15 Curiosities about the World of Cars


Four wheels and an engine that changed the world. In much part of the world, the car is the most used means of transportation, a status symbol that, even if it has existed for just over a century, has become one of those technologies which would be impossible to live without. When the first specimens appeared, cars were considered so slow, uncomfortable and with unreliable engines, that only few were betting on a development that would have replaced the horse-drawn carriages, which were the most widespread means at that time. But technology galloped much further than horses and soon cars spread so much as to become essential in modern society. Italian Traditions offers you a short voyage to discover 15 curious facts linked to the world of cars.

1. The first vehicle to move independently was built in 1769. It weighed more than 3.5 tons and was used to tow cannons.

2. 135 years later, in 1904, the first fine for speeding took place in Dayton, Ohio; the driver "sped" at the amazing speed of 19 kilometers per hour.

3. Instead of gear shift, the first cars used a lever that was a kind of joystick.

4. In 1916, 55% of automobiles in the world were Ford Model-T, and it still remains today an unbeaten record.

5. When the American Gangster Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion to US tax authorities, the Treasury Department confiscated an armored limousine. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Roosevelt drove in the same car to get to the congress to deliver his declaration of war.

6. To start up a car it takes about 15 grams of fuel.

7. Driving without ever stopping at an average speed of 100 km/h it would take more or less 157 years to reach the moon, and another 150 years or so to get to the sun.

8. 42 seconds to remove and replace an engine in a Ford Escort, it is the record made in 1985 by a mechanic.

9. Most of cars are able to travel up to 100 kilometers after the ignition of the fuel gauge, which in the jargon we call reserve. However, we recommend to avoid trying it: leaving a car dry out of fuel drastically reduces the life of the fuel pump.

10. Tata, Indian vehicle, runs 100 km with 1 euro and is the cheapest car with 4 seats on the market, it costs less than 2000 euro.


11. Always use the parking brake: doing so means reducing a lot the pressure on the transmission, extending its life even for years.

12. Vintage cars are considered those that were built at least 30 years before the enrollment in one of the historical Registries of ASI.

13. In Switzerland it is forbidden to slam the car door.

14. The first self-propelled device developed by Motorola was a device for cars that we all now know as car radio. It is indeed from this device that the name of the company derives from: Motor (Automobile) – Ola (Sound).

15. Chrysler contributed to the construction of the B29 that bombed Japan, while Mitsubishi built the Zeros, which had the task to shoot them down. Both automakers now build cars together in a mixed settlement called Diamond Star.