January 13, 1942
Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car.
World's first plastic car
Ford long had an interest in plastics developed from agricultural products, especially soybeans. He cultivated a relationship with George Washington Carver for this purpose. Soybean-based plastics were used in Ford automobiles throughout the 1930s in plastic parts such as car horns, in paint, etc. This project culminated in 1942, when Ford patented an automobile made almost entirely of plastic, attached to a tubular welded frame. It weighed 30% less than a steel car and was said to be able to withstand blows ten times greater than could steel. Furthermore, it ran on grain alcohol (ethanol) instead of gasoline. The design never caught on.
January 21, 1981
Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car begins in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.
The DeLorean DMC-12 is a sports car originally manufactured in Dunmurry, a suburb west of Belfast, Northern Ireland by John DeLorean's DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981-82. Most commonly known as the DeLorean, it was the only model produced by the company which would go into liquidation as the US car market went through its largest slump since the 1930s. The DMC-12 features gull-wing doors with a fiberglass "underbody", to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed. A modified version of the car became iconic for its appearance as a time machine in the "Back to the Future" film franchise.
, Northern Ireland
, Back to the Future
January 21, 1899
Opel manufactures its first automobile.
Opel Lutzmann (1899–1901)
The first cars were produced in 1899 after Opel's sons entered into a partnership with Friedrich Lutzmann, a locksmith at the court in Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt, who had been working on automobile designs for some time. These cars were not very successful and so the partnership was dissolved after two years.
January 21, 1911The first Monte Carlo Rally takes place.
The Monte Carlo Rally or Rally Monte Carlo (officially “Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo”) is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the “Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique”. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and southeast France. From its inception in 1911 by Prince Albert I, this rally, under difficult and demanding conditions, was an important means of testing the latest improvements and innovations to automobiles. Winning the rally gave the car a great deal of credibility and publicity.
, Monte Carlo
June 30, 1953The first Chevrolet Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after the type of small, maneuverable warship called corvette. Originally built in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri, the Corvette is currently built in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is the official sports car of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The National Corvette Museum documents the car's worldwide history and hosts the annual event.
, Chevrolet Corvette