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Interesting Automotive Timeline Facts

AutoBody-Review interesting automotive timeline factsAt Clancy's Auto Body, we are devotees to the world of cars and that's why we're delighted to do blogs about the history of automotive transportation. From Oakland Park, FL to NYC, SF, SD and everywhere in between, people in the USA are all-in when it comes to their cars. So, here is an automotive history timeline that will hopefully give you an idea about how the evolution of cars took place throughout the planet that began more than 235 years ago.

  • James Watt invents the first engine crank in 1782, a game changer in transportation
  • The very first U.S. toll roads opened in Pennsylvania and Connecticut in 1992
  • Jean Lenoir invented the spark plug in 1860
  • The Benz became the first car up for sale in 1887
  • The Duryea became the very first production motor vehicle in the United States in 1896
  • The first auto insurance policy was purchased in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1897
  • The winner of the first Grand Prix race had an average speed of 46 mph in 1901
  • The first American car mass-produced was the "Curved Dash" Olds that cost $650 in 1901
  • More than one million cars registered in the U.S. in 1913
  • The Chevrolet bow-tie emblem first appeared in 1914
  • The first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland in 1914
  • Powered windshield wipers became regular equipment on many cars in 1923
  • A radio was first offered as an accessory in 1923
  • Buick introduces turn signals as standard equipment in 1939  
  • The first power windows were introduced in 1946
  • Harley Earl introduced the tail fin on the Cadillac. Fins don't go away for over a decade in 1948
  • Chevrolet introduces its Harley Earl-designed Corvette in 1953
  • Padded dashboards introduced for safety in 1954
  • Electric door locks introduced on several luxury models in 1956
  • The first remote adjusted side view mirror in 1958
  • Ford introduces the first electric trunk release in 1958
  • Chrysler introduces the day-night rear view mirror in 1958
  • All-weather antifreeze plus coolant introduced in 1960
  • Seat belts first offered as standard equipment in 1963
  • Rear seat belts became standard on most cars in 1965
  • The national 55 mph speed limit was enacted after oil shortages in 1974
  • Chrysler introduces the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans in 1984
  • Cars traveled along Los Angeles freeways at an average speed of 60 mph in 1972.
  • The average American family spent 33 percent of their yearly income for a new car in 1994
  • The Big Three sold an amazing 97,000 cars in Japan in 1995
  • The first hybrid vehicle hit the market in 2000
  • The first self-driving cars began testing in 2009

Sources: Wikipedia, CNN and Autoweek

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