50 Unusual Car Facts from around the world

So many interesting, and strange, things have happened in the automotive industry over the course of time.  Ranging from the price of different cars to the height of the world’s lowest street-legal vehicle, weird things tend to keep us intrigued in the car world.  Below are 50 quirky car facts that were put together for you viewing pleasure.

Making history

  • 1902 – The first speeding ticket was issued; most cars could barely reach 45 mph.
  • 82 YEARS – the number of years Mr. Allen Swift, of Springfield, MA drove his 1928 Rolls-Royce Roadster.
  • 1907 – the worlds first purpose-built racing circuit, Brooklands, opened in Weybridge, Surrey.
  • 42 SECONDS – the fastest time for removing a car engine, and replacing it, using a Ford Escort, on 21 Nov. 1985.
  • 1927 – the first electric traffic lights were launched in Wolverhamption.
  • THE DASHBOARD – was originally a piece of wood attached to the front of a horse-drawn carriage that would prevent mud from splattering the driver as the horse galloped.
  • 1969– the first automobile accident; the damaged vehicle is still preserved in the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Metiers in Paris.
  • 1935 – the first coin-operated parking meter was installed in OKC.
  • 19 INCHES – the height of the world’s lowest street-legal car.  The “Flatmobile” was built by Perry Watkins from Buckinghamshire.
  • 22 HOURS, 10 MINUTES AND 33 SECONDS – the time it took for Hugh Edeleanu to drive a JCB from John O’Groats to Land’s End at an average speed of 40 mph.
  • FLAT, ASPHALT ROADS – were introduced for cyclists, not motorists as is commonly believed.
  • STOCK CAR RACING HAS ITS ORIGINS IN MOONSHINE RUNNERS – they modified their cars so that they could outrun police cars in Prohibition-era America.

Money-Money-Money

  • THE ICONIC ROLLS ROYCE HOOD ORNAMENT IS CALLED ‘THE SPIRIT OF ECSTASY’ – in 2008, a special edition diamond-encrusted version was designed, with an asking price of $200,000
  • £38 – the cost to have someone else drive your car through a traffic jam in China.  The original driver is whisked away on a motorcycle.
  • 5 SHILLINGS – the fine for the first motor offence in the UK, issued to petrol engine pioneer John Henry Knight in 1895 for not having a license.
  • £30 – the fine for using a car horn whilst stationary in the UK.  Taxi drivers beware!
  • 1884 – the year the world’s oldest surviving car was built in France for the Count De Dion.  It was sold at auction in 2011 for $4.6 million.
  • $1,000,000 – the largest speeding fine ever, given to a Swedish man who got clocked at 180 mph in Switzerland, where fines are proportionate to income.

Brands

  • YOU CAN PLAY PONG IN A SAAB – the game is included as an Easter egg in the on-board computer.
  • 19 PEOPLE – can be crammed into a Smart Car.
  • 80% – of cars registered in Albania are Mercedes-Benz
  • HITLER – while in prison, wrote to a Mercedes-Benz dealership begging for a car loan.
  • HONG KONG – the city with the most Rolls Royce’s per capita.
  • VOLKSWAGEN – named many of their cars after winds.  Passat (after the German word for Trade Wind),  Golf (after Gulf Stream),  Bora (after Bora), Polo (after Polar Winds), and Jetta (after Jet Stream).
  • “IT’S A DOOZY” – the phrase has its origins in Dusenberg automobiles, which were regarded in the 1920s as the most luxurious cars in the world.
  • TOP SELLER – for 4 years the Ford Fiesta has been the best-selling vehicle in the UK.  Over 100,000 are bought each year.
  • DANGER! DANGER! – South African BMW’s can be equipped with flame-throwers to prevent car-jackings.
  • KAZUNORI YAMAUCHI – the creator of the Gran Turismo videogames helped develop the Nissan GT-R and has been racing professionally since 2009.
  • FERRARI – produce a maximum of 14 cars per day.
  • TOYOTA – the world’s largest car manufacturers, every day produces 13,000.

Around the world

  • 99 DAYS – will be spent stuck in traffic by the average British driver over the course of their lifetime.
  • TEDDY BEARS – many British traffic police carry teddy bears to console children with after car crashes.
  • 90% – of drivers sing behind the wheel.
  • THE “NEW CAR SMELL” – is composed of 50 volatile organic compounds.  Fortunately, they are non-toxic.
  • ELDERLY CAR – drivers over the age of 75 must display the Koreisha mark in the back of their vehicle in Japan.
  • PARKING – the average British car is parked up 90% of the time.
  • THE AUTOMOBILE – is the most recycled product in the world.
  • 1 OUT OF 4 – cars produced in the world comes from China.
  • STEVE JOBS’ – car never had a license plate due to a loophole in Californian state law.
  • FRANCE – it is compulsory to carry a breathalyzer kit in France. 
  • SIX MONTHS – the time it would take to reach the moon if you could drive upwards at 60 mph
  • 960 MILLION HOURS – the amount of time Britons collectively waste in traffic jams each year.

Technology

  • MODERN F1 CAR – can drive upside down in a tunnel at 120 mph.
  • 256 – the amount of times you can press an out-of-range car remote key before it will stop working.  This is due to the method of encryption between the car remote and the receiver in the vehicle.
  • 60 MILLION CARS – are produced in a single year.  That’s 165,000 cars a day!
  • REMOTE KEYS – holding a remote car key to your head double its range because the human skull acts as an amplifier.
  • 80% – of Formula One teams use an exhaust pipe coating originally developed for nuclear reactors.
  • GERMAN CARS – a car has been developed in Germany which is controlled solely by the thoughts of the driver. 
  • 1 BILLION – cars are in active use across the world today.

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