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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

According To You: 10 automotive factoids you should never forget

As time progresses, every industry has a way of innovating in hopes of advancing our way of living. These are not always huge leaps, and we tend to forget the smaller innovations in favor of the big ones.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/hagerty-community/according-to-you-10-automotive-factoids-you-should-n...
88 REPLIES 88
Casey
Intermediate Driver

Thanks, Sajeev for these Jeopardy-worthy nuggets.
Pegleg01
Detailer

Just WoW...Grabowsky Motor Company. I'll never look at my beloved truck in quite the same way again...
427sc
Detailer

You know, maybe this is the source of the old adage my friends and I used to use when comparing GMC trucks to Chevy trucks (both being GM vehicles of course).
When asked what the differences were between GMC pickups and Chevy pickups, we used to say "GMC trucks come with lock-washers to keep the bolts/nuts from coming loose. Chevy just uses Loctite." (inferring that the higher quality vehicle was the usually more expensive GMC truck).
Can you tell that most of us were Ford guys? LoL...
Snailish
Engineer

I questioned this one in the other thread.

Pretty sure Grabowksi Brothers formed in 1900

Moved in 1902 and renamed it Rapid Vehicle Company (or such)

And sold to Durant in 1909
Prof
New Driver

Regarding the Willys' F-Head, Rover produced an inline 6 cylinder Overhead Inlet, Side Exhaust during the 50s and 60s. It was used in the early versions of the P4 and P5 models, and I dropped one into a 1963 Dodge W200 that had thrown a rod.
Cincyjeeprs
New Driver

Willys also made a six cylinder version of the Hurricane F-head. 161 c.i., putting out 90 H.P. initially. Used in the '52-'55 Aero Sedan. I have a '54 Deluxe 2-door with this engine. When the tooling moved to Argentina in the late '50s, they slapped a 2 barrel on it for a few more H.P. and continued to improve it for several more years after Willys had moved on to the 226 Super Hurricane and its whopping 115 H.P.
topside
Instructor

Some of those I actually do know, but some I didn't. Best of all, though, is that my GMC Dually - who I've called "Mark" as an obscure Bowery Boys reference - now has a last name ! Thanks !
4wheel2wheel
Intermediate Driver

The first production car that was fitted with an alternator as standard equipment was the 1960 Plymouth Valiant.
sego
Intermediate Driver

So true, but it wasn't a Plymouth until 1961. Prior to that the Valiant was it's own brand.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

Somehow not surprising the first standard alternator was on the Valiant.
I went to MIT Day Camp the summer of 1960--the place where I learned to swim and to shoot (22s).
I LOVED the styling on that Valiant, especially the station wagon. I have no idea why the head of the day camp--who was a very nice guy--took my brother and me home after camp one day, but he had a Valiant station wagon. I was in heaven!
Rider79
Technician

And that Valiant wagon is one rare animal, nowadays!
OMPguy
Intermediate Driver

First (?) production GT with roll bar and seatbelts standard: Studebaker Avanti.

First mechanically-powered land vehicle: Cugnot’s steam tractor in 1769. Replicas in France and in Tampa. 3 wheels, FWD. Speed: about 2.4 mph.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

Cugnot's Fardier a Vapeur!
toy83h2ssj53
Intermediate Driver

Also in Germany. The one in the Tampa Bay Auto Museum for several years was on loan from the Deutsche Bahn Museum in Nuremburg. They subsequently made their own replica a few years ago, which is on display today.
datsunLT1V8
Pit Crew

Great collection of automotive trivia! Crosley also deserves mention as rhe first American manufacturer to mass market an OHC car in 1946.
Padgett
Instructor

Guess the Deusy is not mass-market ?
Smilodon
Instructor

Don't guess. You know Deusenberg was always marketed to the upper 1% of the 1%, Padgett. Playing the fool makes you a fool. And count the Crosleys on the market, and road, versus the Deusenbergs. You trolling?
Slow-N-Relaxed
Intermediate Driver

