The Cars Portal
A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of cars say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires, and mainly transport people rather than goods.
Cars came into global use during the 20th century, and developed economies depend on them. The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car when German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars became widely available in the early 20th century. One of the first cars accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world.
Cars have controls for driving, parking, passenger comfort, and a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex, but also more reliable and easier to operate. These include rear-reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in-car entertainment. Most cars in use in the 2010s are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels. Electric cars, which were invented early in the history of the car, became commercially available in the 2000s and are predicted to cost less to buy than gasoline cars before 2025. The transition from fossil fuels to electric cars features prominently in most climate change mitigation scenarios.
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The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a former factory located within the Milwaukee Junction area of Detroit, Michigan, in the United States. Built in 1904, it was the second center of automobile production for the Ford Motor Company, after the Ford Mack Avenue Plant. At the Piquette Avenue Plant, the company created and first produced the Ford Model T, the car credited with initiating the mass use of automobiles in the United States. Prior to the Model T, several other car models were assembled at the factory. Early experiments using a moving assembly line to make cars were also conducted there. It was also the first factory where more than 100 cars were assembled in one day. While it was headquartered at the Piquette Avenue Plant, Ford Motor Company became the biggest U.S.-based automaker, and it would remain so until the mid-1920s. The factory was used by the company until 1910, when its car production activity was relocated to the new, bigger Highland Park Ford Plant.
bought the factory in 1911, using it to assemble cars until 1933. The building was sold in 1936, going through a series of owners for the rest of the 20th century before becoming a museum in 2001. The Piquette Avenue Plant is the oldest purpose-built automotive factory building open to the public. The museum, which was visited by over 31,000 people in 2018, has exhibits that primarily focus on the beginning of the United States automotive industry
. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, became a Michigan State Historic Site in 2003, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Read more...
Selected article -
The Mini Moke is a small, front-wheel drive utility and recreational convertible, manufactured and marketed originally by British Motor Corporation (BMC), and subsequently marketed under the Austin, Morris and Leyland brands.
Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis
and John Sheppard
, the Mini Moke is noted for its simple, straightforward, doorless design, and its adaptability. Originally prototyped as a lightweight military vehicle using the engine
parts from the Mini van, the design's small wheels and low ground clearance
made it unsuitable as an off road
military vehicle. The design was subsequently offered in civilian form as a low-cost, easily maintained vehicle, achieving global popularity as a lightweight, recreational and utility vehicle
. Read more...
Selected picture of the day
Selected biography -
Bertha Ringer, circa 1871, as she became Karl Benz
's business partner
(pronunciation, née Cäcilie Bertha Ringer
; 3 May 1849 – 5 May 1944) was a German
automotive pioneer. She was the business partner and wife of automobile inventor Karl Benz
. On 5 August 1888, she was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance, rigorously field testing the patent Motorwagen, inventing brake pads
and solving several practical issues during the journey of 65 miles (105 km). In doing so, she brought the Benz Patent-Motorwagen
worldwide attention and got the company its first sales. Read more...
Selected quote of the day
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough
Did you know...
- ...that the racing version of the Dauer 962 Le Mans, winner of 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a roadcar converted from a Porsche 962 racecar, which dominated Le Mans, Group C and IMSA during the 1980s.
- ...that the 25 Millionth VW Golf rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg in March 2007. The first Golf started production in 1974, 33 years later the 1.4 litre TSI version became the 25 Millionth car.
- ...that the nearly identical Ford Model T engines were produced for exactly 12,000 days
- ...that the first production turbocharged cars were General Motors' A-body 1962 Chevrolet Corvair and Oldsmobile F-85?
- ...that Jeep introduced the 1993 Grand Cherokee and 2007 Wrangler in the same way — by driving them through a plate glass window?
- ...that a small number of Renault 20s, badged as Dacia 2000, were made in the 1980s by Dacia in Romania for Romanian communist dignitaries of that time?
- ...that the Autobianchi Primula was the Fiat's first automobile with the front-wheel drive, transverse engine setup and rack and pinion steering?
- ...that the Plymouth Sundance is a liftback, even though the outside appearance might suggest that it is a sedan?
The following are images from various car-related articles on Wikipedia.
A Stanley Steamer racecar in 1903. In 1906, a similar Stanley Rocket set the world land speed record at 127.7 miles per hour (205.5 km/h) at Daytona Beach Road Course
German Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888, perhaps the first electric car of the world
In the Ford Model T the left-side hand lever sets the rear wheel parking brakes and puts the transmission in neutral. The lever to the right controls the throttle. The lever on the left of the steering column is for ignition timing. The left foot pedal changes the two forward gears while the centre pedal controls reverse. The right pedal is the brake.
A car being assembled in a factory
Vehicles in use per country from 2001 to 2007. It shows the significant growth in BRIC.
The second Marcus car of 1888 at the Technical Museum in Vienna
Mass production at a Toyota plant in the 1950s
1946 GAZ-M20 Pobeda one of the first mass-produced cars with ponton design
A replica of Richard Trevithick's 1801 road locomotive 'Puffing Devil'
Gustave Trouvé's tricycle, the first ever electric automobile to be shown in public
Fiat 4 HP, the first car model produced by Italian manufacturer Fiat (present-day FCA) in 1899
Result of a serious car collision
Cugnot's steam wagon, the second (1771) version
The Smart Fortwo car from 1998–2002, weighing 730 kg (1,610 lb)
The Vélib' in Paris, France is the largest bikesharing system outside China
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