To celebrate the invention of car, AUTO LEMON - USED CAR HISTORY CHECK presents
you with used cars and the car designers history. The car history will
be categorized by important period when there were significant changes
on the car design trend. We continue updating used car history with the
latest information, please bookmark our site. Thank you for your continuous
support by purchasing our automotive service and products. We hope you
enjoy reading our articles. At the bottom of this page we give reviews
and performance specification on each car model, we will add the pictures
in the future.
History From Italy
Used Car History Period
design did not grow out of specialization. From the Vespa scooter to the
Sacco beanbag, from the inflatable Blow chair and Olivetti's red Valentine
typewriter to Alessi's Conica espresso maker, most of Italy's design classics
were created by self-taught designers. None of the people responsible
for Italian design's mythic aura had ever studied "design'a field
that didn't even exist in Italy's schools until the 1980s. Instead, they
are architects, artists, engineers, chemists, aircraft builders, and race
Less surprisingly, all of those icons of Italian design were made after
1945. After the end of Fascism, every part of Italian culture was swept
with the desire to build a new, democratic country.
automobile industry developed more rapidly, though its output of luxury
limousines and race cars was reserved for a small, wealthy clientele.
Fiat was founded in 1899, followed by Lancia
in 1905 and Alfa Romeo in 1909. These companies combined
progress and tradition in a peculiar mix: while technological achievements
and division of labor in the manufacturing process pointed forward into
the new century, their cars' interiors displayed the pompous opulence
the old century had felt at home in. The Fiat Zero, introduced
in 1912, marked a turning point. The Italian answer to Ford's Model
T, it followed the American principle of lower cost through mass
Efficient industrial production after the American model
became increasingly common, particularly among the large automobile manufacturers.
Adopting the streamlined look, car-body designers such as Pinin
Farina and Bertone applied it to such luxury
models as Lancia's Aprilia Coupe, the Fiat 1500, and
the Alfa 6 C 2300 "Pescara" Coupe. In 1936,
Fiat took a more important step, introducing a car that had been designed
for social reasons, not spectacular looks. The Fiat 500, priced
at a widely affordable 8,900 lire, was the world's smallest car and quickly
became ubiquitous on Italy's roads. By 1948,150,000 of the "Topolini"had
Used Car History Period
industry was a major client for Italy designers. With their genius for
elegant and occasionally spectacular details, the car body designers Pinin
Farina and Bertone were celebrated as the automobile's
haute couturiers. Cars like Pinin Farina's 1947 Cisitalia, with
its voluptuous curves, and the sleek 1956 Alfa Romeo
Giulietta Spider became the embodiment of motorized luxury. While
the former racecar driver Enzo Ferrari focused on producing
speedy sports cars. Fiat concentrated on building mid-sized
and compact models. Fiat's 1957 introduction of the Nuovo 500,
an updated version of the old Topolino, turned countless Italians into
motorists. "Italians wanted cars, and would have accepted the smallest
space, as long as it was on four wheels," Dante Giacosa,
the little vehicle's creator, wrote in his memoirs.
Used Car History Period
In the automotive industry, where high production costs
demand a certain predictability of success, design followed other criteria.
Giorgetto Giugiaro was representative of a new generation
of car designers. Progressive and service-oriented, his focus was not
on luxury models but, after the oil crises of the 1970s, on lower-priced
compact and mid-sized cars. The stripped-down 1980 Fiat Panda and the
1983 Fiat Uno still displayed a distinctively Italian flair and were hugely
popular with young, upwardly mobile Europeans, a testament to Giugiaro's
subtle instinct for stylistic details and trends.
History From U.S.
1923, 30 years after the start of mass car production, some 15 million
vehicles were registered in the world, and over 80 percent of those were
in the USA. This may come as no surprise to either those who live in America
or to those who have visited it, because the country is vast.
land became increasingly populated during the 19th and 20th century, it
demanded more forms of transport, and between 1805 and 1942 there were
simply thousands of different car manufacturers in and out of business.
Some produced just the one model before succumbing to failure; others,
like Henry Ford, went from strength to strength. Ford invented the production
line and literally flooded the market with cheap Model Ts, which became
the backbone of the American car industry between 1913 and 1927.
In fact, of the 12 million vehicles registered in the USA
in the early 1920s, over half were Fords, which shows just how popular
and significant the Model T was.
