The first cars of every major car maker (Part 9)

Maserati: Tipo A6 (1947)
There were six Maserati brothers and five of them (Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto) devoted their lives to cars and motor sport. They launched their own car-making company in 1926, but the focus was exclusively on racing cars; it wouldn’t be until 1947 that the Tipo A6 arrived, powered by a 1488cc straight-six. Later would come a 2.0-litre version and an array of special-bodied cars.

Maserati went on to produce a variety of highly desirable luxurious and sporty cars. After ownership by Citroën and De Tomaso, the company was acquired by Fiat in 1993. It was then spun into Fiat-owned Ferrari for a period; today it’s part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, producing luxury models like the Levante SUV.

Holden: 48/215 (1948)
Holden didn’t build its first cars until 1948, almost a century after the company was founded. In 1856 James Holden set up J.A. Holden & Co as a saddlery business, by 1908 it was trimming cars and from 1914 it was manufacturing cars as a sub-contractor. By now the company had been renamed Holden’s Motor Body Builders and in 1924 HMBB was awarded a hefty contract by General Motors. GM swallowed up HMBB in 1931 but it wasn’t until 1948 that the first Holden was sold: the 48/215, with a 60bhp 2172cc engine and offered in saloon or pick-up forms.

Holden was to become the last company to volume-produce cars in Australia, but closed its last factory in 2017. The brand continues today, but as an importer.

Jaguar (MkV, 1948)
So here it is – Jaguar’s third first car. The company’s original first car was when Jaguar was called Swallow Sidecars, the second was just an SS car that was sold as a Jaguar and this was the first car from Jaguar that didn’t start out as an SS. The MkV came in saloon or drophead forms and was fitted with the same choice of 2664cc or 3485cc straight-six engines as before. poker online

Production lasted until 1951 when the MkVII took over; there was no MkVI, probably because Bentley was selling its own MkVI at the time.

Land Rover (1948)
Land Rover was originally an offshoot of the Rover Car Company which wanted to increase its exports and it also spotted a gap in the market for a vehicle capable of tackling harsh terrain. The result was the Series 1 of 1948, powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine. Production started in July 1948 and within three months Land Rover had dealers in an astonishing 68 countries around the world.

The company went on to effectively invent the luxury SUV with its Range Rover model in 1970. Land Rover was spun out of BMW’s Rover misadventure in 2000 and sold to Ford. Together with Jaguar, Land Rover was acquired by India’s Tata in 2008; in recent years it’s prospered with the striking Range Rover Evoque compact SUV among several other popular models.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 8)

Jeep (Willys, 1941)
Hmm – where to start with this one? The first Jeeps were made by Willys and Ford in 1941 and later on by French companies Hotchkiss and Delahaye. Power came from a 2.2 four-cylinder engine which drove all four wheels via a three-speed manual gearbox. In time the Jeep would become a staple product for Willys-Overland, which went on to launch the Station Wagon, Truck and Jeepster. agen domino qiu

Jaguar (1945)
Rising from the ashes of SS Cars was Jaguar, which was incorporated in March 1945. With six years of hostilities just having taken place Jaguar hadn’t been able to develop a new car so it just put the SS 2.5 saloon back into production. Alongside a 3.5, this 2664cc car would have to sustain Jaguar until the arrival of the MkV in 1948.

After a prosperous period after the war making prestige cars, Jaguar survived the usually fatal act of being part of British Leyland (BL), and was acquired by Ford in 1990. It slowly merged with fellow BL survivor Land Rover after 2000 under Ford, and then both were sold to India’s Tata in 2008.

Volkswagen (1945)
Although the first examples of Hitler’s KDF wagen were built in 1936, the first production cars weren’t made until 1945. When the British Army liberated VW’s Wolfsburg factory the car, the Type 1, was offered to various British companies, all of which turned it down saying it could never be commercially successful. Unofficially called the Volkswagen Beetle, the air-cooled saloon went on to become the most successful car in history with more than 21 million built by the time production ended in 2003.

