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


15th September

1888

131 years ago

The birth of one of Italy's early motorsport heroes, Antonio Ascari, in Bonferraro. Starting out as a mechanic, he took on an Alfa Romeo franchise and from graduated into driving. He began racing cars at the top levels in Italy in 1919, using a modified 1914 Fiat. Continue Reading →

Antonio Ascari

Antonio Ascari

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1908

111 years ago

The Republic Rubber Company of Youngtown, Ohio, US was issued with a United States for its tire tread pattern marketed as 'Staggard'.

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1909

110 years ago

George Selden reigned as the "Father of the Automobile" for almost 20 years, his name engraved on every car from 1895 until 1911. He held the patent on the "Road Engine," which was effectively a patent on the automobile - a claim that went unchallenged for years, despite the many other inventors who had contributed to the development of the automobile and the internal combustion engine. Almost all of the early car manufacturers, unwilling to face the threat of a lawsuit, were forced to buy licenses from Selden, so almost every car on the road sported a small brass plaque reading "Manufactured under Selden Patent. Continue Reading →

George Selden

George Selden

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1909

110 years ago

Charles F. Kettering of Detroit, Michigan, applied for a patent on his ignition system. But the ignition system was only the first of Kettering's many automobile improvements, a distinguished list that includes lighting systems, lacquer finishes, antilock fuels, leaded gasoline, and the electric starter. Continue Reading →

Time magazine cover - Charles Kettering

Time magazine cover - Charles Kettering

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1916

103 years ago

Tanks were first used in battle - by the British at the Battle of the Somme. The tank had been kept secret from the enemy – the very name tank came from a description intended to put German intelligence off the scent. Developed by the navy, with Churchill as head of the Admiralty one of its great advocates, the first machines were manned by sailors. Continue Reading →

British Mark I male tank near Thiepval, September 1916.

British Mark I male tank near Thiepval, September 1916.

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1923

96 years ago

The last race staged at the Jamesville Fair Ground, Wisconsin, US, was won by Red Parkhurst.

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1924

95 years ago

Jimmy Murphy (29), American race car driver who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1922 and the American Racing Championship in 1922 and 1924, died. As he charged for the lead late in a race promoted by a friend, at the Syracuse, New York fairgrounds dirt track race, his car slid sideways and crashed through the inside wooden rail. A large piece of the rail was pushed through Jimmy's chest, and he died before he could be taken to the hospital.

Jimmy Murphy

Jimmy Murphy

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1924

95 years ago

Gustav E Franquist (50), a founder of the Society of Automotive engineers who designed the first Simplex, died in Philadelphia, US.

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1938

81 years ago

British racing driver John Cobb, in the twin Napier Lion W-12 aero-engined Railton Special, established a new land-speed record (353.30 mph) and became the first driver to break the 350-mph barrier.

Modern Lledo toy of the Railton Mobil Special

Modern Lledo toy of the Railton Mobil Special

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1946

73 years ago

Racer Adelbert William 'Al' Putnam (37) was killed when his Palmer Speed crashed during a qualifying run in Indianapolis, US.

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1950

69 years ago

The first race staged at the Opa Locka Speedway, Florida, US was won by Bob Gegen in a supercharged MG TC.

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1951

68 years ago

The Aston Martin DB3/1 made its racing with debut at the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Dunrod, Ireland, but the car driven by Lance Macklin had to retire due to bearing failure.

Aston Martin DB3/1

Aston Martin DB3/1

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1965

54 years ago

The 10,000,000th Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the production line. Ferdinand Porsche and Zündapp began developing the "Auto für Jedermann" (car for everybody) in 1931. In the followinf year, three prototypes were running, all of those cars were lost during the war, the last in a bombing raid over Stuttgart in 1945. Continue Reading →

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1973

46 years ago

For the first time foreign cars outsold the British Leyland range. Figures released showed that they took a record 32 per cent of the British market in August, with Datsun accounting for 1 in 20 of all cars sold.

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1976

43 years ago

Volkswagen AG purchased Chrysler Corporation's assembly plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, US.

