“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.”
The above lines by our favourite character Dominic Toretto will surely bring out the petrolhead in you. It’s been more than a century since the first automobile was invented, and cars have become the wily temptresses able to bring out pure, raw emotion from the deepest recesses of out hearts. Here are ten facts from the depths of automobile history you must definitely know about!
1.) During World War II, Ferruccio Lamborghini was a mechanic at Italy’s Royal Air Force. Following the war, he made a fortune by using all the spare military equipment lying about and converting it into farm tractors. He pursued his love of sports cars, collecting the likes of Maseratis, Aston Martins and Ferraris.
Lamborghini noticed several mechanical glitches in his Ferrari collection, but when he sought to address his grievances to Enzo Ferrari himself, he was dismissed by him as a ‘simple tractor builder’.Insulted, he decided to make his own cars, and formed his own car company,Automobili Lamborghini in 1963.
2.) Audi,Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini,Porsche, Skoda and Ducati are all owned by Volkswagen!
Can you hear the bubble bursting?
3.) The most expensive car ever sold at an auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which was sold for an astounding $38,115,000 at the Bonhams auction house on 14th August,2014.
4.) Three Aston Martin DBS cars valued at $300,000 each were destroyed in a single afternoon during the shooting of the James Bond film Casino Royale.
5.) A Cadillac, Chevrolet Impala and The Lincoln Futura Concept have all been used as models for the Batmobile in various TV shows and films over the years. The most recent version,featured in the Dark Knight trilogy, was a crossover between a Lamborghini and a tank
6.) In the year 1916, 55 per cent of the cars in the world were Model T Ford, which is still an unbroken record
7.) In 1884 Henry Royce started an electrical and mechanical business. He made his first car, a two-cylinder Royce 10, in his Manchester factory in 1904, and was introduced to Charles Rolls at the Midland Hotel, Manchester on 4 May of that year. Rolls was proprietor of an early motor car dealership, C.S.Rolls & Co. in Fulham. In spite of his preference for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the Royce 10, and in a subsequent agreement of 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make.All would be badged as Rolls-Royces, and be sold exclusively by Rolls. The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904,and Rolls-Royce Limited was formed on 15 March 1906.
8.) British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin’s name came from one of the founders Lionel Martin who used to race at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton, England.
9.) Enzo Ferrari told the story of the prancing horse logo just once:
“The horse was painted on the fuselage of the fighter plane of Francesco Baracca — a heroic airman of the first world war. In ’23, I met count Enrico Baracca, the hero’s father, and then his mother, countess Paulina, who said to me one day, ‘Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your cars. It will bring you good luck’. The horse was, and still is, black, and I added the canary yellow background which is the colour of Modena.”
10.) Volkswagen means “people’s car” in German. Volkswagen named several of its cars after wind:
Passat is a German word for trade wind
The Golf was named after the Gulf stream
The Polo was named after the northern polar wind
The Scirocco is a collision of cold and warm air streams over the desert, which blow to the north in the direction of Europe
Vento is the Italian word for wind
Corrado is Spanish for Wind Current