Fun Facts About Cars
By: Good2GoPublished: May 11, 2015
Do you remember the feeling you had when you got behind the wheel for the first time? Didn’t the world of possibilities just seem to open up right before your very eyes? This feeling is probably similar to the feeling innovators of horseless carriages experienced as they explored the many ways to bring new, groundbreaking inventions to the world. Early pioneers and technological breakthroughs within the auto industry have advanced our society greatly.
Cars have had such a major impact on our lives that our fascination with them has only grown over time. They have affected our personal lives, our economy, and our environment.
Let’s take a look at some of these impactful moments in history. Car lovers and trivia enthusiasts alike will be able to add a few more fun, little known facts to their repertoire after this. After all, what’s better than being able to stump your friends?
- In 1769, the first “horseless carriage” that could handle cargo or passengers was invented by Nicolas Cugnot. It ran on steam and was used by the French to transport cannons.
- The first cars were steered with levers.
- William Durant was responsible for the formation of General Motors (GM) after buying and combining Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Cadillac.
- In 1898, the police in NYC chased down speeders on their bicycles.
- In 1806, François Isaac de Rivaz built an engine powered by the internal combustion of a hydrogen/oxygen mixture.
- In 1896, electric cars were introduced into the market. By the end of the century almost 50% of the cars on the road were electric.
- By 1905, 80% of cars were petrol driven with the electric car becoming almost obsolete by the year 1920.
- In 1941, Ford created an experimental car made from 70% hemp. It could take blows 10 times greater than steel without denting and could run on fuel made from hemp. Since hemp and alcohol had been banned at the time it was never mass produced.
- Fast forward to now and Ford has developed a concept car made predominantly of soy and corn products, which runs on bio fuels.
- In this age of recycling, the automobile ranks as the most recyclable consumer product in the world.
For race car fans…
- NASCAR’s racing roots are tied to the days of bootlegging moonshine in the back hills of the Appalachians. Junior Johnson was a member of the inaugural class of inductees into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. Johnson acknowledged that his moonshine driving experience gave him a definite advantage over his opponents.
- The first Grand Prix race was won at an average speed of 46 mph.
- Chevrolet is named after Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss race car driver and engineer. He built his first car in 1911 with financial assistance from William Durant.
For music lovers…
- Most horns in American cars are set in the F key.
- Most of us can relate to the idea of someone singing in the shower, but did you know 90% of all drivers admit to singing in their cars?
Laws, regulations, and traffic…
- The longest traffic jam happened in 1980 on the French Autoroute travelling from Paris to Lyon. It was 110 miles long!
- In 1865, the UK created the “Locomotive Act,” the first speeding laws for horseless vehicles. You could only go 2 mph in the city and 4 mph in the country.
- The most expensive speeding fine ever recorded was in Switzerland and came in at a whopping million dollars. A Swedish man driving 180 mph was the unlucky recipient of this one. Switzerland’s speeding laws are tied to a person’s income, hence the hefty sum.
We hope you have all had a little fun reading this. Have some favorite facts of your own? Share them with us in our comments section!
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