Was Crosley really "mass market"? More like "niche market". An overhead cam patent was approved in 1892, an engineer named Raymond from San Francisco was the author. In 1895, the Springfield Model A overhead cam engine was put into regular production in Springfield, Ohio. In 1902 an overhead cam engine was produced by Mausley in England and in 1903 the Marr Autocar OHC engine was produced in the US. Peugeot produced the first double overhead cam engine in 1912 intended for race cars. There were so many OHC engines before Crosley that tracking them all down with production numbers would be quite a research project. When do you decide who produced enough of any one OHC engine to call the engine "the first OHC engine produced"?
datsunLT1V8
Pit Crew

DaveH
Detailer

Regarding the GT40s, from what I've read the steering columns on Shelby Cobras were from VW Beetles.
427sc
Detailer

According to the now deceased Superformance dealer owner, and original Cobra racer Bob Ohltoff, you are correct.
In the early days, Superformance used to use a few select VW Bug parts in their Cobra replicas (brand new parts of course, not junkyard reclaims).
My own early Superformance Cobra (Chassis #131) actually has a VW Bug horn in it too.
LoL...
Dr_Ron
New Driver

Should also mention that off gasing of the plastics causes the film that forms on the inside windows.
autowriter
Advanced Driver

According to the GM site and several other sources, the discussion on what GMC means is not correct.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

This is the explanation I found.

"Most car and truck enthusiasts know that GMC stands for General Motor Company, but perhaps they don't know it actually stood for Grabowsky Motor Company in the beginning. In the early days, brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky founded GMC in 1902 in Detroit. So, initially, the car company was named Grabowsky Motor Vehicle Company."

"In later years, after reorganizing, the company was then called the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, (AKA Reliance Motor Co.) which was acquired by William Durante in 1909. A subsidiary of that company was named "General Motors." Where did the "C" come from in these years? Well, GM eventually turned into GMTC, General Motors Truck Company, but soon after, the T was dropped which ended in the name, GMC."
gbvette62
Pit Crew

I agree. The way I understood it, the Grabowsky brothers changed the name of their company to Rapid Motors years before selling it to the owner of General Motors, William Durant (no "e" on the end). Durant merged Rapid into his Reliance truck company, forming General Motors Truck Company, later shortened to GMC. I think the Grabowsky connection to GMC, was just a coincidence.
427sc
Detailer

It figures that a woman made the first wiper blade because then a woman would also be responsible for that annoying sound that they make when they get old!
LoL...
(Just kidding ladies! We love our car gals, even when they too get old!)
drtrcrv8
Pit Crew

While I am a Crosley fan(first car!), I believe both Duesenberg & Stutz had overhead cam engines in production cars in the early 1930s.
datsunLT1V8
Pit Crew

Correct: Crosley was the first "mass market." Which model did you own?
Ranger240
Intermediate Driver

The wiper comment section is woke misandry.

Woke stuff is the best. Even though this website is supposed to be about cars, not stereotype people who use (he/him) pronouns.
Rcwkr
Intermediate Driver

You may go back to sleep now.
espo70
Instructor

Interesting fact on that 79 5.0, but that’s an 80 you have pictured there. The 79 Cobra did not yet have the aero work borrowed from the 79 Pace car like that 80 and 81 did. The 80 also did not have a 5.0.

Also, my 84 GT 5.0 did definitely have the serpentine belt.
Toomanycars
Pit Crew

Right on both counts! The reason the serpentine disappeared a couple of years is there was no 5.0 available in 80 or 81. Only the 255 with automatic only (ugh).
Fairlane500
Intermediate Driver

But the serpentine remained on the full size panther platform.
Edwardsg
Intermediate Driver

