Want to win a few bets with your buddies? With the help of our friends at Fred Martin Superstore (Barberton, OH,) we have put together a list of some great automotive trivia.
1 – In the past 50 years, motor vehicle fatalities in the USA have reduced by roughly 80%. The total number of fatalities for 2010 alone is the lowest in 62 years. I case anyone thinks that all of today’s automotive safety technology is marginally effective, millions of lives have been saved.
2 – The car most stolen in the United States as of 2018 is the Honda Accord.
3 – According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, whale oil was actually used in some car transmissions until 1973.
4 – From 1908-1914, Ford’s Model T could be purchased in several different colors. Today, the old Henry Ford quote about black cars is still told over and over again.
5 – There are now three states that have legalized self-driving cars on the road: Nevada, Florida, and California.
6 – Designed by Pininfarina, the 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT is considered such a beautiful car that it is permanently exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art. The car has no sharp edges and is all one single sheet of aluminum.
8 – Electric cars are not new technology; they were first manufactured in 1905. One of the first electric car companies, Lauch & Lang produced electric cars until 1920, when the gas-combustion engine became dominant due low gas prices.
9 – The Volkswagen Beetle was originally called “Kraft durch Freude Wage” (“Strength Through Joy Car”). The small car was named thusly by Adolph Hitler, who in May of 1938 visited the factory and made his announcement of the name.
10 – Using the actual formula for horsepower (1 HP = power needed to lift 550 lbs. 1 ft. in 1 sec.), the average horse will only produce around 70% of a HP. Currently, a typical compact car will contain a 150HP engine; or the horsepower contained in around 214 horses.
11 – Seat belts are now being worn by 84% of people who travel in vehicles, compared to 14% just 30 years ago. Other safety improvements, like air bags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and better tires also contribute to this reduction.
12 – The average family sedan has contact patches (areas on the tires touching the road) only covering around 100 square inches of road. This means all four tires on your car only touch as much road as your two feet.
13 – It is believed that self-driving cars will not only speed up the flow of traffic on highways (by way of sensing distances between cars and adjusting accordingly), but with the ability to park themselves.
14 – Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed new headlight technology that dodges raindrops, to avoid shining light on them. It is estimated that this type of headlight will make driving in rain significantly less dangerous.
15 – In 2008, a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder became the most expensive car sold at a classic car auction — $10,894,900 USD after the deduction of the auction fees.
16 – One of the ugliest vehicles ever made, the AMC Gremlin, pioneered the style that is now commonly seen in SUVs – sloped side-window and high hood.