In this edition of “Shit We Should Know” we talk about cars. The automobile has been around a long, long time even before Henry Ford began to build his first one. They date back to the mid1880’s. Since that beginning 135 years or so the automobile has continued to evolve and still does today. But who was first with a number of inventions and additions that became a part of the history of automobiles. Here are just a few of the “firsts” and some may surprise you.
First Car – 1886 – Benz Patent-Motorwagen. It was powered by a single-cylinder 954cc engine, it managed around 10mph. His wife Bertha fitted leather onto the brakes and inventing the brake pad in the process.
First Mass Produced Car – 1901 – Curved Dash Oldsmobile The Ford Model T was not the world’s first mass-produced car. It was the Curved Dash Oldsmobile that was the first car to be built using mass-production techniques.
First Electric Starter – 1912 – Cadillac -American engineer Clyde Coleman patented the electric starter in 1903. He sold it to Delco, later purchased by General Motors, which gave its Cadillac division the distinction of being the first car maker to sell a car with an electric starter.
First Car Radio – 1929 – Cadillac. Debate rages over which was the first car to feature a factory-fit radio. The 1929 Cadillac and its La Salle offshoot was available with a dealer-fitted Delco-Remy radio. They would become a standard feature by the end of the 1930’s.
First Car Heater – 1933 – Nash. It wasn’t until 1933 that a relatively compact and efficient factory-fitted heater was available, when America’s Nash introduced its new range making winter driving much more comfortable.
First Overdrive – 1934 – Chrysler Airflow. Overdrive maintains long distance cruising at lower engine-revs, aiding fuel economy. Developed with the help of Orville Wright, the Airflow’s aircraft-inspired design and overdrive were among the early efforts to focus on fuel economy.
First Automatic Gearbox – 1939 – Oldsmobile.The Oldsmobile Hydra-Matic of 1939 was enormously important. While using a manual gearbox today isn’t too much work, that wasn’t the case in the 1930s when it was something of a skillful chore. The arrival of a four-speed gearbox was a major change, and the automatic would go on to become the dominant gearbox type after the Second World War in America, especially.
First Flashing Indicators – 1939 – Buick. For the first few decades drivers were expected to signal their intentions by sticking an arm out of the window and indicating if they were turning left or right, or slowing down. In 1939, Buick fitted flashing red lights to the back of its cars to act as indicators; within a year, Cadillac, Hudson and LaSalle had followed suit.
First Power Convertible Roof – 1939 – Plymouth. Plymouth was the only division of Chrysler to offer open-topped cars in 1939, and while rivals were also selling convertibles, none had one on its books with a power-operated roof. But soon after others came out with it.
First Power Windows – 1940 – Packard Custom. The Packard Super Eight One-Eighty became the first series-produced car equipped with power windows when it made its debut. Called Automatic Window Control, it was hydraulically operated. Electric power windows would debut in 1951 with the Chrysler Imperial.
First Power Steering – 1951 – Chrysler Imperial. Imperial’s system was called Hydraguide, but it didn’t have a monopoly for long; GM quickly followed suit, and by 1956 25% of all cars on US roads had the feature; today the figure is virtually 100%.
First Air Conditioning – 1953 – Nash Ambassador. Nash overcame space such hurdles aided by its sister company, refrigerator manufacturer Kelvinator. Using that firm’s know-how Nash was first to offer an affordable and practical fully integrated heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in its Ambassador. The rest of the industry swiftly followed suit.
Those are just a dozen but there are many, many more “firsts” right up through today. Check out the link we are posting and get the complete rundown of all these different firsts that have taken place since the automobile first came into existence. Go: https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/enthusiasts/groundbreakers-the-cars-that-did-it-first-2020-us-edition/ss-BB15tvN9?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U506DHP#image=32 We hope you have enjoyed this edition of “Shit We Should Know”.