In The Rearview Mirror: March 9th

A look back at automotive history

The year is 1901 and the Olds Motor Works Factory of Detroit, Michigan, is ablaze. Fire ravages the building until there is almost nothing remaining. Legend says that one employee, a Mr. James Brandy, quite literally pushed a car out of the building to safety, a Regular Runabout, or as it was called more affectionately the Curved Dash.

It’s 1932 and Ford has produced an engine that would become an icon among the brand and American muscle cars. That’s right, this is the year that the company introduces the first vehicle to hold a V8 engine: the Ford Model 18, or, also called the Ford V8 since it was the first of its kind.

Skip ahead to 1955 and the Fiat 600 takes the stage at the Exhibition Hall in Geneva for the first time. Automotive experts and journalists were thrilled with the car, which received high praise all around.

What could be more exciting than the Fiat 600? Just a few short years later, 1964 to be exact, the very first Ford Mustang officially rolled off of the assembly line.

While we may credit companies like Tesla for the introduction of electric vehicles, EVs have been around for quite some time. In fact, Ford introduced the brand’s first electric vehicle, the Ford Comuta, in 1967, decades before Tesla came about. Powered by a 12-volt battery, the Comuta had a top speed of 40mph and on a full charge reportedly had a range of 60 miles. While it wouldn’t be getting any awards for performance it did have the potential to be a good commuter car, as the model name suggests.

Not so far in the distant past, the record for the fastest speed was set — but not on pavement. The record for the fastest recorded speed on ice was set in 2013 by Janne Laitinen, representing Nokian Tires, in the Gulf of Bothnia, Finland at 208 mph.

Check back tomorrow to see what happened in automotive history on March 10th, or follow us on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss our newest posts!

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