Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

On This Day


4th July

1829

191 years ago

The first London "Omnibus" commenced on the route between Paddington (The Yorkshire Stingo) and "Bank" (Bank of England) via the "New Road" (now Marylebone Rd), Somers Town and City Road. Four services were provided in each direction daily. This service was described in the first advertisements as being "upon the Parisian mode" and that "a person of great respectability attended his vehicle as Conductor". Continue Reading →

George Shillibeer's first London omnibus, 1829

George Shillibeer's first London omnibus, 1829

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1894

126 years ago

Elwood Haynes successfully tested his one-horsepower, one-cylinder vehicle, the ‘Pioneer’, at 6 or 7 mph at Kokomo, Indiana. Now on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Hayne's vehicle is the oldest American-made motorcar in existence. Haynes was a trained engineer and chemist who discovered several alloys, including a stainless steel (discovered 1911, patented 1919) and was the first to use aluminium in an automobile engine.

Elwood Haynes driving his first_automobile, the Pioneer in 1886.

Elwood Haynes driving his first_automobile, the Pioneer in 1886.

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1902

118 years ago

The first motorcycle race in America was held from Boston to New York.

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1903

117 years ago

The first Irish speed trials were held two days after the Gordon Bennett Cup race, in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Over the flying-kilometre, Baron de Forest’s privately owned Mors beat Gabriel’s works Mors, and a 80hp Panchard driven by the Right Hon. Charles Rolls.

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1905

115 years ago

The special racing version of the White steam car, driven by Webb Jay, defeated a Fiat and a Thomas in a match race at the Morris Park Dirt Track in the Bronx, New York, lowering the world's mile record to 48.6 seconds. Known as ‘Whistling Billy’, the racer was manufactured by the White Motor Company of Cleveland Ohio, US.

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1908

112 years ago

The world's largest electric sign, 'CITROEN". debuted on the sides of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A total of 250,000 light bulbs and 600 kilometres of electric cable were used to make the 30 metre high letters. Continue Reading →

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1908

112 years ago

The first woman’s motor car race held at Brooklands.

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1909

111 years ago

The first rural section of concrete pavement in the United States, a one-mile stretch, opens on Woodward Ave near Detroit at a cost of $13,534.

Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Woodward Avenue, Detroit

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1912

108 years ago

The 8,000-seat Newark Motordrome, New Jersey (US) opened and regularly ran motorcycle races on Sunday afternoons until it closed in 1917 after a fire. Racing fans from in and around Newark would pack the grandstands that ring the 60-degree, quarter-mile wooden "saucer" to see riders from around the country compete at speeds approaching 90 to 100 mph.

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1913

107 years ago

Frank Verbeck won $50,000 when he drove a Fiat to victory in the 444 mile Pan-Pacific Road Race from Los Angeles to Sacramento. It is the longest race held on public roads in California history.

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1914

106 years ago

Mercedes finished 1-2-3 at the French Grand Prix at Lyon, the last Grand Prix before World War One. An estimated crowd of over 300,000 watched 37 cars start in pairs with a 30-second gap between each pair. German Christian Lautenschlager won the 480-mile race at 65. Continue Reading →

Grid at the start of the 1914 French Grand Prix.

Grid at the start of the 1914 French Grand Prix.

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1914

106 years ago

A Saxon roadster arrived in San Francisco, 30 days after leaving New York City, to complete the first transcontinental automobile trip using the newly completed Lincoln Highway.

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1914

106 years ago

The Sioux City Speedway, Iowa staged its inaugural race, the 300-mile ‘Fourth of July Classic’. The race began at eleven in the morning. Those in attendance went wild as the starting flag was dropped. Continue Reading →

The Sioux City Speedway race, July 4, 1914

The Sioux City Speedway race, July 4, 1914

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1915

105 years ago

Bob Burman won the main event at Ascot Park in Los Angeles, California, US, driving a Peugeot.

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1920

100 years ago

Du Pont's Duco Satin Finish proxylin enamel paint was announced. This quick drying paint was introduced by Oakland in 1923 and revolutionised automobile production techniques.