Volkswagen expanded to acquire a range of other companies and nameplates over the decades, and was the world’s largest single vehicle producer in 2017.

Ferrari (1947)
When Enzo Ferrari severed his ties with his previous employer Alfa Romeo (he was the company’s competition manager), he was forbidden from building any cars bearing his own name for seven years. So his first cars were built under the Auto Avio banner in 1940; after just two were built the company’s focus turned to making machine tools and ball bearings for the war effort. The first Ferrari appeared in 1947: the Tipo 125 featured a 1498cc V12 rated at 118bhp. A year later Ferrari would take part in its first Grand Prix, using this engine in supercharged form.

And the rest as they say is history – Ferrari today is arguably the world’s leading producer of high-end sports cars. It’s also the operator of the most successful team in Formula One racing in terms of both constructor and driver championship wins. The company was fully acquired by Fiat in 1988; it was spun off as an independent company, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 7)

BMW: Dixi 3/15 (1927)
BMW started out as a manufacturer of aircraft engines in 1916, in 1923 it launched its first motorcycle then in 1927 came the Dixi 3/15, BMW’s first car. It was an Austin Seven built under licence with barely any changes; aside from the steering wheel moving from the right to the left the two were pretty much interchangeable. bandar ceme online

Today Munich-based BMW is a highly successful maker of luxury cars, making 2.44 million vehicles in 2017. Ironically perhaps, it owned Austin’s successor company Rover between 1994 and 2000.

Volvo: OV4 (1927)
Founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson, Volvo built its first car in 1927. Called the OV4 and offered only as an open tourer, power came from a 1940cc four-cylinder engine with a peak power output of just 28bhp at 2800rpm.

Volvo was one of the first company’s to identify safety issues as a selling point, leading to several innovations, including the three-point-seatbelt in 1959. Demerged from the truck and bus-making side of Volvo Group in 1999, Volvo Cars was acquired by Ford. Ford sold it to China’s Geely in 2010, and it’s since prospered with a range of new cars.

Nissan (1931)
Nissan started out as the Kaishinsha Motorcar Works in 1911 before changing its name to DAT Motorcar Co in 1925 then again to Nissan in 1934. However, many of the company’s products were sold as Datsuns (initially Datsons) until 1986, when Nissan was adopted as the global brand. Although cars were made in limited numbers from as early as 1914, the first Datsun didn’t arrive until 1931. The Type 10 was a clone of the Austin Seven and initially it featured a 495cc four-cylinder engine, which was later enlarged to 747cc – the same displacement as the Austin unit.

Today, Yokohama-based Nissan is, with its Renault alliance partner, the world’s third largest car producer.

Toyota: AA (1936)
Toyota’s first car was the AA, presented in 1936 and powered by a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine; 1404 were made. The first home-built car for the Japanese market, its public debut at an exhibition in Tokyo, together with a cabriolet version (the AB), helped prompt the Japanese government to give the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works permission to build vehicles, opening the way for the founding of Toyota and the immediate construction of its first auto factories.

Toyota today vies with Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan for the title of the world’s largest car company, by volume of vehicle output.

Mercury (1938)
In the 1930s Ford had a problem; there was a huge gap between its Ford and Lincoln brands, so customers were being forced to defect to rival brands such as Dodge or Pontiac. The solution was to create a new marque between the two: Mercury was born in 1938. The first car was a four-door saloon with a 95bhp 239ci (3915cc) flat-head V8; production lasted until 1942, with the car having been named the Eight in 1941. The Mercury name was closed in 2011.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 6)

Chrysler: 70 (1924)
Walter Chrysler had turned around the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers car company which had been founded in 1904. That company closed down in 1923 so the next year Walter created a new company bearing his own name – and here he is with his very first car, the 70. Fitted with a 3301cc side-valve straight-six, the 70 was highly innovative with its aluminium pistons, full-pressure lubrication and oil filter. No wonder 32,000 were sold in the first year. qiu ceme

Chrysler retained its reputation as an innovator over the following few decades, helping to fend off competition from its two larger Detroit rivals. Today, Chrysler is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, though the nameplate is now only used on two models.

