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THIS MONTH IN AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY - OCTOBER

CATEGORY:  [Automotive History]  |  TAGS:  [newsletter,october 2014,history]

Oct
01
2014

 

Take a trip back in time to discover the contributions that the month of October has made to automotive lore!

 

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October 06, 1866 - House Bros. Take Steaming National:

 

In the first use of a steam car to garner national attention, brothers Henry & James House transported a party of men in their House steam car from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Stratford, Connecticut.

October 01, 1908 - Model T Goes on Sale:

 

Henry Ford and his engineers struggled for five difficult years to produce a reliable, inexpensive car for the mass market. It wasn`t until their 20th attempt that the Ford Motor Company hit pay dirt. Designated as the 'Model T' (being that the letter 'T' is the 20th letter of the alphabet), the Model T cost $850 and sold nearly 15,000,000 cars by the time it was discontinued in 1927.

October 18, 1919 - Rolls-Royce America Established:

 

In 1904, months after building his first motor car, engineer Henry Royce met with Charles Rolls, whose company sold quality cars in London. An agreement was reached between the two that Royce Limited, Henry's engineering company, would manufacture a line of cars to be sold exclusively by the C. S. Rolls & Co. car dealership. These luxury motor cars would bear the name Rolls-Royce. Initial success prompted the formal establishment of the Rolls-Royce Company in 1906, and shortly after, the six-cylinder 40/50hp Silver Ghost was launched to widespread acclaim. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Rolls-Royce responded to its nation´s needs by producing its first aircraft engine - the Eagle. Royce's aero engines served Britain well during the war, providing almost half of the total horsepower used in the Allies' air war. The Eagle also powered the first direct transatlantic flight and the first England-to-Australia flight. After the war, Rolls-Royce continued its work in aerospace technology, but also returned to the business that had first made it famous: the manufacturing of quality automobiles. On this day in 1919, Rolls-Royce America, Inc., was established, and their luxurious motor cars would prove a favorite means of transport for America´s elite during the roaring 1920s.

October 13, 1953 - The Artmobile Hits the Road:

 

The 'Artmobile', a novel way of exposing fine art to the public, was conceived of and designed by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts located in Richmond, Virginia. On this day the Artmobile, the world`s first mobile art gallery, began touring Virginia with an exhibition of art objects - making its first stop in Fredericksburg.

October 07, 1960 - Route 66 Airs on Television:

 

Since its conception in 1926, Route 66 has permeated every aspect of American culture, from literature to music to gas-station architecture. One of its most beloved manifestations, the television program "Route 66", aired its first episode on this day, relating the roadside adventures of Buz and Tod as they cruised Route 66 in Tod´s Corvette. Americans tuned into the popular program for four years, continuing their love affair with their nation´s most celebrated Federal highway. Immortalized in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath as the "Mother Road", Route 66 was a symbol of opportunity, serving as an escape route from the misery of the Depression-era Dust Bowl. Its two lanes wove in and out of Middle America, connecting hundreds of rural communities to the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles. And above all, it symbolized the open road and Americana, complete with auto camps, motels, and roadside attractions. By 1970, nearly all segments of the original Route 66 were replaced by modern four-lane interstates, and in 1985 it was officially decommissioned.

October 15, 1964 - Craig Breedlove Sets A Record, But Not For Speed:

 

While trying to set a new one mile land-speed record, Craig Breedlove inadvertently set another kind of record after he lost control of the Spirit of America jet-powered car on the Bonneville Salt Flats testing area in Utah. The vehicle began a skid moments into the run, taking nearly six miles to decelerate from an initial speed of well over 400mph. When the dust cleared, Breedlove emerged shaken from the vehicle as the not-so-proud record-holder for the longest skid marks ever recorded. Nevertheless, Breedlove, who already held the land-speed record, did manage to break the 500mph speed barrier that year, just as he had broken the 400mph barrier the year before, and just as he would surpass 600mph in the year following.

 

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