The history of the automobile is very rich and dates back to the 15th century when Leonardo da Vinci was creating designs and models for transport vehicles. Automotive production on a commercial scale started in France in 1890.
The journey of modern automobiles began in 1886 when German inventor Karl Benz created an automobile that featured wire wheels with a four-stroke engine fitted between the rear wheels. Named as ‘Benz Patent Motorwagen’, it was the first automobile that generated its own power, which is the reason why Karl Benz was given its patent and is called the inventor of modern automobiles.
Today we are going to look at the brief history of automobile.
- Adolf Hitler ordered Ferdinand Porsche to manufacture a Volkswagen, which literally means ‘People’s Car’ in German. This car went on to become the Volkswagen Beetle.
What’s also interesting to know is that a surviving sketch from the 1930s – that was allegedly penciled by Hitler himself – looks similar to the production version of the first Beetle. The drawing was said to have been given to Daimler-Benz before being given to Porsche in Nuremberg.
2. Rolls-Royce Ltd. was essentially a car and airplane engine making company, established in 1906 by Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce.
The same year, Rolls-Royce rolled out its first car, the Silver Ghost. In 1907, the car set a record for traversing 24,000 kilometers during the Scottish reliability trials.
3. The most expensive car ever sold at a public auction was a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 race car, which went for a staggering $30 million at Bonhams in July 2013. The record was previously held by a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype, sold in California at an auction for $16.4 million.
4. Volkswagen named several of its cars after wind. Passat – a German word for trade wind; Golf – Gulf stream; Polo – polar winds; Jetta – jet stream.
5. The first road-worthy cars used a lever instead of a steering wheel to steer. It had a design and functioning like that of a joy stick.
6. Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter and guitarist, Bob Marley owned a BMW, not for prestige but because of the coincidence of initials for Bob Marley and the Wailers.