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- First automobile ad - Saturday Evening Post
- First steering wheel in place of tiller.
- First drivers license issued - to Harold J. Birnie in New York City
- Oldsmobile includes a speedometer on their cars.
- American Automobile Association organized
- First school for automobile mechanics - Detroit
- First cars sold on installment plan.
- First car reported stolen. (St. Louis)
- Ford is first US car with left-hand steering
General Motors formed by Billy Durant, with acquisition of Buick, Cadillac, Oakland
(Pontiac) and Oldsmobile.
- Fisher Body established
New York to Paris race won by a Thomas Flyer automobile.
- First Model T Ford
- First rural mile of concrete - Wayne County, Michigan
Billy Durant loses control of General Motors
- Chevrolet Motors formed by Billy Durant
- First electric starter - Cadillac
- General Motors Truck Co. established (later called GMC)
- First Indianapolis 500
- First moving assembly line - Ford
- Ford produces 1000 cars in one day
- Lincoln Highway Association is established
- Henry B. Joy, president of Packard, joins the Lincoln Highway Assn.
- First Dodge Brothers car
- First stop sign - Detroit
- First US-produced 12-cylinder car - Packard
- Emily Post, her son, and a cousin attempt to drive from New York City to San Francisco
on the Lincoln Highway. (They do arrive, but the car was shipped by rail part of the way.)
- Henry Joy and a mechanic drive a Packard from Detroit to San Francisco, following the
Lincoln Highway, in 21 days.
- National highway system established with President Woodrow Wilson signing Federal Aid
- Billy Durant uses his success with Chevrolet to re-gain control of General Motors.
- Lincoln Motor Company established by Henry M. Leland.
- First 3-color traffic signal light - Detroit
- GM of Canada formed
- Fisher Body affiliates with GM
- GMAC - General Motors Acceptance Corporation - organized
- Harry Osterman, secretary of Lincoln Highway Association, flips over the club's Packard
on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. He dies in the crash.
- Lincoln comes with standard turn signals
- Ford acquires Lincoln Motor Co.
- First Ethyl gasoline sold - Dayton
- 4-wheel brakes are standard
- One in seven Americans owns a car
- Walter P Chrysler buys Maxwell, changes name to Chrysler Corp.
- Yellow Truck & Coach established; GM Trucks (GMT) merged to it.
- Fisher Body acquires Fleetwood Body Company
- US Government takes over the numbering of federal roads. Gone are names like
"Lincoln Highway" and "National Road," replaced with numbers like US
30 and US 40.
- Oakland introduces the first Pontiac car
- Benz and Daimler merge.
- Octane scale introduced.
- Safety glass introduced
- Hot water car heater introduced
- Ford Model A introduced, Model T discontinued.
- Cadillac introduces LaSalle name
- Chrysler buys Dodge Brothers
- Chrysler introduces Plymouth and DeSoto cars
- Studebaker takes over Pierce-Arrow
- Coast-to-coast bus service debuts
- US auto production hits 5,337,087; a record not surpassed until the 1950s.
- First US diesel car - a Packard with a Cummins engine
- First US front drive cars - Cord and Ruxton
- First US 16-cylinder car - Cadillac
- First free-wheeling - Studebaker
- First cars wired for radio
- Semi-automatic with dash control - REO
- Fred S Duesenberg killed in car crash (in his own Duesenberg.)
- Oakland Division becomes Pontiac Division of GM
- Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow body introduced
- Airflow cars have automatic overdrive transmission
- First supercharged Graham
- First all-steel turret top - Fisher Body
- First Lincoln Zephyr (1936 model)
- Nash joins with Kelvinator Refrigerator
- the first Volkswagen
- REO changes from car production to trucks
- First production diesel cars - Mercedes
- gearshifts move from floor to steering columns
- Ford introduces a new brand of car - 1939 Mercury
- First Hydramatic transmission - 1940 Oldsmobile
- First Lincoln Continental
- Sealed beam headlights
- Cadillac drops the LaSalle
- Willys begins Jeep delivery
- Civilian car production halts for World War II
- Gas rationing begins
- Passenger car production resumes - July
- Gas rationing ends - August
- Lincoln-Mercury Division established
- Kaiser and Frazer cars debut
- Bendix builds power steering for trucks
- Henry Ford dies at 83
- Cadillac & Oldsmobile introduce high-compression V-8s
- First torque converter automatic transmission - Buick Dynaflow
- Jeep wagon (first sport utility vehicle?) and Jeepster convertible offered
- First Nash Rambler
- First car to start by turning the key only - Chrysler
- First Henry J. car - from Kaiser
- First tinted glass - Buick
- First hemi V-8 - Chrysler
- First automobile power steering - Chrysler
- Four barrel carburetors - Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac
- First fiberglass body - Chevrolet Corvette
- Auto air conditioning
- 12 volt electrical systems
- Kaiser-Frazer acquires Willys Overland
- Studebaker and Packard merge
- Nash and Hudson merge into American Motors
- First Ford Thunderbird (1955 model)
- Record players - Chrysler
- Remote truck release - Cadillac
- Pushbutton automatic transmissions - Chrysler, DeSoto, Dodge, Plymouth (1956 model)
- Four-door hardtops - Buick and Oldsmobile
- US production record - 9 million vehicles.
- 6-way power seats
- Fuel injection - Pontiac & Chevrolet
- Paper air cleaners replace oil bath
- Edsel introduced by Ford (1958 model)
- Retractable hardtops - Ford
- Cruise control
- Government mandates retail price sticker on cars
- Final Packard is built
- Chevrolet Corvair, Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant compacts debut (1960 models)
- Edsel dropped after 3 model years
- Final DeSoto built
- Front seat belts standard
- First Ford Mustang (1965 model)
- Studebaker shuts its doors after 114 years (began as wagon maker)
- More auto history:
History of Ford Motor Company -- 1st 100 years, 1903-2003
Henry Ford biography
History of General Motors -- 1st 100 years, 1908-2008
Automobile History - from About.com. Index to dozens of auto history pages.
What happened on this day in automotive history? Fun auto history
facts, from the History Channel. Click here