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Horses to Horsepower: Interesting Automotive Facts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by TheMaster, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Dec 23, 2007 at 7:25 AM
    #1
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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    Everything you didn’t know that you’ve always wanted to know about cars and driving.
    When you cover the automotive world as we do at caamagazine.ca, you stumble across all kinds of information that, despite your best efforts, just doesn't seem to fit into an article. Sure, it's neat to know that Ferrari manufactures a maximum of 14 cars a day, but facts like that are, in the eyes of an editor or proofreader, trivial. Here's a small sampling of the curious, strange and downright bizarre info that's been left on our cutting-room floor.

    FAMOUS FIRSTS
    + 1897: Travelers Insurance Company issues the first-ever auto insurance policy in Westfield, Mass.

    + 1901: The Curved Dash Oldsmobile becomes the first mass-produced gasoline-powered car. It sold for $650 US, got 40 miles to the gallon and was adopted by the U.S. Postal Service for use as a mail truck.

    + 1914: The first traffic signal is unveiled at the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. It was manually operated by a traffic officer stationed in a nearby booth.

    + 1930: Galvin Manufacturing unveils one of the first car radios at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association Convention in Atlantic City, N.J. Galvin would later change its name to Motorola.

    + 1938: Buick introducess the "Flash-Way Directional Signal," the first electric turn indicator.

    + 1948: The Harley Earl-designed Cadillac debuts with a design feature that will dominate the North American auto industry for over a decade: the tail fin. Five years later, Earl would design the first Corvette.

    +1982: When the first Honda Accord rolls off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio, it becomes the first Japanese car to be produced in, rather than exported to, North America.

    + 1983: Chrysler introduces the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager -- the first minivans.

    LAW & ORDER
    + The first toll road in North America appeared in the 1830s in Pennsylvania, along what is now Route 40 in that state.

    + Although many automakers had long ago made them standard equipment, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn't make seat belts mandatory in new cars until January 1, 1973.

    + Hondas traditionally rank among the most frequently stolen cars in North America, particularly Civics and Accords. Hondas and Toyotas are popular among car thieves largely because they're plentiful and their parts are often interchangeable between makes and model years.

    NAMES & NUMBERS
    + The Cadillac takes its name from 18th-century French adventurer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded the colony of Detroit in 1701.

    + Between 1908 and 1927, Ford produced 15 million Model Ts. By the early 1920s, more than half of the cars in use in the United States were Tin Lizzies.

    + The word "jeep" is likely derived from the U.S. Army abbreviation GP, which stands for "general purpose."

    + Air bags deploy at a speed of 322 kilometres per hour, which is roughly one-twenty-fifth of a second.

    + According to a 2002 NHTSA study, an auto accident occurs every 5 seconds in the United States. Someone is injured in a car accident every 11 seconds and someone is killed every 12 minutes.

    + By 2030, there will be approximately 1.5 billion cars and trucks on the world's roads, roughly one for every six people.

    + Approximately 14 million tonnes of salt are applied to North American roads every winter, 4.9 million of it in Canada.

    + Of Manitoba's 539,569 registered vehicles, 175,899 (32.6 percent) are covered by CAA.

    MISCELLANEOUS
    + According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, sleighs travelling on public roads require a minimum of two bells to signal their presence to other drivers.**

    + Most North American car horns are tuned to the musical key of F.

    + Between 1972 and 1982, the average speed of cars on Los Angeles's notoriously congested freeways dropped from 60 miles per hour to the snail's pace of 17 miles per hour.

    + President Dwight Eisenhower originally conceived the U.S. Interstate Highway system for military purposes as a quick and efficient means to transport soldiers and equipment between major cities in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack.

    + The world's longest traffic jam occurred in 1980 over a 175-kilometre-long stretch of the French Autoroute between Paris and Lyon.

    + Germany's autobahns, with no speed limits in some areas, actually have a lower fatality rate than U.S. highways. Deaths on the autobahns account for fewer than 12 percent of Germany's traffic fatalities.

    + The engine roar of a Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine was almost an official trademark. H-D sought legal protection of the sound after Japanese motorcycle manufacturers tried to duplicate the signature rumble in the 1980s. Harley-Davidson later withdrew their trademark application.

    Source: http://en.autos.sympatico.msn.ca/CAA/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5829814
     
  2. Dec 23, 2007 at 7:56 AM
    #2
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

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    Nice work, I had heard of a few of them but some really surprised me. Sounds like you have a really cool job, it's so cool you probably waved the paycheck... right ? :cool:
     
  3. Dec 23, 2007 at 9:19 AM
    #3
    TheMaster

    TheMaster [OP] Born to Ride

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    Bug shield, window visors, skid plate, rust proofing, tonneau cover, paint & upholstery protection, side step bars, navigation system.
    Next time somebody cuts you off, express yourself with the "F" key ;). North American car manufactures have thought of almost everything.
     
  4. Dec 23, 2007 at 9:36 AM
    #4
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    is this gonna be on a jeopadry quiz, trebek?
     
  5. Sep 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM
    #5
    DrewH

    DrewH Well-Known Member

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    Master :cool:
     
  6. Sep 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM
    #6
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Sentinel Prime

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    That was very interesting. Only knew a few of those. Crazy to think that the first economy cars came in the beginning, 40mpg at around 5 cents a gallon on gas had to be tremendous fuel savings!
     
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