But there were standout vehicles prior to the Ford's Tin
Lizzy Model T. The Stutz Bearcat, which this book starts with, was remarkable,
even though today it looks like a vintage car with barely enough power
to beat a jogging pace. In fact, the Bearcat could travel at 80 mph (129
km/h) and cruise at 60 mph (97 km/h), making it one of the supercars of
its day. And it was built to such a degree that when, in 1915, one customer
returned his car, complaining that the new 16v overheadcam engine was
no good, Harry C. Stutz gave the car to dare-devil motorcyclist Erwin
'Cannonball' Baker, who consequently drove across America on little more
than dirt tracks, doing 3.700 miles (5,953 km) at an average of 13.7 mph
(22 km/h), taking just over 11 days to complete the trip and breaking
every record in the process, with a broken shock-absorber clip the only
casualty! This feat swamped the manufacturer with orders, and it was only
the attempt at floating the company on the US stockmarket which eventually
destroyed the brand.
It was the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which also saw the
end of the revolutionary Cord L29, so called as it was launched in 1929.
Head of the company, Erret Lobban Cord, worked his engineers and designers
hard to come up with the car in just eight months, even though, as a great
salesmen, he embellished the truth and said the prototype had taken years
of development. That car used a frontwheel-drive configuration, the first
for any production vehicle, though racers had used it previously and had
been beating rearwheel-drive machines. What Cord did was make the FWD
set-up workable with a tight turning circle and strong chassis, while
creating a car which was beautiful in proportion and very low because
it didn't require a transmission tunnel.
It was E.L. Cord who also headed the Duesenberg company,
having acquired it in 1926. He ordered the engineers to make a car which
would rival the best in the world. They duly did with the Model J, and
not just the car but the model gained a reputation for being the finest
the US had ever produced. But here was another victim of Wall Street,
while the larger manufacturers soldiered on.
Chevrolet was one of those giants, and the company had,
since 1912, tried to produce more innovative cars than Ford and, hence,
top their sales figures. Ford had been at the top of the sales in the
US car market since 1906, and they were to stay there until 1926. The
following year Chevrolet won over buyers through its Capitol series, and
partly because of the ageing design of the Model T. The following years
saw Chevrolet offer four-wheel brakes and a six-cylinder engine over Ford's
four, which again put the brand at the top of the sales pile. But Ford
were able to hit back with full Model A production (after initial delays)
in 1929 and 1930, though the see-saw continued in 1931 with a new series
from Chevrolet called Independence. So it went on, though Chevy had the
better grab of the market until World War II.
Both the crash of 1929 and World War II sorted the wheat
from the chaff in the car market, and saw many names either disappear
altogether or be swallowed up by bigger companies. However they went,
far fewer made it through to the late 1940s, but it remained a significant
time in car production. Technology was fast developing and the engineering
practices became more refined as, more than ever, costcutting was essential
in an increasingly competitive market. Developments in casting techniques
led to stronger and lighter components which cost less to make, plus advances
in fuel refinement meant that engines could produce more power reliably.
But the post-war period was certainly not about gearing
down; it was about gearing up for an increasing number of drivers, and
that brought about more diverse machines as an offshoot. Unusual cars
like the Studebaker Champion came along, as did unlikely collaborations
such as that between the American George Mason, president of Nash, and
Briton Donald Healey, who simply met on the Queen Elizabeth liner and
decide to make the Nash Healey car between them for the US market.
Cars like the 1949 Mercury defined a new way for styling,
because, like the Fords of the same year, they used slab sides. This marked
them out as quite radical to the separately tendered cars which dated
back to the 1940s, and even 1930s in some cases. Another significant move
for the era was provided by Hudson, who introduced their Step Down chassis
which allowed their cars to sit much lower and, therefore, have a lower
centre of gravity, which improved handling immensely.
The early 1950s saw the rise and rise of chrome on cars,
as an increasingly opulent society flourished in the States. The more
chrome you had, it seemed, the more successful you were in life. But chrome
wasn't the only addition, as many of the cars of the time were designed
by stylists who took their influence from the transport industry in general,
and therefore used ideas from both planes and trains of the era. Cars
were given bold noses and fintailed rears, and arguably the most celebrated
of these brash vehicles was the Cadillac Series 62 of 1959. With fins
over 1 ft (0.3 m) high and twin bullet lenses protruding rearwards, the
1959 Caddy was every bit a design icon and easily rates among the top
five of all-time American classics.
The 1950s also saw the birth of two American sports cars:
Ford's Thunderbird and Chevrolet's Corvette. Again the two companies were
fighting for the same market, but fortunately it was a huge one and sales
of both vehicles flourished; at least the Corvettes did after a couple
of years in production, and once Chevrolet had slotted in their new compact
small-block V8 of nearly 275 ci (4.5 litres). The Americans then had some
serious sports machine on their hands, enough to give plenty of sleepless
nights to the European bosses of Ferrari and Jaguar.
