automobile

Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company

On June 16, 1903, American entrepreneur Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company with $28,000 capital. It was not Henry Ford’s first attempt to build up a car company. In 1901 already he founded the Henri Ford Company, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902, after Ford left with the rights to his name. Henry Ford was 39 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go…
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Fritz von Opel and the Rocket Car

Fritz von Opel and the Rocket Car

On May 4, 1899, German automotive industrialist Fritz von Opel was born. Von Opel was the grandson of Adam Opel, founder of the Opel company. He was a pioneer in experiments with rocket propulsion for automobiles and aircraft. On 11 Apr 1928, at Berlin, together with Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander, he tested the first manned rocket automobile, the Opel-RAK1. The Heir of an Automobile Company Fritz von Opel was the grandson of…
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Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

On February 18, 1898, Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari was born. He is best known as the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as “il Commendatore” or “il Drake”. Born in Modena Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy. It is believed that he had his first significant encounter with race cars in 1908…
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Automobile Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

Automobile Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

On February 9, 1846, German engine designer and industrialist Wilhelm Maybach was born. Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. [1] These were fitted to the world‘s first motorcycle, motorboat, and to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model. Wilhelm Maybach’s Early Years Wilhelm Maybach was educated at a philanthropic institution at Reutlingen. His skills were detected…
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Gabriel Voisin – From Aviation to Luxury Cars

Gabriel Voisin – From Aviation to Luxury Cars

On February 5, 1880. French aircraft and automobile designer Gabriel Voisin was born. Voisin was the creator of Europe’s first manned, engine-powered, heavier-than-air aircraft capable of a sustained (1 km), circular, controlled flight. During World War I the company founded by Voisin became a major producer of military aircraft. Subsequently, he switched to the design and production of luxury automobiles under the name Avions Voisin. Gabriel Voisin Gabriel Voisin was born at…
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John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

On December 7, 1888, Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop patented the pneumatic or inflatable tire. His invention is considered one of the basic building blocks of the automobile manufacturing industry. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories. John Dunlop Background John Boyd Dunlop was born in 1840 on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, Scotland, what is now the eastern outskirts of the town of Irvine. Already…
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Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

Ferdinand Porsche – Innovation as a Principle

On September 3, 1875, Austrian-German automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche was born. He is best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. “If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” (Ferdinand Porsche) Ferdinand Porsche Background Today, Porsche is…
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Road Trippin’ with Alice Ramsey

Road Trippin’ with Alice Ramsey

On August 7, 1909, Alice Ramsey together with her companions reached San Francisco, successfully finishing the first crossing of the USA with an automobile by a woman. She arrived at San Francisco 60 days after her start in New York. The Journey of Alice Ramsey Alice Ramsey’s journey began on June 9, 1909 in New York City. The four women got ready for a last photo shoot and kissed their husbands good bye before…
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On the Road with Bertha Benz

On the Road with Bertha Benz

On August 5, 1888, Bertha Benz, without her husband, engineer and inventor Karl Benz, knowing about it, took her two sons on the first long distance car-trip ever performed. In doing so, she brought the Benz Patent-Motorwagen worldwide attention and got the newly founded car company its first sales. How to do Marketing for the Newly Invented Vehicle? Bertha Benz was the daughter of the master carpenter Karl Friedrich Ringer. Before Bertha…
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Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Carl Friedrich Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile,  the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1. It was granted as DRP Nr. 37435 on November 12, 1886.  His patent motor car still reminds in many ways of bicycles and carriages. “My first customer was a lunatic. My second had a death wish.” – Carl Benz, in [8] Carl Benz – Youth and Education Carl Friedrich Benz was born as Carl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into…
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