Automobile Milestone Trivia

Q: When were seat belts first fitted to a motor vehicle?
A: In 1902 a Baker Electric streamliner racer was the first to feature safety belts.
It crashed at 100 mph on Staten Island.

Q: What car first referred to itself as a convertible?
A: The 1904 Thomas Flyer. It had a removable hard top.

Q: What is the Spirit of Ecstasy?
A: The official name of the mascot of Rolls Royce, an angelic figure atop the radiator since 1906.

Q: Which U.S. production car had the largest 4 cylinder engine?
A: The 1907 Thomas sported a 571 cid (9.2 liter) engine.

Q: Which car company started out German, but became French after WWI?
A: Bugati, founded in Molsheim, Germany in 1909, became French when Alsace reverted to French rule.
Q: Who opened the first drive-in gas station?
A: In 1913 Gulf Oil inaugurated the first station in Pittsburgh, PA.

Q: Which automaker's first logo seemingly incorporated a Star of David?
A: The Dodge Brothers, 1915.

Q: Which manufacturer delivered the first production V12 engine?
A: "Cylinder Wars" revved up in 1915 after Packard's chief engineer, Col. Jesse Vincent, introduced its Twin-Six.

Q: Which car was the first to position the horn button in the center of the steering wheel?
A: The 1915 Scripps-Booth Model C. The car also was the first with electric door latches.

Q: Where were the world's first three-color traffic lights installed?
A: Detroit, Michigan, 1919. Two years the city experimented with synchronized lights.

Q: Where was the first drive-in restaurant?
A: Royce Hailey's Pig Stand opened in Dallas, Texas in 1921.

Q: What was the inspiration for MG's famed octagon-shaped badge?
A: The shape of founder Cecil Kimber's 1924 dining table. MG stands for "Morris Garages."

Q: Which was the all-time lowest priced mass-produced American car?
A: The 1925 Ford Model T Runabout. It cost $260, $5 less than 1924.

Q: What car used the first successful series-production hydraulic valve lifters?
A: The 1930 Cadillac 452, also the first production V16.

Q: Where was the first drive-in movie theater opened?
A: Camden, NJ, 1933.

Q: Who wrote to Henry Ford?:

"For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business
hasen’t been strickly legal it don’t hurt enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8.

A: Clyde Barrow with Bonnie, 1934.

Q: What city was the first to use parking meters?
A: Oklahoma City, July 16, 1935.

Q: Which car was the first to feature power-operated seats?
A: The 1947 Packard line.

Q: What autos were the first to use an integral key-starter system, instead of a power key & starter button?
A: The 1949 Chryslers

Q: True or False?: The 1953 Corvette could be ordered in white, red or black.
A: False.  The 1953 Corvettes were available only in "Polo White."

Q: Which was the first car fitted with an alternator, rather than a direct current generator?
A: The 1960 Plymouth Valiant.

Q: Which car song was the flip side of the Beach Boy's early single, "Surfin' Safari"?
A: "409," rhapsodizing the "4-speed, dual quad, posi-traction 409."
Shown: 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409, with 409 bhp under two Rochester 4 bbl carbs.

Q: Which of the Chrysler "letter cars" sold the fewest units?
A: The 1963 "300J's" sold only 400.

Q: What's the only car to appear simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek?
A: The 1964 Mustang

Q. What did the Oldsmobile designation"4-4-2" represent?
A: 4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed manual transmission, dual exhaust

Q: What was Ford's answer to the burgeoning success of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray?
A: Carroll Shelby's 1965 Mustang GT350.

Q: Which model had the distinction of being GM's 100 millionth car built in the U.S.?
A: A front-wheel drive Olds Tornado rolled out of Lansing, Michigan with that honor on March 16, 1966.

Q: In what model year did Cadillac introduce the first electric sunroof?
A: 1969

Q: What car was the first to have its radio antenna embedded in the windshield?
A: The 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix.

Q: Which model car was reportedly designed on the back of a Northwest Airlines airsickness bag and released on April Fools Day, 1970?
A: 1970 AMC Gremlin

Q: What is the fastest internal-combustion American production car?
A: The 1998 Dodge Viper GETS-R, tested by Motor Trend magazine at 192.6 mph.

Automobile Milestones by Derrick Garbell © 2008-2010

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