THE V8 AND MUSCLE BOOM
Performance became a big part of car-marketing in the 1950s
and 1960s. While the sporty two-seaters from two major manufacturers were
indeed fast (the Corvette held the fastest production-car record for some
years), the sedans weren't exactly far behind. Engine displacement had
been getting larger ever since the war, and Chrysler had been adding cubic
inches as well as developing their engines internally. The advent of their
'Hemispherical' design combustion chamber left other manufacturers reeling
at the outputs possible, though fortunately for them, the engines were
designed for full-sized sedans, and hence all the performance was needed
to stay level with other, lighter vehicles.
Other manufacturers began to add the cubic inches, but
it was the unlikely and fairly staid Pontiac who really came up with the
goods in 1964. That year, John DeLorean was the general manager, and he
knew that America's youth weren't satisfied with the cars that had pleased
their parents in the previous decade. Hence, when a young advertising
executive in the business, Jim Wangers, approached him about a concept
which involved fitting the company's 389 ci (6.3-litre) engine in the
mid-sized Le Mans/Tern pest bodyshell, DeLorean gave it the go-ahead immediately
and, in doing so, created the muscle car. Called the GTO after the Ferraris
of the same name, it was an instant success, and this sent shockwaves
through the industry as manufacturers scrabbled to jump on the bandwagon
and grab a share of the booming market.
Ford were ahead of most because they were already in the
process of producing a new model, and it was to be in the same vein as
the GTO, but much more readily available to America's youth. The Mustang
stole the show as soon as it was released: it was truly a sensation, and
very few cars since have created such an impression. While based on the
rather ordinary Falcon, the new sheet metalwork was striking, and the
name Mustang was a marketing dream as it conjured images of the hard-working
steeds of the American cowboys: fast, tough and entirely dependable. The
fact that the car came in coupe, fastback and convertible styles merely
added to the all-round appeal.
Chevrolet and, later, both Dodge and Plymouth, produced
cars to rival the Ford's new machine and all became known, after the Mustang,
as pony cars. But later in the 1960s the barebones nature of many muscle
cars developed with the market as young people grew older. They wanted
more creature comforts and hence later muscle cars became more refined.
The power remained, of course, and both Dodge and Plymouth made a big
impression on the market, not just with the Hemi 426 ci (6.9-litre) motor,
but with 440 ci (7.2-litre) Wedge engines and torquey small-blocks powering
compact fastbacks such as the Challenger. But this was all about to change.
FUEL AND ENVIRONMENT
The muscle era peaked in 1970, but while these boulevard
bruisers were busy burning fossil fuels, environmentalists were growing
increasingly unhappy with pollution and, with Americans being by far the
biggest users of internal combustion-engined vehicles, they were targeted.
This led to the introduction of lead-free fuel and, due to the lack of
refinement in this new fuel, cars' compression ratios needed to be decreased.
Hence power outputs dropped and sales slumped. The fuel crisis of 1973
further depressed the market and most manufacturers simply withdrew their
The following years of the 1970s marked several changes,
the most prominent being the development of smaller and therefore more
lightweight models, which had improved fuel economy. By the middle of
that decade the country also saw import cars on a severe rise, with Golf's
new hatchback of 1975 making big impressions on the youth of America and
also those who were more practically minded. The US didn't sit on its
laurels for too long, introducing its own compact cars which won over
buyers, even though they had no performance bias. Somewhat tamer muscle
cars were still built during the 1970s, it's just that they were in far
fewer numbers (though they are mentioned in this book) and weren't hyped
as much by the manufacturers.
As the 1980s dawned, computer technology found its way
into cars and made them far more efficient. The bonus was with computer
engine-management that power could be found while keeping the cars environmentally
friendly, hence the whole performance saga went off with a bang again
early that decade. Ford released a new Mustang in 1979 and it steadily
gained more power through the 1980s, while Chevrolet were close on their
heels with the Camaro in its third-generation guise.
Turbo technology also had its part to play at this time,
as factory cars found the sort of power usually associated with muscle
cars, but with engines far smaller and many times more efficient. What
it all led to is one of the greatest car-producing decades with the 1990s.
More than ever, cars became easier to produce with computer aid. And while
the days of chrome and huge engine-displacement might be long gone, America
remains at the forefront of car production with the biggest car companies
in the world, which looks promising for many future classics.
Finally, throughout the decades covered in this site, many
one-off specials built by individuals or small companies have been produced.
Hot rodders who have developed their cars for speed and style, drag racers
who have simply built for the fastest acceleration possible, and cruisers
who have put style way ahead of content, are all praised here. It is they
who, along with the manufacturers, have kept the American classics alive
and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
& Car Parts History
Auto History in Italy
||Pirelli founded in Milan
||Alfa Romeo founded
||Car production passes one-million mark