This Week In Motoring History (June 9th – June 15th)

Week in Motoring history

June 9th

Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old wife and mother, her two sisters-in-law and friend Hermine Jahns leave Manhattan for San Francisco in a Maxwell 30. It took the fabulous four 59 days and Maxwell became the first woman motorist to drive coast to coast.

June 10th

Saab Builds First Car: Saab, a Swedish aerospace and defense company, introduces its first car, the two-stroke, three-cylinder Model 92, which looks more like an airplane without wings than it does a car, which surely contributed to its low 0.30 coefficient of drag.

General Motors announced its research staff had built the GM Turbocruiser, a modified GMC coach powered by a gas turbine; engine consisted of a single burner with two turbine wheels (one used to drive the centrifugal compressor, second delivered power for the transmission to the rear wheels of the vehicle).

Paul Newman, the blue-eyed movie star-turned-race car driver, accomplishes the greatest feat of his racing career on this day in 1979, roaring into second place in the 47th 24 Hours of Le Mans, the famous endurance race held annually in Le Mans, France.

June 11th

Charles E. Duryea received a patent for a “Road Vehicle”, first US patent granted to an American inventor for a gasoline-driven automobile.

The Flying Scotsman, Sir Jackie Stewart was born in Dumbarton, Scotland.

Tragic Crash at Le Mans: When Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes-Benz catapulted into the stands, 83 spectators died, as did Levegh, while 120 more were injured. In the aftermath, many motor races were canceled and Switzerland even banned racing.

TOYOTA Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology was Established on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota Motor Corporation.

June 12th

Edsel Ford agrees to war materials boss William Knudsen’s proposal that the Ford Motor Company build 9,000 Rolls-Royce-designed aircraft engines for use in American and British planes.

Les Graham dies in a crash of his motorcycle during the Isle of Man TT.

June 13th

Driving a Panhard et Lavassor car with a two-cylinder Daimler Phoenix engine, Emile Levassor wins the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race.

Sir Henry Seagrave sets a new water speed record on Lake Windermere in Great Britain, but dies after crashing at the end of the return run.

Ford Motor Company Chairman, Henry Ford II, fired Lee Iaccoca, the mustang designer, from the position of president, ending a bitter personal struggle between the two men.

Markus Winkelhock (born June 13, 1980 in Stuttgart Germany was a German Formula One driver. Winkelhock is the only driver in Formula One history to start last on the grid and lead the race in his first Grand Prix, and due to the red flag and restart, is also the only driver in Formula One history to start both last and first on the grid in the same Grand Prix.

June 14

Representing France, Fernand Charron wins the first truly international race in a Panhard over a route between Paris and Lyon in France.

June 15

Ford Motor Company manufactured its 10 millionth Model T automobile.

Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg President Harold Ames is granted a patent for the retractable headlamps, first seen on the Gordon Buehrig-designed Cord 810.

Mercedes-Benz 300SLs finish 1-2 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the car of Kling and Riess beating the car of Helfrich and Niedermeyer. First Le Mans win for Mercedes-Benz and first Le Mans win for an enclosed car.

Driving legend Richard Petty makes the 1,000th start of his National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) career, in the Miller American 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan. He became the first driver in NASCAR history to log 1,000 career starts.

What was the most interesting event that happened this week in automotive history?


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