From record-breaking traffic jams to Jay-Z’s $8 million set of wheels, the car trivia below offers a quick glimpse into the many ways that cars have an impact on business and culture.
1925: The year the autonomous vehicle made its debut. Granted, not exactly in the form we know today, but still, inventor and ex-army engineer Francis Houdina was way ahead of his time. The radio-controlled car made its way through New York City traffic without incident.
The world’s car manufacturers are on track to produce more than 72 million new cars this year.
Rolls Royce created its hood ornament, “Spirit of Ecstasy” (also called “Emily,” “Silver Lady,” and “Flying Lady”), in 1911, depicting a female figure leaning into the wind with her robes streaming out behind her.
Some record-breaking traffic (and watch out in 2020?) …
2010: A 62-mile traffic jam in Beijing took a record 10 or more days to clear.
1990: A Berlin back-up involved a record 18 million cars.
1980: A jam in Paris created a record 110 miles of stopped cars.
In 1979, 4x4 specialist Bob Chandler made and shared a video of his souped-up truck (named “Bigfoot”) crushing cars, and the monster truck was born.
The first two car magazines ever (The Horseless Age in the U.S. and The Autocar in the U.K.) debuted the same year, 1911, and are still in existence today (as Automotive Industries and Autocar, respectively). We might be biased, but Modern Dealership is still our favorite industry mag!
Route 66 was the first television show in the U.S. to star a car: a Chevrolet Corvette, in 1960.
Los Angeles smog in the 1970s is known to be the key factor in driving the industry to produce cleaner, less polluting engines.
The first true hatchback – the 1.3-liter Simca 1100 Ti – was “hatched” in 1974 in France.
The celebrity with the most expensive car is Jay-Z. His Maybach Exelero is said to be worth $7 to $8 million. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has been seen driving two cars: a Volkswagen GTI and an Acura TSX, both of which cost around $30,000.
Smithsonian Enterprises (2018). Drive: The Definitive History of Driving.