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1935

85 years ago

The British Ministry of Transport announced that dipped car headlights would become compulsory. The earliest headlamps were fueled by acetylene or oil, and were introduced in the late 1880s. Acetylene lamps were popular because the flame is resistant to wind and rain. Continue Reading →

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1936

84 years ago

Charles Martin (ERA) won the Nuffield Trophy handicap race at Donington Park, England.

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1936

84 years ago

The Reich Government decided to build a separate plant for the new Volkswagen, the Volkswagenwerk. The "Company for Preparation of Deutsche Volkswagen Ltd" was established in May 1937.

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1939

81 years ago

Creston, Wyoming, dedicated a monument to honour Henry B. Joy for his efforts in building the Lincoln Highway.

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1939

81 years ago

Noel Pope riding a Brough Superior recorded the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle at Brooklands (124.51mph).

Noel Pope, Brough Superior

Noel Pope, Brough Superior

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1948

72 years ago

Despite racing for nearly two hours, at the finishing line of the Swiss Grand Prix, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Wimille was only 0.2 seconds behind the race winner, the Italian driver Carlo Felice Trossi. Trossi's compatriot Luigi Villoresi finished over two and a half minutes behind the pair, in third place. Pre-WWII star driver Achille Varzi was killed when he crashed during practice, and the wealthy Swiss privateer Christian Kautz died in an accident during the race.

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1952

68 years ago

Troy Ruttmann driving the Offenhauser-powered Agajanian Special, won the inaugural 200-mile race at the Southland Speedway, later known as the Raleigh Speedway in North Carolina, US.

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1952

68 years ago

Curtis Turner tamed a 56-car field to win the 200-mile NASCAR Modified-Sportsman race at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina. Rex Stansell was fatally injured in a late-race crash. NASCAR inserted the Darlington race into its crowded Modified-Sportsman schedule to counter the AAA Indy Car race staged at the new Southland Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina, US.

Curtis Turner

Curtis Turner

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1953

67 years ago

Junior Johnson won the 200-mile NASCAR Modified-Sportsman race at Darlington Raceway. In a same-day NASCAR Grand National event at Spartan­burg, South Carolina, title contender Tim Flock was run over by a car as he took a nap in the infield. Flock's injuries kept him out of action for several weeks.

Junior Johnson

Junior Johnson

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1953

67 years ago

The first Volvo Duett 445 DH was built for delivery to the first customer for this estate model, none other than one of Volvo’s founders, Assar Gabrielsson. A few months later the first van version was produced and designated as the Volvo PV 445 DS. The design was based on the Volvo PV sedan and shared its engine and front suspension with that model. Continue Reading →

Volvo Duett 445 DH

Volvo Duett 445 DH

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1954

66 years ago

The long-awaited Mercedes-Benz team arrived at the French Grand Prix with the new W196 cars for Juan-Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. With Giuseppe Farina out of action after an accident Gianni Lancia agreed to release Alberto Ascari to drive for Maserati, ensuring that there was an Italian driver in the race. Ferrari fielded Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn with Maurice Trintigant. Continue Reading →

Start of the 1954 French Grand Prix

Start of the 1954 French Grand Prix

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1956

64 years ago

Fireball Roberts recorded his first superspeedway triumph in the 250-miler at Raleigh Speedway. Carl Kiekhaefer files a protest against the weight of Roberts' flywheel. No scales were available at the speedway, so NASCAR officials took the flywheel to a local fish market to be weighed. Continue Reading →

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1957

63 years ago

The Fiat 500 was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show. It was cheap and practical, measuring only 2.97 metres (9 ft 9 in) long, and originally powered by an appropriately sized 479-cc, 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine. The 500 redefined the term ‘small car’ and is considered one of the first city cars.

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

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1957

63 years ago

Paul Goldsmith wheeled Smokey Yunick's Chevrolet to victory in the 250-mile NASCAR Grand National race at Raleigh Speedway. Herb Thomas made his first start of the season after injuries suffered in October 1956.

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1958

62 years ago

Fireball Roberts continued his winning spree by taking first place in the 250-mile race at Raleigh Speed­way, North Carolina, US. The Daytona Beach driver outrun a 55-car field on the one-mile banked oval.

