Amazing automobile facts

Did you know that whale oil was used in some transmissions until 1973?

Courtesy of Richard Perry
Richard Perry, The Hemet Car Guy.

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,

At my house we have and use an Alexis Echo, an intelligent, voice activated speaker that is similar to the Suri on your smartphone. I’ve used it to check the local weather forecast, and get interesting facts and trivia. My wife, Bambi, rolls her eyes when I tell Alexis, “I’m home” and Alexis responds: “Glad you’re home; hope you had a good day.”

With technology able to bring us facts and data in record time, I looked up 10 very interesting facts about automobiles; heck maybe it might be the answer to a million dollar question some day!

1. The Honda Accord is the most stolen car in the United States.

2. The 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT is such a beautiful car, that it is permanently exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art. The sports car, known as a “rolling sculpture,” has no sharp edges and is fabricated from one single sheet of aluminum. The car was manufactured from 1947 to 1952 – only 170 were ever produced.

3. One of the ugliest vehicles ever made, the AMC Gremlin, pioneered the style that is now commonly seen in SUV’s – sloped side-windows and a high hood. The car was only manufactured for eight years (1970-1978) and numbered 671,475 units.

4. Whale oil was actually used in some car transmissions until 1973.

5. From 1908-1914, the Ford Model T could be purchased in several different colors, but not black. In an effort to make production cheaper and more efficient, Ford chose to make all further Model T’s only in black (since black paint was cheap and durable). Remember Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

Photo source:
The first use of whale oil was as fuel for lamps and as candle wax, also widely used as a lubricant for transmissions.

6. Electric cars are not a new thing; they were already being manufactured in 1905. The Rauch & Lang Carriage Company produced electric cars until 1920, when the gas-combustion engine became cheaper to run because of low gas prices.

7. The Volkswagen Beetle was originally called “Kraft durch Freude Wage” (“Strength through Joy Car”). The small car was named thusly by Hitler, who in May of 1938 visited the factory and made his great announcement. The car was named after an organization within the Third Reich. After World War II, Volkswagen chose to change the name.

8. Mr. Henry Hale Bliss, a real estate man from New York, was the first victim of vehicular manslaughter in the United States. In September of 1899, he exited a trolley car and was hit by an electric taxicab. Though he was not killed instantly, he did not survive the injuries to his head and chest.

9. Using the actual formula for horsepower (1 HP = power needed to lift 550 pounds 1 foot in 1 second), the average horse, over a longer period of time, will only produce around 0.7 horsepower. Currently, a typical compact car will contain a 150HP engine; or the horsepower generated from about 214 horses.

10. The average family sedan has contact patches (areas on the tires that are always touching the road) that only cover about100 square inches of road. This means all four tires only touch around as much road as your two feet placed next to each other.

I hope you find this as interesting as I did.

Good driving,
The Hemet Car Guy

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