edward G. Budd Mfg. Co., at 121 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, with $75,000 of his own savings, $15,000 from family friend named A. Robinson McIlvaine, $10,000 from another friend, J.S. Williams; Budd as president, McIlvaine, secretary; first product - all-metal truck body for Philadelphia coal distributor.


July 22nd 2005
MG Rover Group acquired by Nanjing Automobile for $97 million.

Fisher Logo
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1919 GMC truck
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The famous Budd company logo on the builder's plate in a Metro North M-3 railcar.
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Nanjing Automobile
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Old 22nd July 2008, 23:40   #105
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Default 23rd July

July 23rd 1903
The first two-cylinder Ford Model A was delivered to its owner, Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago, on this day in 1903. The Model A was the result of a partnership between Henry Ford and Detroit coal merchant Alexander Malcomson. Ford had met Malcomson while working at Edison Illuminating Company: Malcomson sold him coal. The Model A, designed primarily by Ford's assistant C. Harold Wills, was the affordable runabout that Ford needed to begin marketing his company's stock. In the next year Ford raised enough stock to release a line of cars and to incorporate as the Ford Motor Company. Ford's company grew quickly, but it wasn't until the release of the Model T that Ford took the position of our nation's largest carmaker. The Model T kept Ford number one in the industry until production was stopped in 1927, and Ford relinquished its place to Chevrolet. The second Model A, released in November of 1927, was a great success. Between 1927 and 1931, 4.3 million Model A Fords were made. The stylish, dependable, and affordable Model A reaffirmed Ford's position as a premier automaker at the time. Sales for the Model A would never approach those of its forerunner the Model T, due to the onset of the Depression. As sales slumped, Henry Ford decided to release a new car model in 1932. He introduced the speedy Ford V-8, known as the fastest car in the land at the time.

1903 Ford Model A at the National Automobile Museum in Reno.
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1927 Ford Model A
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