Ultimate Car History




Q: What was the first official White House car?

A 1909 White Steamer, ordered by President Taft.


Q: Who opened the first drive-in gas station? 

A: Gulf opened up the first gas station in Pittsburgh in 1913.


Q: What city was the first to use parking meters?

A: Oklahoma City , on July 16, 1935.


Q: Where was the first drive-in restaurant?

A: Royce Hailey's Pig Stand opened in Dallas in 1921.


Q: True or False?  The 1953 Corvette came in white, red and black.

A: False.  The 1953 'Vett's were available in one color, Polo White.


Q: What was Ford's answer to the Chevy Corvette, and other legal street racers of the 1960's?

A: Carroll Shelby's Mustang GT350.


Q: What was the first car fitted with an alternator, rather than a DC generator?

A: The 1960 Plymouth Valiant


Q: What was the first car fitted with a replaceable cartridge oil filter?

A: The 1924 Chrysler.


Q: What was the first car to be offered with a "perpetual guarantee"?

A: Acme Motor Car Company  offered this incentive starting in 1904.  Perpetuity was limited in this case, since Acme closed down in 1911.


Q: What American luxury automaker began by making cages for birds and squirrels?

A: The George N. Pierce Co. of Buffalo, who made the Pierce Arrow, also made iceboxes.


Q: What car first referred to itself as a convertible?

A: The 1904 Thomas Flyer, which had a removable hard top.


Q: What car was the first to have it's radio antenna embedded in the windshield?

A: The 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix.


Q: What car used the first successful series-production hydraulic valve lifters?

A: The 1930 Cadillac 452, the first production V16.


Q: Where were the World's first three-color traffic lights installed?

A: Detroit , Michigan in 1919. Two years later they experimented with synchronized lights.


Q: What car had the honor of being GM's 100 millionth car built in the U.S. ?

A: March 16, 1966 saw an Olds Toronado roll out of Lansing, Michigan with that honor.


Q: Where was the first drive-in movie theater opened, and when?

A: Camden , NJ in 1933


Q: What autos were the first to use a standardized production key-start system?

A: The 1949 Chrysler


Q: What did the Olds designation 4-4-2 stand for?

A: 4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed transmission, and dual exhaust.


Q: What car was the first to place 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: What early 60's U.S. production car had the quickest 0-60 mph time?

A: The 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409. Did it in 4.0 seconds.


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

A: The Mustang


Q: What was the lowest priced mass produced American car?

A: The 1925 Ford Model T Runabout. Cost $260, $5 less than 1924.


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


Q: What automaker's first logo incorporated the Star of David?

A: The Dodge Brothers


Q: Who wrote to Henry Ford, "I have drove fords exclusively when I could get away with one. It has got every other car skinned, and even if my business hasn't been strictly legal it don't hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V-8"?

A:Clyde Barrow (of Bonnie and Clyde fame) in 1934.


Q: What car was the first production V12, as well as the first production car with aluminum pistons?

A: The 1915 Packard Twin-Six. Used during WWI in Italy, these motors inspired Enzi Ferrari to adopt the V12 himself in 1948.


Q: What was the first car to use power operated seats?

A: They were first used on the 1947 Packard line.


Q: Which of the Chrysler "letter cars" sold the fewest amount?

A: After selling 570 300H cars in 1962, only 400 J's were sold In 1963.  The 300 "I" was skipped because "I" looked like a number 1.  Reducing the price (and features) by more than $1000 in 1964's 300K, sold 3647 coupes and convertables.


Q: What car company was originally known as Swallow Sidecars (aka SS)?

A: Jaguar, which was an SS model first in 1935, and ultimately the whole company by 1945.


Q: What car delivered the first production V12 engine?

A: The cylinder wars were kicked off in 1915 after Packard's chief engineer, Col. Jesse Vincent, introduced its Twin-Six.


Q: When were seat belts first fitted to a motor vehicle?

A: In 1902, in a Baker Electric streamliner racer which crashed at 100 mph. on Staten Island.


Q: In January 1930, Cadillac debuted it's V16 in a car named for a theatrical version of a 1920's film seen by Harley Earl while designing the body, What's that name?

A: The "Madam X", a custom coach designed by Earl and built by Fleetwood. The sedan featured a retractable landau top above the rear seat.


Q: Which car company started out German, yet became French after WWI?

A: Bugatti, founded in Molsheim in 1909, became French when Alsace returned to French rule.


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

A: 1969  It was a $626 option and was installed after the car was built by American Sunroof - who then returned the car to Cadillac for delivery.


Q: What U.S. production car had the largest 4 cylinder engine?

A: The 1907 Thomas sported a 571 cu. in. (9.2liter) engine.


Q: What car was reportedly designed on the back of a Northwest Airlines airsickness bag and released on April Fool's Day, 1970?

A: 1970 AMC Gremlin.


Q: What is the Spirit of Ecstasy?

A: The official name of the mascot of Rolls Royce, she is the lady on top of their radiators.


Q: What was the inspiration for MG's famed octagon-shaped badge?

A: The shape of founder Cecil Kimber's dining table. MG stands for Morris Garages.


Q: In what year did the "double-R" Rolls Royce badge change from red to black?

A: 1933


Trivia...Ford, who made the first pick-up trucks, shipped them to dealers in crates.  The new owners had to go to the dealers to get them and then assemble them, using the crates as the beds of the trucks.
Thus they had to "pick-up" the trucks.