So the Corvair tail lights might have been a trade for the rat 303 3 speed in the GTO?
And Mopar door strikes had a similar use to a Porsche?
To which Ford and GM had more convenient openers.
One oddity in the Oldsmobile world I ran into - lifter bank angles and lifter diameters. You had to verify which 400 or 425 you were working with before ordering parts.
And with Pontiac, sometimes you would be pleased to see 4 bolt mains.
How many know not all 426 Hemis had 2 4 bbls? There was a circle circuit option that had a single 4 bbl, and offered at different times with one or 2 piece intakes.
Pontiac had an aluminum manifold that sometimes was one piece or 2. Split at the water jacket.
wdb
Advanced Driver

This. I am familiar with many vehicles which have convenient, dual-purpose bottle openers. I think it is more a vintage factoid than it is any particular manufacturer.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

Until a few years ago, I could still conjure up the new car smell of the '57 Chevy wagon. That would trigger the memory of snow on Hollis St., in Cambridge Mass. Mom or Dad was getting ready to drive me to nursery school. If someone could come up with that new car smell on a fun to drive vehicle with a stick shift, I'd probably have a hard time resisting buying it.

It really feels a bit sad that that smell was toxic.
DUB6
Racer

Probably not nearly as "toxic" (meaning bad for us) as 98% of everything else we breathe, drink and eat, really.

Brakeservo
Pit Crew

Bentley/Rolls-Royce used the "F Head" configuration from 1946 - 1959. It was called that because of the language involved in adjusting the exhaust valves! Some original Ford GTs used the same tail light as the Simca 1000.
wjones1954
Intermediate Driver

According the General Motors web site the sequence was Grabowski Motor, Rapid Motor, then General Motors. The GMC trucks were never Grabowski, just an odd coincidence.
MTB_dude62
Pit Crew

Always been a fan of Porsche but never been a real big fan of German beer. LOL
DUB6
Racer

When I was in Germany in 1964, I developed a distaste for the beer - not because it tasted bad, but because it was nearly always served warm.  Coke, too.  Didn't see an ice cube in a glass of ANYthing until I got onto a TWA flight from London to NYC.

Inline8OD
Technician

The first cars with air conditioning were 1940, not '39, Packards, a $275 option, 2,000 1940-42 models so equipped, subcontracted to Bishop & Babcock, a Cleveland firm. Cadillac followed suit in their '41 models, also optional, of course.
There was no overrunning clutch, so you disconnected the drive belt in summer. It was a large unit, taking up much trunk space. The faster you drove, the cooler it got.
BruceRanchero
Pit Crew

Long before the Porsche 928, the Ford door striker post was the perfect bottle opener.
DUB6
Racer

Yes, but you could only use it on domestic brews made in the U.S.  It wasn't until Porsches came here that you could open an import beer on your striker... (and before you hit the reply button to call me an idiot, this "factoid" was made in jest, people).

 

Although, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm not an idiot, I admit.  😁

DAdams
Intermediate Driver

International used the F-head design longer than Willys. The F-head being the mainstay engine design for International's Farmall tractors from at least the 1930's, perhaps the 1920's, through the 1950's.

You didn't need a new car for that "new car smell". You could buy it in aerosol cans.
BaxterFranks
Pit Crew

GMC was founded in 1900 as Grabowsky Motor Company[2] by brothers Max (1874-1946) and Morris Grabowsky,[3] in Detroit, and renamed Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in 1902 when the brothers moved operations to Pontiac, Michigan. In 1909 William C. Durant gained control of Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and made it a subsidiary of his General Motors Company. In 1908 Durant gained control of Reliance Motor Car Company, another early commercial vehicle manufacturer. In 1911 General Motors formed the General Motors Truck Company and folded Rapid and Reliance into it. In 1912 the Rapid and Reliance names were dropped in favor of “GMC.”
hyperv6
Collector

This is the correct story. My great uncle was part of this years ago.

Afineghibli
Pit Crew

The origin of the rearview mirror is interesting as well as the engineer co founder of both Cadillac and Lincoln.

These are great. Do some more please.

btukwh
Intermediate Driver

General Motors Truck Corporation (GMC) disagrees that it is actually Grabowsky Motors Corporation, but what do they know.