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


30th September

1901

115 years ago

Compulsory car registration for all vehicles capable of driving over 18mph (29 km/h) took effect throughout France. According to the decree, “Each motor vehicle shall bear on a metal plate and in legible writing the name and address of its owner, also the distinctive number used in the application for authorization. This plate shall be placed at the left-hand side of the vehicle – it shall never be hidden.” Early city roads were often chaotic, dirty and noisy, Nine years after France began its registration policy, dividing lines appeared, followed by traffic signs, traffic lights, and one-way streets.

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1929

87 years ago

Opel sponsored resumption of tests of rocket-boosted gliders near Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. These involved a design by Lippisch, boosted by 16 powder rockets. With Fritz von Opel at the controls, the glider successfully launched itself from a 20-m long rail launcher, and he flew the aircraft for ten minutes. Continue Reading →

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1931

85 years ago

The 25th "Salon de l'Automobile" opened to the public, with 39 French automobile makers and 37 non-French automobile makers exhibiting. Benz AG presented the 170 (W15) model, its innovations included independent suspension front and rear.

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1935

81 years ago

The one-millionth Olds automobile was built.

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1935

81 years ago

William Lyons announced that SS Cars would launch a new SS Jaguar touring saloon, capable of 90 mph, at the following month’s London Motor Show. SS Cars asked their dealers to put a price on it, and their guesses averaged out at £632. Lyons then revealed the price was £395. Continue Reading →

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1937

79 years ago

Dusenberg, considered the most luxurious cars in the world, hand-crafted and custom-made, heeded as the epitome of flamboyance and elegance, ceased production. Their clientele included the great, the near-great, the famous, and the infamous. For almost 10 years, Duesenbergs were acknowledged as the ultimate in quality and value, inspiring the expression "it's a duesy."

1923 Duesenberg Model A touring car

1923 Duesenberg Model A touring car

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1955

61 years ago

At 5:45 PM, 24-year-old actor James Dean is killed in Cholame, California, when the Porsche he is driving hits a Ford Tudor sedan at an intersection. The driver of the other car, 23-year-old California Polytechnic State University student Donald Turnupseed, was dazed but mostly uninjured; Dean’s passenger, German Porsche mechanic Rolf Wütherich was badly injured but survived. Only one of Dean’s movies, “East of Eden,” had been released at the time of his death (“Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant” opened shortly afterward), but he was already on his way to superstardom–and the crash made him a legend. Continue Reading →

James Dean

James Dean

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1957

59 years ago

The first race staged at the Bridgehampton Road Course on Long Island, New York, a 75 mile SCCA event, was won by Walkt Hansgen in a Jaguar.

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1959

57 years ago

The Ford Motor Company announced plans to produce the compact 'Comet'.

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1959

57 years ago

The London showrooms of Hooper & Company (Coachbuilders) Ltd closed after 63 years at the same location.

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1959

57 years ago

US actress Jayne Mansfield opened the Chiswick flyover – a short elevated section of the M4 motorway in west London.

Chiswick Roundabout with the flyover above.

Chiswick Roundabout with the flyover above.

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1960

56 years ago

It was announced that the new Rootes car would be called Hillman 'Imp'. Being a direct competitor to the BMC's Mini, it used a space-saving rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout to allow as much luggage and passenger capacity as possible in both the rear and the front of the car. It used a unique opening rear hatch to allow luggage to be put into the back seat rest. Continue Reading →

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1966

50 years ago

Mercury Cougar was introduced as "America's first luxury/sports car at a popular price." Slotted between the Ford Mustang and the Ford Thunderbird, the Cougar was the performance icon and eventually the icon for the Mercury name for several decades. The Cougar was available in two models (base and XR-7) and only came in one body style (a two-door hardtop, no center or B-pillar). Continue Reading →

Mercury Cougar

Mercury Cougar

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1968

48 years ago

The 1969 Mercury Marquis was introduced as the new top-of-the-line series with a full range of body styles.

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1968

48 years ago

Austin 1100 models with all-syncromesh gearbox were launched.

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1970

46 years ago

NASCAR staged its last race on a dirt track, the Homestate 200 at the Fairgrounds Speedway in raleigh, North Carolina, US, which was won by Richard Petty.