Skoda: Type 110 (1925)
Just like Laurin & Klement, Skoda was also started in 1895, mainly to build armaments, but it expanded rapidly to also offer locomotives, bridges, power stations, ships and much more. In 1919 it started to build steam trucks and heavy road tractors but in 1925 Skoda merged with Laurin & Klement to start offering cars.

The company’s first model was the Type 110, an evolution of L&K’s Types 100 and 105, powered by a 1791cc four-cylinder water-cooled engine. Today, Skoda is part of Volkswagen.

Pontiac (1926)
In the 1920s General Motors had Chevrolet at the bottom end and Cadillac at the top. There was also Oldsmobile which was closer to Cadillac than Chevrolet; what was needed was a brand that offered affordable, high-quality cars. Pontiac was launched in 1926 to fill that gap; its first model was a 3.1-litre car available in two-door saloon or coupé forms, both priced at $825. The car proved a big hit with almost 77,000 sold in the first year.

The Pontiac brand was closed down by GM in 2010 in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 5)

Bentley: 3-Litre (1919)
Walter Owen (WO) Bentley and his brother Horace sold cars before WW1, but in 1919 they set up Bentley Motors to make and sell sporting carriages for the well heeled. The company’s first car was ready for delivery in 1921; by 1930 Bentley had won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times. Bentley’s first model was the 3-Litre, 1622 of which were produced between 1921 and 1929, each with a 2996cc four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder.

Bentley was acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1931 and spent the next few decades building models based on Rolls-Royces, albeit often ones with a sportier disposition. In 1998 Bentley was split from Rolls and both Bentley and its Crewe factory was acquired by Volkswagen. The company has since undergone a renaissance of successful new models starting with the Continental GT of 2003. It produced 10,566 cars in 2017.

Citroën: Type A (1919)
Throughout WW1 André Citroën’s factory was churning out armaments and although he didn’t make his first car until 1919, as early as 1916 he’d decided to go into vehicle manufacture. In March 1919, just four months after WW1 ended, Citroën showed his Type A, with a 1327cc four-cylinder engine that gave a top speed of 40mph. By the time production ended in 1921, more than 24,000 Type As had been built.

The company went broke in 1934 and was acquired by its largest creditor, Michelin; André Citroën died in 1935. The company was bought by Peugeot in 1976 to form PSA Group,

Jaguar (Swallow Sidecars, 1922)
Jaguar didn’t start out as Jaguar – it began life in 1922 as Swallow Sidecars, or SS, to make bodies for an array of small cars such as Austin, Singer and Wolseley. Trying to sell cars after the events of the Second World War with the name SS was never going to be successful, which is why the name ‘Jaguar’ was adopted. This was first used as a model name in 1935. boya qq

MG (1923)
William Morris (later Lord Nuffield) founded Morris Motors in 1913; a decade later Morris Garages (MG) was born. There’s much debate as to what MG’s first car was, but it seems to be the Morris Garages Chummy, a sporting two-seater based on the Morris Cowley. Those first cars featured Morris and MG badges and the first adverts for MG were placed in 1923 although the trademark wasn’t registered until the following year.

Triumph (1923)
Based in Coventry, Triumph entered the bicycle market in 1885; motorcycles followed in 1902 then in 1923 the company built its first car. This was the result of a take over of the Dawson Car Company with Triumph’s first model being the 1.4-litre 10/20. Built until 1926, around 2500 of these two-seater steel-bodied tourers were made although there was also an aluminium-panelled sports model offered too.

After making a name for itself after WW2 with sporty four-door models, Triumph became part of the great British disaster zone that was British Leyland in 1968; the last Triumph-badged car was built in 1984. The Triumph Cars name itself is today owned by BMW, though not used.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 4)

Lancia: Type 51 (1907)
Founded to build sporting and race cars, Vincenzo Lancia set up his own company in November 1906. His first car was ready for trials in February 1907 but before it had left the workshop the factory burned down taking the car, the drawings and Lancia’s tools with it. Seven months later Lancia had a new car built from scratch; 100 examples of the Type 51 would be made, each with a 2544cc four-cylinder engine.

