Did You Know?
- The first cars did not have steering wheels. Drivers steered with a lever.
- The first speeding ticket was issued in 1902.
- In 1916, 55% of the cars in the world were Model T Fords, a record that has never been beaten.
- The first gas gauge appeared in cars in 1922.
- In 1923, 173 new inventions by women for cars had been reported. Among these inventions were a carburetor and an electric engine starter.
- The first car radio was invented in 1929.
- Buick introduced the first electric turn signals in 1938.
- Most American car horns beep in the key of F.
- The automobile is the most recycled consumer product in the world today.
- Volkswagen sold only 330 VW Beetles in their first year in the United States.
- Women spend more than $65 million on new cars and trucks, influence 80 percent of all new car purchases, and buy 60 percent of all new cars.
- 135 million cars travel the nation’s roads and interstates each day.
- The first Ford cars had Dodge engines.
- One seventh of all new US auto and truck sales are in Southern California.
- The average 1999 model year automobile cost $5,674 per year to own and operate.
- In the 1970s, cars were scrapped almost twice as often as small trucks, but over the years, cars have become more durable. By 1999, the scrappage rate was almost equal.
- The city with the most Rolls Royces per capita is Hong Kong.
- The modern brake light in rear windows came from a suggestion by Elizabeth Dole.
- The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for cars. The most famous record player then was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.
- In 2002, SUVs accounted for 30% of all cars sold.
- The term ‘tune-up’ was coined when Henry Ford was working on his first automobile prototype. This first ignition system was very simple; one ignition coil for one spark plug, so four spark plugs would require four ignition coils. These coils needed to be adjusted to provide the same spark intensity for better idle and acceleration. As these coils worked, they made a buzzing sound. When all the coils were adjusted properly, they all buzzed at the same level – they were “in tune”. Today’s distributor systems have done away with Ford’s configuration, but some drivers still associate poor running quality with the need to be in tune. Today’s automobiles do not require old-fashioned tune-ups, but the term is now associated with the replacement of spark plugs and any performance or rough idle problem that related to engine operation.