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1978

38 years ago

AMC reported losses of $65 million on its conventional (non-Jeep) cars for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1978

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1979

37 years ago

Alan Jones in a Williams recorded his fourth win in five races at the Canadian Grand Prix, successfully fighting off a determined challenge from Gilles Villenenuve in a Ferrari. Jones said afterwards his strategy was to let Villenenuve set the pace and then challenge "if everything felt OK with my car". On the 44th lap Jones outbraked Villeneuve at a hairpin and was never headed. Continue Reading →

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1982

34 years ago

The world record for most persons in a British Leyland Metro was established: 21, members of the Plymouth Young Wives Association at Davenport, UK.

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1984

32 years ago

Mariette Hélène Delangle (83) died. A postmaster's daughter who moved to Paris and became a famous dancer. HellÈ Nice, as she was nicknamed, became involved in motor sport, becoming a very competent Bugatti driver. Continue Reading →

Mariette Hélène Delangle

Mariette Hélène Delangle

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1988

28 years ago

Six-time IMSA champion, Al Holbert (41) died when his privately owned propeller driven Piper PA-60 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff near Columbus, Ohio when a clamshell door was not closed. Holbert successfully diverted his aircraft away from a group of houses it was heading toward. At the end of the season, the team was disbanded and IMSA would retire his race number 14.

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1990

26 years ago

The first of three retirements in the last three races of the season by Ayrton Senna allowed rival Alain Prost to win the Spanish Grand Prix, team-mate Nigel Mansell making it a one-two weekend for Ferrari. Senna's day ended when the radiator on his McLaren was punctured by debris from backmarker Yannick Dalmas, allowing Prost to coast home and cut his lead to nine points. The weekend was overshadowed by a serious crash involving Martin Donnolly on the Friday which ended his career.

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1998

18 years ago

The Paris Motor Show celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was the first motor show in the world, started in 1898 by industry pioneer Albert de Dion. The Show saw the launch of Ford Focus, the all-new Maserati 3200 GT and the Smart City Coupe.

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2000

16 years ago

Ferrari introduced a convertible version of the 550 at the Paris Motor Show in 2000. This Barchetta was a true roadster with no real convertible top provided. The factory did provide a soft top, but it was intended only for temporary use as it was cautioned against using the top above 70 mph. Continue Reading →

Ferrari Barchetta

Ferrari Barchetta

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2000

16 years ago

The production Koenigsegg CC prototype was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The first customer took delivery of a red CC 8S in 2002 at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2002. The two-seat Targa top design, allowed a portion of the roof to be removed and stored under the bonnet. Continue Reading →

Koenigsegg CC8S

Koenigsegg CC8S

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2001

15 years ago

Mika Hakkinen's last win before he retired came in front of 170,000 spectators at the US Grand Prix. "This was one grand prix I wanted in my record book," he said. "A wonderful win. Continue Reading →

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2003

13 years ago

Henry Ford was named the most influential entrepreneur in American history in a poll of experts undertaken by Baylor University and the Center for the American Idea in Texas.

Henry Ford (1919)

Henry Ford (1919)

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2004

12 years ago

China, Great Britain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal and South Africa were named as the first six nations to sign up to the A1 Grand Prix series at the official launch of A1 Team Great Britain.

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2006

10 years ago

Citroën launched the seven-seater Grand C4 Picasso.

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2006

10 years ago

At 12:30 pm three eastbound lanes and a pedestrian walk-way of the de la Concorde overpass in Laval, Quebec, Canada collapsed onto the busy Autoroute 19. Three vehicles and a motorcycle fell about 15 meters (49 feet) on top of two vehicles that were driving on Autoroute 19. Six people were severely injured and five people were killed due to the concrete road crushing the two vehicles driving beneath the overpass. Continue Reading →

Aerial view of the de la Concorde overpass partial collapse

Aerial view of the de la Concorde overpass partial collapse

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2007

9 years ago

The Spyker MF1 Team scored its first championship point at the Japanese Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil finished 9th on the track, but was promoted to 8th place and into the points-scoring position when stewards ruled, post-race, that Toro Rosso's Vitantonio Liuzzi had overtaken Sutil under a yellow flag on lap 55; Liuzzi was subsequently given a 25-second penalty that dropped his time below Sutil's.

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2009

7 years ago

The Penske Automotive Group Inc. announced it was walking away from a deal to acquire the Saturn brand from General Motors, after being unable to find a manufacturer to make Saturn cars when General Mtors stops producing models at the end of 2011. The brand was set up in 1990 to fight growing Japanese imports.

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