6-12 September: Motoring Milestones

Discover the most momentous motoring events that took place this week in history ………

130 years ago this week, the Peugeot Type 3 quadricycle was introduced, the company’s first product marketed to the public [6 September 1891]. The engine was a German design by Daimler but was licensed for production in France and then sold to Peugeot. It was a 16° V-twin and produced 2 bhp, sufficient for a top speed of approximately 18 kilometres per hour (11 mph). Armand Peugeot decided to show the quality of the Type 3 by running it alongside the cyclists in the inaugural Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race, thus gaining official confirmation of progress from the race marshals and time-keepers. His Chief Engineer Louis Rigoulot and rising workshop foreman Auguste Doriot demonstrated the robustness of the design, as the Quadricycle operated for 1471 kilometers (914.03 miles) without major malfunctions, the longest to that time by a gasoline-powered vehicle and about three times further than the previous record set by Leon Serpollet from Paris to Lyon.. A lightened Type 3 was entered into the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race, finishing second and maintaining an average speed of 21.7 kilometres per hour (13.5 mph)…….120 years ago today, the American Car Association (ACA) sponsored its first hill climb, a contest at Nelson Hill, near Peekskill, New York, US [9 September 1901]. The event was won by a steam-powered Grout Stanhope……..on the same day [9 September 1901], The first long-distance motor race in the United States began in New York City, ending 5 days and 464 miles later in Buffalo, New York. In these early days of motor racing, the determining factor was not speed or endurance, but reliability. David Bishop’s winning Panhard et Levassor only averaged a speed of 15 mph, but managed the entire journey without breaking down – a remarkable feat……..100 years ago, the Avus Autobahn near Berlin, the world’s first controlled-access highway and part of Germany’s Bundesautobahn system, opened [10 September 1921]……. 70 years ago this week, the BMW 501 (cover image), the first motor car to be manufactured and sold by BMW after the Second World War, was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show [6 September 1951]. Under the bodywork, there was the old six-cylinder engine and all-new independent suspension. It was a good car, but Mercedes-Benz was producing better cars and selling them for less money. BMW improved the 501 during its life, first with the 501A, then the 501/3, and the model eventually evolved into the V8-powered 502 – a much better machine. These cars weren’t the saving of BMW, but they allowed it to stay in business during a time that saw off plenty of seemingly more stable car companies……. Geoff Duke and his ever trusty Norton won the 1951 350cc Class Nations Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit in Monza, Italy [9 September 1951]. Britain flexed it’s Grand Prix muscle as riders Geoff Duke, Bill Doran and John Lockett finished the GP season one, two, three in the 350cc Class. Matter of fact, a Norton crossed the finish line four out of the first five (Bill Doran was on an AJS)……..60 years ago this years, a crash during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza claimed 16 lives – Formula One’s worst tragedy [10  September 1961]. Wolfgang von Trips (33) and 15 spectators were killed on the second

lap of the race at Monza after von Trips tangled with Jim Clark. Ferrari withdrew from racing for the rest of the season. Jim Clark described the accident, “Von Trips and I were racing along the straightaway and were nearing one of the banked curves, the one on the southern end. We were about 100 metres from the beginning of the curve. Von Trips was running close to the inside of the track. I was closely following him, keeping near the outside. At one point Von Trips shifted sideways so that my front wheels collided with his back wheels. It was the fatal moment. Von Trips’ car spun twice and went into the guardrail along the inside of the track. Then it bounced back, struck my own car and bounced down into the crowd. The race was won by von Trips’ American team mate Phil Hill, who – since the German was the only one who could challenge him – won the World Championship with one race to go……50 years ago this week, the 10,000,000th Opel was produced, a Rekord L6 sedan [6 September 1971]…. and on the same day [6 September 1971], the Automobile Association of Great Britain reported that it cost between £8 and £9 a week to run a family car….. Peter Revson and Denny Hulme, driving McLaren M8F-Chevrolets, finish 1-2 for Team McLaren in the Can-Am race at Donnybrook, Minnesota, US [12 September 1971]…….30 years ago this week, Harry Gant (51) won the Miller Genuine Draft 400 in Richmond, Virginia, US to extend his own record as the oldest winner of a NASCAR race [7 September 1991]…….20 years ago this week, Ford announced that six Model Ts that replicate the 1914 model would be rebuilt as part of the company’s centennial celebration [6 September 2001]…..two days later  [8 September 2001], Ricky Rudd prevailed in a game of bumper-tag with Kevin Harvick and won the Chevrolet 400 at Richmond International Speedway, Virginia, US. Harvick pushed Rudd out of the lead with 18 laps remaining, but Rudd returned the favor 12 laps later……. The Southern Expressway (Australia), the world’s longest reversible one way freeway, was opened to traffic [9 September 2001]. Built to relieve heavy traffic from the major arterial, Main South Road in Adelaide’s south, it is open approximately 22.5 hours per day – a one-way freeway operating for over 11 hours in each direction.


Leave a Reply

365 Days Of Motoring

Recent Posts



I We have no wish to abuse copyright regulations and we apologise unreservedly if this occurs. If you own any of the material published please get in touch.