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.