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1978

41 years ago

Willy Messerschmitt (80), airplane/manufacturer and namesake of the 1953-62 Messerschmitt bubblecar, died in Munich, Germany. Probably Messerschmitt's single most important design was the Messerschmitt Bf 109, designed in 1934 with the collaboration of Walter Rethel. The Bf 109 became the most important fighter in the Luftwaffe as Germany rearmed prior to World War II. Continue Reading →

Willy Messerschmitt

Willy Messerschmitt

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1985

34 years ago

Ayrton Senna driving a Lotus 97T won the rescheduled Belgium Grand Prix. It was Senna's second World Championship victory and the first of five he would win at Spa-Francorchamps. Senna won by 28 seconds over British driver Nigel Mansell driving a Williams FW10. Continue Reading →

1985 Belgium Grand Prix

1985 Belgium Grand Prix

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1991

28 years ago

Harry Gant turned in a dominant second half of the race to win the Peak Antifreeze 500 at Dover International Speedway, Delaware, US lapping the field for his third win in a row in NASCAR’s premier series. Gant, who led 326 of the 500 laps on the mile track, strung wins together at Darlington, Richmond, Dover and Martinsville during his hot streak, which earned him the unofficial nickname of “Mr. September. Continue Reading →

Harry Gant - 1991

Harry Gant - 1991

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1991

28 years ago

The Bugatti EB110, an exclusive supercar from Bugatti Automobili SpA, the 1990s successor to one of the most celebrated marques in automotive history was unveiled in both Versailles and in front of the Grande Arche at La Défense in Paris, France exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti's birth. The car has a 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 fed through 12 individual throttle bodies, powering all four wheels through a six-speed gearbox. The 3. Continue Reading →

Bugatti EB110

Bugatti EB110

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1993

26 years ago

FBI Director William S. Sessions promised a new national campaign to stem carjacking and other car-related crimes. Approximately 35,000 carjackings occurred in the US during 1992, the year prior to the FBI announcement. Continue Reading →

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1994

25 years ago

Ford produced the three millionth Ford Transit. In continuous production since 1965 in four basic generations to the present day, the van was produced initially at Ford's Langley facility in Berkshire (a former WW2 aircraft factory which produced the Hawker Hurricane fighter), but as demand outstripped the capability of the plant, production was moved to Southampton, where it has remained ever since. Transits have also been produced in Ford's Genk factory in Belgium. Continue Reading →

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1996

23 years ago

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located in Clark County, Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada (US) staged its first race, an IndyCar event, which was won by Richie Hearn.

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2000

19 years ago

Fuel protests that had paralysed Britain for 7 days, causing a crisis in the NHS, emptying supermarket shelves and closing schools, came to an end.

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2001

18 years ago

Italian racing driver Alex Zanardi suffered a huge crash while racing in the Cart series in Germany on this day in 2001. Lucky to survive the crash, Zanardi had to have both his legs amputated. Astonishingly, he was back racing again within two years. Continue Reading →

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2002

17 years ago

In another dominating 1-2 finish for Ferrari, Rubens Barrichello won the Italian Grand Prix, on a two-stop strategy, in front of his one-stopping team mate Michael Schumacher. Jaguar-Cosworth's Eddie Irvine finished third.

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2002

17 years ago

Freshman driver Ryan Newman held off a late-race gallop by Kurt Busch to win the rain-shortened event at New Hampshire International Speedway (US). Newman led the final 41 laps and was only a car length ahead of Busch when rain curtailed the event after 207 of the scheduled 300 laps have been run.

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2005

14 years ago

The Porsche Cayman S had its public launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show During prototype testing, rally legend Walter Röhrl reportedly lapped the Nürburgring track faster than the 911 Carrera's time of 8 minutes, 15 seconds.

Porsche Cayman S

Porsche Cayman S

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2005

14 years ago

The Midnight Sun solar car team from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, completed the longest journey ever undertaken by a solar powered electric vehicle. They arrived at Parliament Hill, Ottawa Canda after travelling a distance of 9,364 miles (15,070 km) through Canada and the US having departed from Waterloo on 7th August.

Midnight Sun solar car

Midnight Sun solar car

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2005

14 years ago

BMW unveiled a Bangle-designed concept coupe version of the Z4 and Citroen introduced the C6 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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2007

12 years ago

Rally driver Colin McRae (39) and three other people were killed when their helicopter crashed near Lanark in Scotland. The son of five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae and brother of rally driver Alister McRae, Colin McRae was the 1991 and 1992 British Rally Champion and, in 1995 became the first British person and the youngest to win the World Rally Championship Drivers' title, a record he still holds. McRae's outstanding performance with the Subaru World Rally Team enabled the team to win the World Rally Championship Constructors' title three times in succession in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Continue Reading →

Colin McRae

Colin McRae

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2014

5 years ago

The Perodua Axia, a five-door hatchback produced by Malaysian automobile manufacturer, Perodua, was launched. The car took over the title of being the most affordable car (RM 23,557, approx £3,810) in Malaysia from the Perodua Viva.‪

Perodua Axia

Perodua Axia

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