Oct 12 2012, 2:33am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
The world's tryst with automobiles started in the year 1672, when Ferdinand Verbiest designed the first working steam-powered vehicle. However, it remains unknown if the model was ever built. Then we jump straight to 1769, the year in which Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the world's first self-propelled mechanical vehicle. In the year 1807 Francois Isaac de Rivaz, a Swiss inventor, developed the world's first vehicle to be powered by an internal combustion engine. Then in 1881, French inventor Gustave Trouvé found success with an electric three-wheeled automobile. Four years later, Karl Benz built a gasoline-powered car. In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach built a small, lightweight and fast engine that used a gasoline-injected carburetor, and had a vertical cylinder. On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stage carriage and adapted it to hold his engine. And that is how the world got its first four-wheeled automobile.
The introduction of four-wheelers marked the end of the era of horse-drawn carriages. But that was just the beginning of a revolution that was to change the world for good. The mass-production of cars begain in the early 1900, and then in 1914 Henry Ford expanded the concept of assembly line mass production to create history. Ever since then, several cars were introduced that changed how people travelled, and also influenced their lifestyle. The industry soon started to develop and evolve rapidly, leading to the creation of such technologies that changed the face of the automotive industry forever. That said, there is no denying that every now and then, there comes a car that turns the game around. Though there are plenty of cars that influenced and affected this industry, here is a list of the ones that had the most major impact on the world.
1. Ford Model T: No other vehicle deserves the first place on the list as much as the Ford Model T. An international poll very rightly rated it as the most influential car of the 20th century, for it was the world's first affordable car. It wasn't the first car to be made, but it was the FIRST car to be built on an assembly line using mass production methods. Though Henry Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line technique, he employed it in a way that allowed him to produce affordable cars. Sporting a two-speeds and rear-wheel drive, Model T was produced from September 1908 to October 1927 and sold 15 million units.
2. Volkswagen Beetle: In 1933, Adolf Hitler directed Ferdinand Porsche to develop a basic vehicle that could transport two adults and three children at 100kmph. And consequently, the Beetle was born in 1938. It is the oldest production car with a 65-year run from 1938 to 2003. It is remembered as the most-manufactured car, which evovled very little during its lifetime, and also for its unique rear-engine design. Volkswagen Beetle went on to appear in several movies, the most famous one being Disney's Herbie series.
3. Austin Mini: Considered to be a British icon in the 1960s, the Mini is a small economy car that was made by the British Motor Corporation from 1959 until 2000. This adorable car employed a revolutionary layout, which included a diagonally-placed engine and front-wheel drive. This allowed the Mini to have 80 per cent of its interior space in the cabin. A variant of this very popular car, i.e. Mini Cooper S, was seen in the 1969 blockbuster The Italian Job, and also in its 2000 remake.
d. Ford Mustang: The 1964 Mustang was America's introduction to muscle cars, and they instantly took to it. It is often referred to as the 'undisputed king of America's obsession with horsepower and torque'. Ford Mustang is also credited with the creation of the 'pony car' segment --- a segment that includes sports-car like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks. It has enjoyed immense popularity ever since its introduction, and has enjoyed a sustained production run ever since. It is currently in its fifth generation, which was first launched in 2005. e. Jaguar XK 120: The other icon of the 1960s, i.e. the Jaguar XK 120, is regarded as the 'most beautiful car ever made'. It was the first car to be produced after World War II, and was first unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1948 as a testbed for the Jaguar XK engine. This British beauty was also the fastest production car at that time. New York Museum of Modern Art has a blue model of this car on display as an example of great design and also to enable auto fans to binge on its timeless charm.
f. Audi Quattro: Though this road and rally car wasn't the first with an all-wheel drive system, but it was the first to bring it to the masses. Launched in 1980, Audi's chassis engineer Jörg Bensinger mated the all-wheel drive system with a turbocharged engine, a first of its-kind. Bensinger was inspired when he saw that Volkswagen Iltis could outperform any other vehicle in snow, no matter how powerful. And that is how Audi Quattro changed the world of rallying.
Source : CarDekho
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founder of I4U LLC and is a news junkie. He is posting hot trending stories across the broad range of Balla Network sites. Tip Luigi with your hot trending news and memes here.
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