One of the most innovative car makers ever, it’s a tragedy that Lancia today is now just about defunct, with just one single model in production, due to come to an end soon.

Audi: Type A (1910)
August Horch’s first car company (founded in 1904) bore his own name, but when he fell out with fellow board members he set up a new company in 1910, called Audi. Its first model was the Type A, fitted with a 2612cc four-cylinder engine. Just 140 examples were made before the Type B arrived in 1911.

Today, Audi is part of Volkswagen and is one of the world’s leading luxury carmakers, producing 1.9 million vehicles in 2017.

Alfa Romeo: 24 HP (1910)
Launched in 1910, Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili realised that it really needed a snappier name; ALFA was the result. After Nicola Romeo took the company over in 1915 it was renamed Alfa Romeo in 1918, and its first car was the Torpedo 20-30. However, ALFA’s first car was the 4.1-litre 24HP, seen here, which remained in production until 1914.

Alfa Romeo acquired a reputation for making exciting though excitable cars in the ensuing decades; it was acquired by Fiat in 1986. As such today it’s part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, producing desirable models like the well-regarded Giulia four-door.

Morgan (1910)
Harry (HFS) Morgan opened a garage in Malvern to sell and service cars. By 1909 he’d built his own car for his personal use; a year later he put his three-wheeler into production. The first cars were single-seaters but these were never going to be very popular in the marketplace, so by 1911 Morgan’s three-wheeler was available with either two seats or four. Power came from a 961cc JAP V-twin engine.

Chevrolet: Type C/Classic Six (1913)
Although Louis Chevrolet set up his company in 1911, his first car wasn’t sold until 1913. Introduced at that year’s New York Auto Show, the Chevrolet Type C (or Classic Six) was pretty impressive with its six-cylinder engine and three-speed gearbox. But it was costly compared with rivals, which is why Chevrolet quickly introduced a four-cylinder model to compete.

Chevrolet became part of GM in 1917, and today Chevrolet is by far the largest source of GM’s output, producing 4.14m vehicles in 2017.

Dodge (1914)
John and Horace Dodge set up shop in 1901 to produce bicycle components before moving into car parts supply in 1903; very quickly virtually their entire output was for Ford. Seeing that Ford was producing more and more parts in-house they decided to go it alone with their own car which arrived in 1914. Offered only as a five-seat tourer, Dodge’s car featured a 35bhp 3480cc four-cylinder engine and a three-speed gearbox. By 1916 Dodge was America’s fourth best-selling brand of car with over 70,000 made in that one year. bandar ceme

Dodge was sold to Chrysler in 1928, and is now part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Aston Martin: Coal Scuttle (1915)
The first Aston Martin, named Coal Scuttle, was built in 1915. Following Coal Scuttle and the Great War, three more prototype cars were built including one called Bunny, but none of these cars survive. By 1921 Aston Martin was ready to start selling cars and its first production model featured a 1496cc four-cylinder engine. Just 69 were made before the company went bust – and not for the last time. The car pictured is the oldest surviving Aston Martin, chassis number 3, now owned by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.

After going through various owners and life stages subsequently, Aston Martin was owned by Ford between 1994 and 2007 and greatly boosted vehicle output with models such as the DB7 and DB9. Owned by investors after that, the company was then floated on the London stock market as an independent entity in October 2018.

Mitsubishi: Model A (1917)
Founded as a shipping firm in 1870, Mitsubishi didn’t build its first car until 1917. Just 22 of these leviathans were built, each powered by a 2765cc four-cylinder engine. Capable of seating seven, the Mitsubishi Model A was based on the Fiat Tipo 3 with a front-mounted 35hp engine that drove the rear wheels and could take the car to 60mph.

