Different people have different definitions of what is considered a classic car. Typically considered to start at cars over 20 years old, automotive groups dispute what makes a car a “classic”. The safest bet in a dispute is that it must be an older model with some sort of iconic status and has transcended being just a mode of transportation. Here are 11 fascinating facts about old cars that you probably didn’t know.
The Very First Motorized, Self-Propelled Vehicle
With a tops speed of a whopping 2 1/2 mph on its three wheels, Cugnot’s Locomotive was released in 1769 and had to stop around every ten to fifteen minutes to build up enough steam power before moving again. This 3 wheeled vehicle was used to transport cannons and various other artillery for the French.
The First Modern Car
Sticking with the 3 wheels idea, in 1886 Karl Benz patented his “Benz Patent-Motorwagen”. This is widely believed to be the first modern car. In 1888 his wife took their 2 sons on the first-ever long-distance automotive drive in history, totaling 180 kilometers (111,850 miles).
The First Car Accident
The first recorded car accident in the US in Ohio City in 1891. James William Lambert’s car hit a root and swerved into a hitching post. He and his passenger obtained minor injuries.
The Beginning of Car Insurance
The first person to buy car insurance in the US was Gilbert J. Loomis. In 1897, this policy covered him for any property that could be damaged by his car, as well as injuries and even death resulting from his driving. The people behind insurancenavy.com/auto-insurance/ will tell you that motor insurance has improved since then and that it has a lot more to offer now. If you have a classic car, it is best to have it insured.
The First Hybrid
In 1900 Porche produced the first-ever hybrid vehicle. The Semper Vivus, meaning “always alive.” The Lohner-Porsche Electromobile was a response to Lohner saying that the air was “ruthlessly spoiled by the large number of petrol engines in use.” The car was unpopular for the same reasons electric cars are today: gas gets you further. A lack of infrastructure has always slowed and halted the progress of hybrid and electric cars.
The First Speeding Ticket
In 1902 the first speeding ticket was issued for a motorist traveling 45 mph (72,4 km/h).
The First Mass-Produced Car
The Ford Model T was the first mass-produced car. Released in 1913, three years later more than half of the cars in the world were Model Ts. Ford still holds this record, coming in at 55% of all cars in the world. Vehicles were sold for between $260 – $850 (the equivalent of $7,392.53 – $24,167.90 today).
The First Muscle Car
In 1964 the Pontiac GTO was commonly seen as the first-ever muscle car. Dominating the muscle car market in the early 1960s, it took a sharp, unexpected dip in popularity due to an explosion of muscle cars on the American market.
The Ford Mustang
Debuting the same year as the Pontiac GTO, 1964 saw the first Ford Mustang. Almost 22,000 Mustangs were very quickly snatched up by buyers on its first day. Almost 400,000 Mustangs were sold in its first year. It had a V8 engine and a total of 348 horsepower.
The First Super Car
In 1966 the Lamborghini Miura P400 was made available for sale to the public. If you want to buy a Miura today be sure to see if you fit in the car and enjoy the drive. They are made to look good, not with comfort in mind. They were driven hard and many heavily crashed and rebuilt. This is definitely one better left as a display vehicle.
The Porsche 916
In 1971 the Porsche 916 was built. It is one of the rarest cars in the world – only 11 exist. It was replaced by the 911, one of Porche’s most successful ranges.
It’s so fascinating to see how far the automobile has come since its initial conception. The cars of today will become the classic cars of the future. Ensure that you look after your car in the best way that you can – by getting the right insurance for you. Make sure that you protect your future piece of history.