Fireball Roberts - 1958

Fireball Roberts - 1958

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1959

61 years ago

Fireball Roberts scored his first win in his hometown by driving a Pontiac to victory in the inaugural Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Roberts outran Joe Weatherly's Convertible Thunderbird in the caution-free event.

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1961

59 years ago

The Japanese government ratified a contract between the Toyo Kogyo Company Ltd, and the Wankel GmbH of Germany, giving the manufacturer of the Mazda the rights to the Wankel rotary engine.

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1965

55 years ago

Jean-Pierre Beltoise won the Reims Grand Prix in a Matra, the first major Grand Prix victory by a French car since 1952.

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1969

51 years ago

The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) was founded by John Bishop.

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1972

48 years ago

George Schuster, the final driver of the winning Thomas Flyer in the New York to Paris race in 1908, died aged 99 in Springville, New York, US. The "Great Race" was an international competition among teams representing Germany (Protos), Italy (Brixia-Zust), France (three teams: DeDion-Bouton, Moto Bloc, Sizaire-Naudin) and the United States (Thomas Flyer). Schuster's victory for the American entry still stands nearly a century later. Continue Reading →

Thomas Flyer - 1908

Thomas Flyer - 1908

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1972

48 years ago

The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England opened. The museum was founded in 1952 by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, as a tribute to his father, who was one of the great pioneers of motoring in the United Kingdom, being the first person to drive a motor car into the yard of the Houses of Parliament, and having introduced King Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales) to motoring during the 1890s. At first the museum consisted of just five cars and a small collection of automobilia displayed in the front hall of Lord Montagu's ancestral home, Palace House, but such was the popularity of this small display that the collection soon outgrew its home and was transferred to wooden sheds in the grounds of the house. Continue Reading →

National Motor Museum in Beaulieu

National Motor Museum in Beaulieu

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1974

46 years ago

Coming to take the white flag at the Firecracker 400, leader David Pearson realised he is a sitting duck with Richard Petty riding second and ready to slingshot into the lead. As he crossed the start-finish line, Pearson suddenly pulled onto the apron as if he has a blown engine. Richard Petty swept into the lead, but suddenly realised that Pearson was back up to speed and running on his back bumper. Continue Reading →

1972 Firecracker 400 - Checkered Flag

1972 Firecracker 400 - Checkered Flag

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1976

44 years ago

The 54th French Grand Prix and the fourth to be held at the Paul Ricard circuit was won by the eventual 1976 world champion James Hunt driving a McLaren M23. Hunt won by twelve seconds over the Tyrrell P34 of Patrick Depailler. It was Hunt's second win for the year and his third career Grand Prix victory.

Start - 1976 French Grand Prix

Start - 1976 French Grand Prix

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1984

36 years ago

Autoworld entertainment park opened in Flint, Michigan, US with great fanfare, including a parade. For $8.95 a ticket, visitors could enter what many civic boosters named “the largest enclosed theme park in the world. Continue Reading →

Autoworld entertainment park

Autoworld entertainment park

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1984

36 years ago

Richard Petty, the king of stock car racing, won his 200th career victory at the Firecracker 400 race in Daytona, Florida, in front of a record crowd that included NASCAR's first presidential patron, Ronald Reagan. Petty's record for wins will very likely never be broken. The Firecracker 400 win was especially dramatic, as Petty hadn't been winning regularly on the circuit and had suffered an embarrassment eight months earlier when he was found to have run too big an engine in his victory at the 1983 Miller 500 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Continue Reading →

Firecracker 400 - Daytona 1984

Firecracker 400 - Daytona 1984

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1985

35 years ago

Volkswagen was founded in 1937 as a public concern by the then Nazi government to sell the Volkswagen Beetle. After the Second World War in 1945, the British Army took control of the bomb-shattered factory and restarted Beetle production for the difficult post-war years which Germany had to face. In 1948, the British Government handed the company back over to the German state, where it was managed by ex-Opel chief Heinrich Nordhoff. Continue Reading →

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1985

35 years ago

Unheralded Greg Sacks stunned the favorites by winning the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona, driving an unsponsored car to a 23.5 second triumph over runner-up Bill Elliott. It was not only Sacks' first NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National victory, but was also his first top-five finish.

Bill Elliott 9 - 1985 Pepsi Firecracker 400

Bill Elliott 9 - 1985 Pepsi Firecracker 400

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1987

33 years ago

Bobby Allison blasted out of the middle of the pack and roared past Ken Schrader with two laps to go, to win the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona. Allison was running 13th with five laps to go, but made up the deficit and drove to an impressive triumph.

Bobby Allison

Bobby Allison

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1992

28 years ago

Ernie Irvan squeezed past Sterling Marlin to register a two car-length victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. President George Bush accompanied Richard Petty in prerace ceremonies, commemorating The King's final race at Daytona International Speedway.

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1993

27 years ago

Contested over 72 laps of the 2.651 mile Magny Cours circuit, the French Grand Prix was won by Williams driver, and home favourite, Alain Prost, who extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship; his team-mate Damon Hill was second, and Michael Schumacher completed the podium for Benetton. The race was also the last for Fabrizio Barbazza.

1993 French Grand Prix Alain Prost FW15 Williams Renault

1993 French Grand Prix Alain Prost FW15 Williams Renault

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1997

23 years ago

Russian carmaker Lada announced the end of imports to the United Kingdom after 23 years and some 350,000 sales of its low-priced, low-specification cars, which at their peak sold in excess of 30,000 cars a year, but managed just over 6,000 sales in 1996.

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1998

22 years ago

Peter Monteverdi (64), the Swiss automaker and creator of the automobile brand Monteverdi, died. Peter Monteverdi was born in Binningen, in the northern Swiss canton of Basel-Landschaft. He engaged in the construction of Formula One cars from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. Continue Reading →

Statue of Peter Monteverdi at his automobile museum in Basel, Switzerland.

Statue of Peter Monteverdi at his automobile museum in Basel, Switzerland.

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1998

22 years ago

Production began of the Victory V92C motorcycle. At 92 cu in (1,510 cc), the V92C was the second largest production motorcycle engine available at the time, and sparked a race among motorcycle manufacturers to build bigger and bigger engines. All components for the V92C were manufactured in Minnesota and Iowa, except the Italian Brembo brakes and the British-made electronic fuel injection system. Continue Reading →

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1998

22 years ago

Raging forest fires in the state of Florida forced Daytona International Speedway officials to postpone the Pepsi 400 until October. Wildfires burn more than 300,000 acres in the Sunshine State. It was the first time the holiday NASCAR classic was postponed since the track was built in 1959.

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2004

16 years ago

Michael Schumacher used a unique four-stop strategy to beat Fernando Alonso's Renault to claim the French Grand Prix for Ferrari. Rubens Barrichello finished third in his Ferrari, having overtaken Jarno Trulli on the last corners of the last lap.

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2005

15 years ago

Russian minister of industry and energy Viktor Khristenko announced that right hand drive vehicles would be allowed on roads but would have to conform to all Russian traffic safety requirements.

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2007

13 years ago

50 years to the day after Giacosa’s famous car debuted, the redesigned Fiat 500 was introduced in Turin, with 250,000 people in attendance. It was also displayed in the squares of 30 cities throughout Italy. The new 500 was based on the mechanical elements of the popular Fiat Panda, but modified significantly. Continue Reading →

Fiat 500 (2007)

Fiat 500 (2007)

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2007

13 years ago

Television celebrity Jade Goody (26) was banned from driving for six months after admitting driving her car on the M1 motorway in Buckinghamshire, with no insurance and under a provisional licence.

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2007

13 years ago

The Chrysler Group signed a deal with Cherry, China’s biggest automaker, to create a low cost production venture that could import the first Chinese-made cars to the US.

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2010

10 years ago

Toyota started recalling more than 90,000 luxury Lexus and Crown vehicles over defective engines.

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2010

10 years ago

the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reached 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) two-way average. Continue Reading →

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2010

10 years ago

James May, a television presenter on BBC Two's television show Top Gear, drove the Veyron Super Sport at 417.61 km/h (259.49 mph). Continue Reading →

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