Today, Mitsubishi Motors is Japan’s sixth largest car maker, and is in alliance with Renault and Nissan.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 3)

Cadillac (1902)
When Cadillac was incorporated in 1902 by Henry Leland to make affordable cars for the masses, his initial offering was the Runabout, retrospectively named the Model A, which was facelifted in 1904 to become the Model B. Power (all 10hp of it) came from a 1609cc single-cylinder engine mounted under the rear seat.

Cadillac was acquired by GM in 1909; today it continues as GM’s luxury car brand, with sales of 156,440 cars in the US in 2017.

Ford Motor Company: Model A (1903)
The Ford Motor Company’s first product was the Model A, which went on sale in July 1903 and by the time production ended in October 1904 an impressive 670 examples had been made. Pictured is Henry Ford’s great grandson and current company chairman Bill Ford Junior, with the world’s oldest surviving Model A, built in 1903 – he bought the car for US$264,000 in 2012. The Model A featured a 1645cc flat-twin engine mounted under the rear seat, a two-speed transmission and chain drive.

Today, based in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford is the world’s sixth largest car group by production volume, with 6.25m units built in 2017.

Vauxhall (1903)
Vauxhall started making marine engines in 1857, when it was called Alex Wilson & Company; the name was switched to Vauxhall Iron Works in 1897. Six years later the first car was made; a 5hp single-cylinder four-wheeler with tiller steering and a two-speed gearbox. Around 70 of these earliest vehciles were made; Vauxhall still owns one which it regularly enters into the London to Brighton vintage car run each November.

Vauxhall was acquired by GM in 1925, and increasingly intertwined with GM’s German arm Opel in the decades after. GM sold Vauxhall along with Opel to PSA in 2017.

Rolls-Royce (1904)
Engineer Henry Royce built his first car in 1904, just a month before he met by chance the wealthy aristocrat Charles Rolls. The latter had seen the Royce in action and said to its maker that he would take every car that Royce could make as long as it also had his name on it too. By December 1904 the first Rolls-Royce was ready, although Rolls-Royce Ltd wouldn’t be founded until 1906. That first car was fitted with a two-cylinder 1809cc engine but by the end of 1906 Rolls-Royce had already built its first car with an eight-cylinder engine.

After a variety of owners and fortunes over the ensuing decades, the brand was acquired by BMW in 1998. With investment from the German giant, its cars can once again justifiably claim to be the best in the world today – and also among the most expensive. agen aduq

Rover: Eight (1904)
When Rover created its Safety Bicycle in 1885 it created the modern template for the pushbike. Next came motorcycles (in 1902) then in 1904 Rover built its first car, the two-seater Rover Eight. In production right the way through until 1912, the Eight was fitted with a 1327cc single-cylinder engine that developed a decently gutsy 8hp at 900rpm, but the engine was red-lined at a screaming 1500rpm.

After a positive post-war period that saw it create the Land Rover, Rover became part of the disfunctional British Leyland group in 1968, and was later on owned by weapons maker British Aerospace and then BMW. Independent again in 2000, it went out of business in 2005. The Rover name is today owned by Tata, the current owner of Land Rover.

Skoda: Voiturette A (Laurin & Klement, 1905)
Skoda grew out of a company called Laurin & Klement which started by making bicycles in 1895, moved into motorcycle manufacture in 1899 then built its first car in 1905. That first car was the Voiturette A (seen here) which was powered by a 1005cc (later 1100cc) V-twin engine that developed 7bhp. Just 55 were made before the Voiturette B took over in 1906 with a 9bhp 1399cc engine.

Skoda today is a successful part of Volkswagen, which bought it in 1995. The Laurin & Klement names survives as a top-of-the-range trim level.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 2)

Fiat: 4HP (1899)
Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino was founded in 1899 and its first factory opened in 1900; that year just 24 cars were made. The company’s first model was the 4HP which was initially fitted with a 679cc flat-twin engine; later cars got an 837cc unit. Fiat started out with just 35 employees; by 1908 it had 2700 people on the payroll and was capable of producing 5000 cars each year. agen bandarq online

Today Fiat is part of the transatlantic Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group.

