Portal:Cars

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The Cars Portal

Cars and trucks driving on Highway 401 in Ontario, Canada

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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A three-story brick building with late Victorian-style architecture. A row of telephone poles are on the right and a historical marker is next to the front door.

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.

Studebaker 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...
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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, transmission and suspension 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...

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all generations of the Nissan Skyline
all generations of the Nissan Skyline

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Bertha Ringer, circa 1871, as she became Karl Benz's business partner
Bertha Benz (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...

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1998Jaguar S-TYPE is introduced at the British Motor Show

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If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough

Mario Andretti

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