Opel (1899)
Adam Opel set up a company in 1862 to make sewing machines before diversifying into bicycles in 1886. He died in 1895 but his widow and five sons continued the business, introducing their first car in 1899. The engine was a 1545cc 3.5hp single-cylinder unit and buyers could choose from two- or four-seat editions but the car didn’t sell well; just 11 found buyers in 1899 and 24 in 1900.

Opel became part of General Motors (GM) in 1931; it sold the company to France’s PSA in 2017.

Buick: Model B (1899)
America’s oldest surviving car maker, Buick was founded in 1899, which is when it produced its first car – although it didn’t make a second until the following year, with the third coming in 1903. Initially named the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, series production didn’t start until 1904; a year later the company was renamed the Buick Motor Company. That first car was the Model B (pictured here) with a 2605cc flat-twin engine rated at 16hp. By the end of the year Buick had sold 37 cars but by 1908 annual production had mushroomed to 8800.

Buick became the largest car company in America, and it grew to be a key part of GM, founded by Buick’s William C. Durant and Louis Chevrolet in 1908. The Buick name continues to this day, with notable success in China in recent years.

Oldsmobile: Curved-Dash Runabout (1901)
Ransom Eli Olds built a series of experimental and prototype cars in the late 19th century, before launching his first production car in 1901: the snappily named Oldsmobile Curved-Dash Runabout, which featured a 1565cc single-cylinder engine, a two-speed gearbox and chain drive. Despite anything Ford might have to say on the subject, it was Oldsmobile that was the first to offer a mass-produced car, with 425 Runabouts rolling off the production lines in the first year – a figure that jumped to 2100 in 1902.

Oldsmobile was purchased by GM in 1908; the name was closed down in 2004.

The first cars of every major car maker (Part 1)

Karl Benz built the first car in 1885, and since then many thousands of companies have sprung up trying to make a name for themselves.

But few have survived and here we take a look at how some of those survivors (plus a few that didn’t make it) got started. Sometimes things are a lot more convoluted than you think though, with some companies claiming two (or even three) first cars… In chronological order, let’s take a look at the first car made by every major carmaker ceme online terpercaya

Mercedes-Benz: Patent Motorwagen (1886)
This is where it all started – the first company to build a car. Karl Benz built his first car in 1885 and he patented it in January 1886, but the Mercedes-Benz name wouldn’t be adopted until 1901. That first car (called the Patent Motorwagen, pictured here) had just three wheels and a 0.75bhp 954cc single-cylinder engine, but in 1893 Benz built his first four-wheeler, the Viktoria, powered by a 3bhp 1745cc engine.

Mercedes-Benz is today part of the wider Daimler group, and produced 2.5m cars in 2017.

Peugeot (1891)
Peugeot started out in 1842 making salt and pepper grinders before moving into bicycle production 40 years later. Then in 1891 Peugeot built its first car, a four-wheeled machine with a rear-mounted V-twin engine driving the rear wheels via a chain. Just five cars were made in that first year, but this grew to 29 in 1892. By 1900 Peugeot production was up to 500 cars in one year.

Today, Peugeot is part of the wider PSA Group, which also owns Citroën and Vauxhall/Opel, and is based just outside Paris.

Ford: Quadricycle (1896)
Henry Ford built his first experimental car in 1896. Known as the Ford Quadricycle, the vehicle would remain a one-off. By 1899 Ford had set up the Detroit Automobile Company which in 1901 was renamed the Henry Ford Company. Within a year Ford had fallen out with his financial backers and he left to set up a new venture – the Ford Motor Company. More to come on this story shortly…

Renault: Type A (1898)
Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault set up Société Renault Freres in 1899, having already built a prototype 1CV voiturette the previous year. Capable of 20mph, the Type A got an annual facelift until it went out of production in 1903, by which point it was fitted with a 5hp engine in place of the original 1hp unit.

Based just outside Paris, today Renault is one of Europe’s leading car companies, and part of a wider global alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi.