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Classic Ads  All Classic Ads Vintage Collection - Automobiles

Alfa RomeoAMCAmphicarAston MartinAuburn SpeedsterAudiAustinBentleyBMW British Leyland Bugatti Buick Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Citroen Cobra Cooper Datsun DeSoto Dodge Ferrari Fiat Fisher Body Ford GMC Hillman Honda Hudson Hupmobile Jaguar Kaiser Lamborghini Lancia Land Rover Lincoln Lotus Maseratti Mazda Mercedes Benz Mercury MGB Morris Nash Nissan Oldsmobile Packard Pantera Peugeot Plymouth Pontiac Porsche Renault Rolls Royce Rover Saab Studebaker Subaru Toyota Triumph Tucker Volkswagen Volvo  

 

Vintage Automobile AdsThe term ‘automobile' derived its meaning from the Greek root ‘auto' meaning ‘self' and the Latin word ‘mobilis' meaning ‘movement' and therefore the term came to designate that it was a vehicle that did not require the aid of any other animal or vehicle for its movement and could be driven by itself.

Francois Isaac de RivazAn automobile may also be referred to as a motor car which refers to a vehicle which runs by the functioning of its own motor.

It is quite interesting to note that there is a bit of dispute regarding the first vehicles that ever strode on the surface of the earth. While some credit Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot for attaining this amazing feat around the 1770s by designing the very first self-driven mechanical three-wheeler vehicle, it is held by some others that it was Ferdinand Verbiest who around 1672 had built the first ever steam powered vehicle.

In both cases the common link is the renowned Swiss inventor named Francois Isaac de Rivaz who was responsible for combining the resources of hydrogen and oxygen to create the first internal combustion engine which was subsequently used for running the first vehicles on the earth's surface.

It must be noted here that this creation was not quite successful and the 19th century witnessed a series of innovations in the art of creating the predecessor of the modern cars. It was in 1885 that Karl Benz manufactured a vehicle which functioned with the aid of an Otto gasoline engine and this design was sanctioned by the relevant authorities and it is Karl Benz who is popularly regarded as the inventor of the modern vehicle.

In 1896, Benz conceptualized the first internal combustion flat engine. These vehicles were mostly three-wheelers and were extremely popular before the inception of the four-wheeler vehicles in the closing years of the 19 th century.

Another very prominent automobile company in those times was founded by Daimler and Maybach named Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in the year 1890.

In fact it was in 1890 that the first foundations of the automobile industry were laid in France by Armand Peugeot and Emile Levassor. In the United States of America , the first car with an in-built internal combustion engine was manufactured by George Selden in 1877.

Alfa Romeo

Surprisely the history of Alfa Romeo starts in France. Carmanufacturer Alexandre Darracq putted up a factory in Portello near by Milan. In this factory cars with one or two cylinder engines were build from parts imported from Paris. This project was not that succesfull as Alexandre Darracq hoped for and in 1909 he sold his factory to the Italian Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, shortly A.L.F.A.

In 1915 Nicola Romeo, a very skilfull engineer and keen on autosport became the head of this fabbrica and the name of this firm became Alfa Romeo. The early four-cylinder engines were replaced by six- and eight-cylinder engines from Merosi and Jano. Later on engines with double overhead camshafts and a compressor were used.

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Alfa Romeo

AMC - American Motors Corporation

Nash (est. 1916) and Hudson (est. 1909) had to face the fact that things could not go on the way they had durring the auto manufaturing boom in durring the 1950's. Nash's president George Mason had first talked with Packard about a merger, but Packard had refused the offer. Instead they merged with Studebaker to form the Studebaker-Packard Corp. in 1954. The name Packard ceased to exist in 1959. Studebaker went out of business in 1966.

Mason started negotiations with Hudson's president Barrit, who didn't see any other solution to his company's money problems and agreed on a merger. On May 1st, 1954 the American Motors Coporation was founded.

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AMC - American Motors Corporation
Amphicar

The brainchild of German inventor Hans Trippel, who had experience of building successful amphibian vehicles during World War II for the German army, the Amphicar was designed to double up as a car and a boat. It came with two engines -a Triumph Herald unit for road use and a Hermes outboard motor for aquatic use, powering twin propellers. But while brilliant in concept, the Amphicar was a disaster in execution. Its design was too compromised in too many ways, and it was neither brilliant on the road nor in water, and thus unappealing to drive. Poor rust proofing didn't help the car's reputation, either. Owners who forgot to dry their Amphicars off after a swim found them rotting away or - even worse - sinking due to water ingress.

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Amphicar
Aston Martin

Bamford Martin. It doesn’t have quite the right ring to it, yet if things had been just a little different, that is how we would know this most British of performance sports cars.

It was back before the Great War that Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin joined forces to sell Singer cars, and to prepare them for hill climbing and racing. Successfully too: it was Martin’s performances with these cars at the hillclimb course in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire that was to provide the inspiration for a name when the pair started making their own car.

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Aston Martin
Auburn Speedster

Auburn, Indiana was once a center of a thriving automobile industry. The Auburn Automobile Company produced three of the most beautiful cars ever designed, the Auburn, the Cord, and the Duesenberg. Many of these fine automobiles still survive and return each year for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival. The festival is held on Labor Day weekend. Although this years' festival has come and gone, you may still enjoy some of the pictures of this internationally famous reunion of classic cars.

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Auburn Speedster
Audi

The foundation of the company is on 14 November 1899. This is the date when August Horch (1868 - 1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie which was the starting point of Audi that we know today. This company was established in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne where August Horch made his first car model. The car was finished during 1901 and in March of the next year the company was moved to Reichenbach in Saxony.

Two years later the company was converted to share-issuing company. During that time another change of location took place. On the same year – 10 May 1904 a company in Zwicka was established by the name A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG.

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Austin

Herbert Austin, founder of the Austin Motor Company, was born 8th November 1866 at Grange Farm, Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire. His family moved to Wentworth, Yorkshire where his father was appointed farm bailiff on Earl Fitzwilliam's estate. He was educated at Wentworth School, Rotherham Grammar School and Brampton Commercial College.

His mother secured an engineering apprenticeship for him with a firm in Melbourne, Australia, which he took up in 1884. After working for a number of companies he was invited by Frederick Wolseley to work for the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company. He was so successful that he was offered the post of manager of their British operations, which he accepted and returned to England in 1893.

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Austin
Bentley

Walter Owen Bentley (WO to his friends) and his brother HM bought Lecoq and Fernie, a French auto company, renaming it Bentley and Bentley, with headquarters in Mayfair. In 1919, after a stint making airplane engines during WWI, the company was resurrected as Bentley Motors. The first Flying B insignia appeared on the 1920 Bentley 3 1/2 Liter test car, which was built near Baker Street in London, and the first production car, another 3 1/2 Liter, was delivered to Bentley's first customer in 1921.

Bentley sees its first win at Brooklands in 1921, then enters its only Indianapolis 500 in 1922, where it qualified and finished last.

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Bentley
BMW

BMW is an acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG -- or, in English, Bavarian Motor Works. Whatever you call it, the German-based company is one of the world's most respected automakers, renowned for crafting luxury cars and SUVs that offer superior levels of driving enjoyment.

Founded in Munich, the company began in the early 1910s as an aircraft manufacturer. BMW's current logo, designed to represent white propeller blades against a blue sky, reflects these origins; its blue-and-white color scheme also references Bavaria's blue-and-white checkered flag.

It wasn't until 1928 that production began on the first BMW automobile, the Dixi.

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BMW
British Leyland

The British Leyland Motor Corporation (often abbreviated to simply "BL"), was a car manufacturing company formed in Britain in 1968.

BL was created from the merger of many British car manufacturing companies. Many of these brands have since been divested and continue to exist to this day, although the British Leyland name came to an end in 1982. From Austin to Morris the most direct heir of the company was the MG Rover Group which collapsed in April 2005.

The company became an infamous monument to the industrial turmoil that plagued Britain in the 1970s.

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Britiish Leyland
Bugatti

Ettore Bugatti was born into an artist's family, in Milan, Italy, on September 15th, 1881. His father, Carlo Bugatti, was a famous sculptor and respected artistic carpenter in his own right. His furniture creations, which were marked by Arabic influences, were prized well beyond the borders of Italy.

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Bugatti
Buick

Buick Motor Division, which claims one of the most dramatic and important chapters in the history of the American automobile, celebrated its 90th anniversary in 1993.

The division's founder, David Dunbar Buick was building gasoline engines by 1899, and his engineer, Walter L. Marr, built the first automobile to be called a Buick between 1899 and 1900. But Buick traditionally dates its beginnings to 1903. That was the year the company was incorporated and moved from Detroit to Flint.

The division's history has been exciting from the beginning.

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Buick
Cadillac

Cadillac is a brand of luxury automobile, part of the General Motors corporation, produced and mostly sold in the United States; outside of North America, they have been less successful. In the United States, the name became a synonym for "high quality", used in such phrases as "the Cadillac of clocks." This is less prevalent, though still known, in other English-speaking countries (who are more likely to use Rolls-Royce in such phrases).

Cadillac was formed from the Henry Ford Company upon Henry Ford's departure along with several partners. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers, William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen called in engineer Henry M. Leland to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them. Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue in the automobile business.

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Cadillac
Chevrolet

In 1911, Chevrolet Motor Company of Michigan is incorporated in November of 1911 by Louis Chevrolet, William Little and Edwin Cambell, William Durant's son-in-law. Headquarters are in Detroit.

On September 13, 1915, Durant incorporates Chevrolet Motor Co. of Delaware. The new corporation includes the original Chevrolet Motor Company and becomes a holding company for auto companies Durant had put together after losing control of GM.

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Chevrolet
Chrysler

Chrysler was founded by Walter P. Chrysler on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation.

Walter Chrysler had originally arrived at the ailing Maxwell-Chalmers company in the early 1920s, having been hired to take over and overhaul the company's troubled operations (just after having done a similar rescue job at the Willys car company).

In late 1923 production of the Chalmers automobile was ended.

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Chrysler
Citroen

André Citroën was born in 1878. A successful student, he attended the Polytechnical school in Paris and worked for some time with the car company "Mors". In 1905, at the age of 27, he founded his first company, "André Citroën & Cie", which was changed to "Société des Engrenages Citroën" (Citroën Cog Factory ) in 1913. Also in 1913, Citroën founded yet another company to take advantage of a patent he had regarding carburettors. This company was located on the Quai de Javel (today Quai André Citroën) in Paris. Early in his career, Citroën was impressed by the production methods of Henry Ford, who pioneered the use of the assembly line as early as 1908 for the Ford Model T in the U.S.A. Citroën understood that he had to analyse production methods and that he had to divide it into single logical steps in order to calculate the industrial production of an item mathematically.

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Citroen
Cobra (Shelby)

Much has been written about the Cobra, so only a few details will be presented here. Of the 260 and 289 version, there were 651 built. There were 401 of the Cobra 427 version. Of unique versions, there were six Dayton Coupes, one Willment Cobra Coupe and one AC Cobra Coupe. Cars destined for the USA were prefixed CSX. Those for the UK or Europe were COX, COB or CSB MA. A "2" as the first number in the serial number designated a leaf spring car, while a "3" was for coil spring cars.

In October of 1961, American racing driver Carroll Shelby contacted AC cars with the notion of fitting a 4.2-litre V-eight Ford engine into their light alloy Ace sport scar.

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Cobra
Cooper

The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1947 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together, they began by building racing cars in Charles' small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England in 1947. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, they reached auto racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars altered the face of Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and their sedans dominated Rally racing. Thanks in part to Cooper's legacy, Britain remains the home of a thriving racing industry, and the Cooper name lives on in the Mini Cooper production cars that are still built in England but are now owned and marketed by BMW.

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Cooper
Datsun

The history of the Datsun company dates back to 1911 when Sotaro Hashimoto, an American trained engineer, joined with three partners to create the Kwaishinsha Company. The Company began producing the first Japanese cars which were named DAT. The name was derived from the surname of one of its financiers, namely Kenjoro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi. Ironically, the name 'DAT' in Japanese also means 'fast hare'. The production of the 'DAT' vehicle continued until 1926 when it merged with Jidosha Seizo.

The great depression crippled many automotive manufacturers. In Japan, things were no different. In an attempt to revitalize its image, the company went through a reorganization. Part of their plan was to rename the company. So in 1930, the Kwaishinsha Company changed the name of the company to 'Datson' which meant 'son of DAT'.

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Datsun
DeSoto

Walter P. Chrysler introduced DeSoto in the summer of 1928.

Chrysler's announcement immediately attracted 500 dealers. By the time DeSoto production was in full swing at the end of 1928, there were 1,500 agencies selling the premier 1929 DeSoto Six. Demand rocketed. During the first twelve months, DeSoto production set a record 81,065 cars. DeSoto built more cars during its first year than had Chrysler, Pontiac, or Graham-Paige. The record stood for nearly thirty years.

The car name honored Hernando de Soto, the 16th century Spaniard who discovered the Mississippi River and had covered more North American territory than any other early explorer (editor’s note: the Chrysler people were probably not aware that DeSoto was a brutally ruthless conquerer, leading to the murder of thousands of people, as well).

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De Soto
Dodge

After having worked as manufacturers of bicycles and automotive parts for Ford, two brothers, Horace and John Dodge, began the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle company in 1914.

In 1887, Horace created a dirt-proof ball bearing at his home workbench. John procured financial backing for a company to manufacture the first Dodge vehicle, a bicycle featuring the ball bearing. The bicycle was manufactured under the Evans & Dodge name in Windsor, Ontario, where they moved in 1899. Windsor is just across the river and U.S.-Canada border from Detroit. The bicycle was manufactured in a building leased from their former employer, the Canadian Typothetac Company. Modest profits from this venture allowed them to open a machine shop in 1901 (Latham 86).

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Dodge
Ferrari

Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena Italy on February 18 1898. He came from a well to do family that owned a metal foundry making railroad parts, they were the first in his town to own a car. When WWI came Enzo's father and brother (Dino) were drafted into the Italian army, whom both died from influenza in 1916. Enzo was forced to leave school to run the foundry, when the business collapsed he started work as a metalworker at the Modena Fire Brigade workshop in order to support his widowed mother. Enzo himself was later drafted into the Italian army where he worked shoeing mules for the mountain artillery, after a few months he becomming seriously ill and was released from the military. Not interested in going back to shcool and against his mothers will, he found work as a test driver in Turin in late 1918.

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Ferrari
Fiat

On 11 July 1899 at Palazzo Bricherasio, the company charter of “Società Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino” was signed. Among the members of the Board of Directors, Giovanni Agnelli stood out in the group of investors and won recognition for his determination and strategic vision. In 1902 he became the Managing Director of the company.

The first factory was opened in 1900 in Corso Dante. 150 workers were employed there and produced 24 cars, among which the 3/12 HP, not yet fitted with reverse gear. The Fiat logo, oval on a blue background and designed by Biscaretti, was adopted in 1904.

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Fiat
Fisher Body

The Fisher Body Company, later the Fisher Body Division of GM, had strong family roots. It was founded by seven brothers whose grandfather, Andrew Fisher, emigrated from Northern Germany around 1835 and set up a blacksmith shop in Ohio. His son Lawrence Fisher worked in the blacksmith shop. Later, with his brother Andrew and his brother-in-law, he set up a carriage works, himself directing the woodworking facilities. Ironworking, woodworking, carriage-building, and brothers working closely together all reappeared in the remarkable success of the Fisher Body Company.

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Fisher Body
Ford

Since the company's founding in 1903, the name Ford has been synonymous with the automotive industry. Company founder Henry Ford Sr. became known for innovation, transforming cars into commodities for the masses and his company into an American icon. Below, selected milestones from the company's history:

June 16, 1903: Henry Ford and 11 investors sign articles of incorporation for Ford Motor Company in Michigan.

Oct. 1, 1908: Ford introduces the Model T, which became one of the most popular cars in the world. Production officially ended in May 1927 after total world production of 15,458,781.

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Ford
GMC

In the middle of the 19th century, a young man in Tyrone, Ontario lived on a farm he had cleared using an axe with a handle he had made himself. The farmer’s axe handles brought a good price at the market in Bowmanville, but eventually he wanted to apply his skills to a bigger project. After carefully studying pictures in an old carriage catalogue, he made up his mind to build himself a horse-drawn sleigh.

As the farmer worked on his project, a neighbour asked if he could buy the finished sleigh. The farmer offered to make another just like it. He agreed to a delivery date, but the traveling blacksmith to whom he assigned the ironwork arrived late, and the farmer had to work day and night to finish the sleigh and keep his promise. The farmer subsequently added his own blacksmith shop to his farm operation.

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GMC
Hillman

Hillman was a famous British automobile marque, manufactured by the Rootes Group. It was based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, England from 1907 to 1976. Before 1907 the company had built bicycles.

The original company named Hillman-Coatalen was founded by William Hillman with the Breton Louis Coatalen as designer and chief engineer. The first cars were large featuring a 9.76 litre 6 cylinder engine or a 6.4 litre four. A smaller car, the 9 hp of 1913 with a 1357 cc side valve four cylinder, was the first to sell in significant numbers and was re-introduced after World War 1 as the 11 hp having grown to 1600 cc. The big seller was the 14 hp introduced in 1925, and the only model made until 1928.

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Hillman
Honda

The Honda story is the story of one man, Soichiro Honda, and his unparalleled achievement of bringing motor cycles to the masses. Soichiro Honda was a racer, a businessman, and a manufacturer. But most of all he was a dreamer. He dreamed of a better way of making piston rings, founded a small company, and began production. He dreamed of giving people everywhere an economical form of transportation, and began producing small motorcycles, including one built in 1949 called the D-Type Dream.

He also loved racing too. So his company built bigger and faster machines, two, four, five and six-cylinder race bikes and won the Isle of Man.

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Honda
Hudson

While competing with the likes of the more mainstream Fords and Chevrolets, the Hudson Terraplane offered a number of interesting design features that put it ahead of its rivals and marked the models as rugged and reliable transport. The chassis was incredibly strong, but whereas most cars had their bodies bolted to I lie frame, the Terraplane had its welded at around 30 points to make the whole structure very rigid and thus the ride quality better. Also, the company favored wider tyres than most, then ran them at a lower pressure to further enhance the ride. At the front the beam axle was located by radius arms which improved feel and gave a measure of anti-dive under hard braking. Finishing the car off were the brakes which were hydraulic; in case these failed and the pedal went to the floor, a mechanical set of brakes was activated on the rear only.

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Hudson
Hupmobile

Robert Craig Hupp was born on June 2nd, 1887, in Grand Rapids, MI. In 1902, Robert began working for Olds Motors. In 1906 he joined Ford Motor Company where he gained knowledge in many automotive areas. In 1908 he left Ford. With his brother Louis, he began seeking financial backing, rented a factory at 345 Bellevue Avenue in Detroit, and began creating a demo vehicle. By 1909, the Hupmobile was created. It was fist shown to the public at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle was a two-seater roadster with an 86-inch wheelbase. The $750 sticker price included the 17 horsepower four-cylinder engine and sliding gear transmission.

In its introductory year, over 1500 examples were produced. In 1910, production increased by more than 5000. Hupp understood the need to continue to invest in machinery, technology, and factories.

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Hupmobile
Jaguar

Jaguar’s history is one of the classic rags to riches stories, founded in Blackpool in 1922, building motorcycle sidecars under the title “Swallow Sidecar Company”. William Lyons and William Walmsley began to get noticed for their flair and imagination in building stylish sidecars. In 1927 the Austin-7 was introduced, Lyons decided to build a more stylish body that could be mounted on the Austin chassis. Henly, who happened to be one of the major garage owners in the country, immediately placed an order for 500.

When sales of the cars and sidecars continued to increase the company moved to Coventry, the traditional car-manufacturing centre of England.

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Jaguar
Kaiser

After World War II, with the great need for transportation, many newcomers entered the automobile industry looking for success. Henry J. Kaiser, a shipbuilder during the war, was looking forward to the postwar period. He anticipated the needs for house, medical care, and automobiles. Along with a beneficial health care plan and an expansion in the manufacturing of materials for houses, Kaiser ambitiously began to build automobiles, creating Kaiser-Frazer Corporation with his partner, Joseph W. Frazer, the former CEO of the Graham-Paige Corporation.

Henry Kaiser worked from a modest beginning to build an empire of shipbuilding, steel, and cement production, and earned the title “the Miracle Man” by building remarkable numbers of ships during World War II. Joseph Frazer worked his way up in Packard, rising from manual labor to the executive ranks.

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Kaiser
Lamborghini

Ferruccio Lamborghini was a self made millionaire, he made a fortune by building tractors from army surplus left by the Allied Forces back in 1945. He started this business from a small garage but soon was able to move to larger buildings because demand for his very powerful tractors rose.

He also started manufacturing oil burners and air-conditioning systems after his tractor plant started making lots of money, it turned out his second business also made big money so Ferruccio Lamborghini became one the wealthiest men in Italy.  He could afford just about everything he wanted, including high speed GT cars like the Mercedes SL300 and Ferrari he owned alongside the Jaguar he liked very much. May be then it did not strike him that he would design the world famous cars lamborghini countach, lamborghini murcielago, lamborghini diablo and lamborghini gallarado.

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Lamborghini
Lancia

Lancia was founded on 29 November 1906 in Turin by Vincenzo Lancia and his friend Claudio Fogolin, both being Fiat racing drivers, as Lancia & C. The first Lancia automobile the "tipo 51" or 12 HP (later called Alfa) was made in 1907 and produced from 1908. This car had a small four cylinder engine with a power of 58 bhp.[1]

Lancia is famous for many automotive innovations. These include the 1913 Theta, which was the first production car in Europe to feature a complete electrical system as standard equipment.[2] The first car with a monocoque-type body - the Lambda, produced from 1922 to 1931 also featured 'Sliding Pillar' independent front suspension that incorporated the spring and hydraulic damper into a single unit (and featured on most production Lancias until the Appia was replaced in 1963).

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Lancia
Land Rover

The first Land Rover was designed in 1948 in the United Kingdom (on the island of Anglesey in Wales) by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the British car company Rover on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used one summer at his holiday home in Wales.[citation needed] The first Land Rover prototype 'centre steer' was built on a Jeep chassis. A distinctive feature is their bodies, constructed of a lightweight rustproof proprietary alloy of aluminium and magnesium called Birmabright. This material was used owing to post war steel shortages and a plentiful supply of post-war aircraft aluminium. This metal's resistance to corrosion was one of the factors that allowed the vehicle to build up a reputation for longevity in the toughest conditions. It is reckoned that 75% of all those ever built are still in use.[citation needed] In fact, Land Rover drivers sometimes refer to other makes of 4x4 as "disposables".

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Land Rover
Lincoln

The history of the Lincoln Motor Company Plant and the company's founder, Henry Leland, recalls the "jack-of-all-trade" engineers and "can do" attitude of Detroit's early automotive industry. Henry Leland, the "creator of both of America's first quality cars," Cadillac and Lincoln, was born in 1843. He spent most of his life as a toolmaker and machinist, but his automobile industry career did not begin until 1901, when Ransom Olds asked Leland to build transmissions for a new line of cars, called Oldsmobiles.

In 1902, Leland implemented exacting toolmaker's standards at Cadillac Automobile, and eventually took over its management. In 1908, Leland sold Cadillac, a name by then synonymous with American quality and luxury, to General Motors for $4.5 million.

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Lincoln
Lotus

Lotus Cars Ltd. is an international developer, manufacturer, and marketer of luxury sports cars. Lotus's market is small; the company's entire production run from 1957 to 1995 totaled just over 50,000 vehicles. Although the company's exotic and expensive cars have always been its most recognizable products, the company's most profitable operation during the mid-1990s was its engineering consultancy.

Lotus continued to bear the stamp of founder Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, whose initials appear in the marque's logo, into the mid-1990s. Chapman's 35-year career has been highly praised. In a February 1987 Motor Trend article, Phillip Bingham described the designer and engineer as "a genius, an iconoclast, a bloody-minded pioneer, a tireless human dynamo, a legend second only to Enzo Ferrari.

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Lotus
Maseratti

The seven Maserati brothers were born in Voghera to Rodolfo, a train driver, and Carolina Losi.

Carlo, their first son, was born in 1881, Bindo in 1883 and Alfieri in 1885. At just a few months old, Alfieri sadly passed away and his parents decided to name their next son, born in 1887, after him. They were to have three more children: in 1890 Mario was born, followed by Ettore in 1894 and Ernesto in 1898.

All of the Maseratis were involved in the engineering, design, and construction of cars, except for Mario, who was a painter and is presumed to have invented the company trademark, the trident, borrowed from the statue of Neptune in the square of the same name in Bologna.

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Maseratti
Mazda

Mazda began as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, founded in Japan in 1920. Toyo Kogyo moved from manufacturing machine tools to vehicles, with the introduction of the Mazda-Go in 1931, although they produced weapons for the Japanese military throughout the Second World War. The company formally adopted the Mazda name in 1984, though every automobile sold from the beginning bore that name. The first four-wheel car, the Mazda R360 was introduced in 1960, followed by the Mazda Carol in 1962.

The year 1960 was the birth of Mazda as an automaker. In just this decade, the marque progressed from a 16 horsepower (12 kW) keicar to a Wankel engined sports car, the Mazda Cosmo. Mazda also entered the United States market at the end of the decade.

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Mazda
Mercedes Benz

Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz were born only 100 kilometers apart from each other in southern Germany. Daimler was born March 17, 1834. A decade later,  on November 25, Carl Benz was born.

One thing in common they both liked machines from an early age. Because their approach to building cars was quite different, it is doubtful, though, that they met or even knew what the other was doing.

In 1886, Carl Benz built a motorized tricycle. His first four-wheeler, the Victoria, was built in 1893. The first production car was the 1894 Benz Velo which participated in the first recorded car race, the Paris-Rouen race.

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Mercedes Benz
Mercury

Mercury is an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company founded in 1939 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level-luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick (and former Oldsmobile) brand and Chrysler's Chrysler brand. Today, all Mercury models are based on Ford platforms. The name "Mercury" is derived from the "messenger of the gods" of Roman mythology, and during its early years, the Mercury brand was known for performance, which was briefly revived in 2003 with the Mercury Marauder.

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Mercury
MG

MG is a British sports car brand founded in 1924. MG is best known for two-seat open sports cars, but MG also produced saloons and coupés. More recently, the brand has also been used to designate sportier versions of other models belonging to the parent company.

The brand was in continuous use (barring the years of the Second World War) for 56 years after its inception. Production of predominantly two-seater sports cars was concentrated at a factory in Abingdon, some 10miles (16km) south of Oxford. The BMC competition department was also based at the Abingdon plant and produced many winning rally and race cars. In the autumn of 1980, however, the Abingdon factory closed and MGB production ceased.

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MGB
Morris

The Morris Motor Company was started in 1910 when bicycle manufacturer William Morris turned his attention to car manufacturing and began to plan a new light car. A factory was opened in 1913 in a former military college at Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, and the company's first car, the 2-seat Morris Oxford "Bullnose" was introduced. Nearly all the major components were bought-in, with only final assembly being undertaken in the Morris works. In 1914 a coupé and van were added to the line-up but the chassis was too short and the 1018 cc engine too small to make a much-needed 4-seat version of the car. White and Poppe, who made the engine, wanted more money than Morris was prepared to pay for a larger version, so the company turned to Continental of Detroit, Michigan, United States for supplies of a 1548 cc unit. Gearboxes and axles were also sourced in the US. In spite of the outbreak of the First World War the orders were maintained and, from mid-1915 a new larger car, the 2-seat and 4-seat Morris Cowley was introduced.

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Morris
Nash

Nash Motors had success in the early years of the automobile by selling middle class cars to middle class buyers. Nash was founded in 1916 by the former GM President Charles Nash, when he bought the Thomas B. Jeffery Company. The early success can be attributed to the engineer Nils Erik Wahlberg, who pioneered the use of wind tunnels in the design of automobiles.

In the early 1920s, Nash introduced an entry level marque named the Ajax. The Ajax was produced in the newly acquired Mitchell Motors Company plant in Racine, Wisconsin. Mitchell was the manufacture of Mitchell brand automobiles between 1903-1923. Sales of Ajax automobiles weren't sufficient to warrant a separate make, and Ajax was absorbed back into Nash as the "Nash Ajax Light Six".

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Nash
Nissan

Nissan was born in Japan, and like other marques from its homeland, the brand is known for crafting vehicles that place an emphasis on edgy styling and performance. The company's lineup of vehicles is broad, and includes sporty coupes, family sedans, minivans, trucks and SUVs.

The automaker got its start in 1933 as the Jidosha Seico Co., Ltd. The following year, this outfit merged with another Japanese manufacturer, and the new company was christened Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. Nissan initially marketed its vehicles under the Datsun brand, with the first Datsuns being built in 1934. Postwar, the brand made its presence felt worldwide, building a partnership with the U.K.-based Austin Motor Co. and establishing a presence in the United States. The first Datsuns hit American shores in 1958. Vehicles like the Datsun 1000 were based on Austin platforms.

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Nissan
Oldsmobile

It was inevetibale that Ransom E. Olds would one day design a car. The Olds family made stationary gasoline engines and he was brought up in a world of machines, mechanics, and engineers. The first car that young Olds worked on was an 1893 steam powered vehicle. Three years later he designed his first gasoline car. In 1897 Ransom E. Olds formed the Olds Motor Company and went into full production. The car was a typical one-cylinder, chain-driven vehicle and not too distinguished looking. But in 1900 Ransom E. Olds added a feature that made his car unforgettable. It was a curved dashboard. Although the general appearance was still that of a powered buggy, the smoothly rounded dash created an air of elegance that was complemented by the sweeping line of the steering tiller.

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Oldmobile
Packard

Packard was an American luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899 and the last in 1958.

Packard was founded by James Ward Packard , William Doud Packard and his partner, George Lewis Weiss, in the city of Warren, Ohio. James Ward believed that they could build a better horseless carriage than the Winton cars owned by Weiss (an important Winton stockholder) and, being himself a mechanical engineer, had some ideas for improvement on the designs of current automobiles.

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Packard
Pantera

Alejandro De Tomaso began racing in his native Argentina in 1951. Soon after he started racing, De Tomaso moved to Italy becoming a driver for Maserati. Most of his success was with O.S.C.A. (Officine Speciallizatate Constrruzioni Automobili), a company founded by the Maserati brothers after they sold Maserati. By 1959, after years of racing, De Tomaso finally decided to put his experience toward building his own racing cars and formed De Tomaso Automobili in Modena Italy.

His first cars were based off the Oscas he had been racing, but later turned to Ford as a source for engines. Thus beginning the long association with Ford Motor Company. De Tomaso Automobili went on to have an extensive racing history, competing in both Formula 1 and Formula 2 during the 1960's and 1970's in vehicles powered by Ford-Cosworth and Alfa Romeo engines.

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Pantera
Peugeot

The “Peugeot Frères” company was founded in 1810. This is when the Peugeot family bought a cereal mill at Sous Cratet and capitalised on the Industrial Revolution by converting it into a steel factory.

This factory began producing sheet steel and various tools but it was handsaws which inspired the famous emblem of the company. From the 1850s the lion emblem was stamped onto Peugeot made products to symbolise the strength and flexibility of the steel.

In the early days the Peugeot brothers ensured the success of the company through their ingenuity and creativity. They quickly identified ‘gaps in the market’ for a range of products from crinoline stays for the voluminous skirts worn at the time to pepper mills and coffee grinders.

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Peugeot
Plymouth

Plymouth was created by Chrysler in 1928 to be a low priced brand, competing with Ford and Chevrolet . For the first few years, Plymouth models were only sold at Chrysler dealers, but starting in 1930 they were sold at Chrysler, DeSoto , and Dodge dealerships. This gave Plymouth a large footprint in the market, and helping the Chrysler Corporation stay afloat during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. While many car companies failed, Plymouth, with its lower-priced vehicles, was able to weather the depression and stay in business.

In 1949, Virgil Exner joined the company and he took the task of car design away from engineers and put it in the hands of designers. In 1955, Plymouth broke its sturdy mold and began to make exciting vehicles. Fins to flaunt arrived on the scene in 1956.

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Plymouth
Pontiac

The Pontiac brand was introduced by General Motors in 1926 as the 'companion' marque to GM's Oakland Motor Car line. The Pontiac name was first used in 1906 by the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works and linked to Chief Pontiac who led an unsuccessful uprising against the British shortly after the French and Indian War. The Oakland Motor Company and Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company merged in November 1908 under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. The operations of both companies were joined together in Pontiac, Michigan (in Oakland County) to build the Cartercar. Oakland was purchased by General Motors in 1909. The first General Motors Pontiac was conceived as an affordable six cylinder that was intended to compete with more inexpensive four cylinder models. Within months of its introduction, Pontiac outsold Oakland. As Pontiac's sales rose and Oakland's sales began to decline, Pontiac became the only 'companion' marque to survive its 'parent', when Oakland ceased production in 1932.

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Pontiac
Porsche

Porsche was born in 1875 in Mafferdorf in Bohemia. Ferdinand Porsche designed all types of machines and cars. He designed the first plans for the Volkswagen Beetle, the largest selling car in history and still in production in Mexico. As well, Porsche designed for other auto manufactures such as Austo Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, Zûndapp, and Auto Union (Audi). During the war not only did he design the Beetle but also designed other war machines. In France, after the war, Ferdinand, his son Ferry and his daughter Louise Piech's husband Anton were arrested for having assisted the German war effort. Their capture was aided by the French auto maker Renault. It took Louise Piech six month to free Ferry and two years to free Ferdinand and Anton. Louise and Anton had a son, Ferdinand. Ferdinand Piech is now the president of Volkswagen. Yet another Porsche and Volkswagen connection. Louise Piech led the establishment of the Porsche design company in Austria in 1946.

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Porsche
Renault

The story of Renault is first and foremost the story of a man with an unusual destiny. The adventure began on December 24, 1898, when Louis Renault took up a challenge to drive his A-type Voiturette up the steep Rue Lepic in Montmartre, Paris. The exploit won him his first 12 orders. The company continued to grow as Renault began winning road races: Paris-Berlin, Paris-Vienna...

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Renault
Rolls Royce

Rolls-Royce grew from the electrical and mechanical business established by Henry Royce in 1884. Royce built his first motor car in 1904 and in May of that year met Charles Rolls, whose company sold quality cars in London. Agreement was reached that Royce Limited would manufacture a range of cars to be exclusively sold by CS Rolls & Co – they were to bear the name Rolls-Royce.

Success with the cars led to the formation of the Rolls-Royce company in March 1906 and to the launch of the six-cylinder Silver Ghost which, within a year, was hailed as 'the best car in the world'.

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Rolls Royce
Rover

The Rover brand has always been at the heart of Britain's motor industry, from 1904 to the present day. The products that bear the name Rover are perceived as quintessentially British. Reliable and timeless designs flourishing on innovative engineering and style.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the city of Coventry had become the capital of the British cycle industry. Foremost among many bicycle makers in the city was the Rover Company, which in 1884 had pioneered the modern safety bicycle, which enabled its makers to claim that 'the Rover Set the Fashion to the World'. The company had been founded in 1877 as a partnership between John Kemp Starley and William Sutton. While Sutton soon pulled out of the business, Starley was to remain at the helm until his death in 1901. As early as 1888, he built an experimental electrically powered tricycle.

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Rover
SAAB

In 1938, the Saab factory was built in Trollhattan Sweden. At this time, they were not an automobile manufacturer. With World War II on the horizon, the Royal Swedish Air Force was in need of aircraft. On September 1, 1939 war broke out and Saab built bombers and fighters.

The Saab factory was prepared for the task with two previous years of modernizing their production methods. These airplanes were mainly copies of German and American design. Saabs first in-house designed aircraft rolled off the line in 1941, the Saab 17. It was far from perfect, but the bugs were worked out quickly. A Bomber, Saab 18 was also produced.

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SAAB
Studebaker

Life in early 18th Century Germany had become very difficult for anyone who valued their personal freedom. Wars, religious conflicts, rapacious rulers and a stifling guild system tended to make it difficult for anyone who desired a better life. Hearing of a freer life in the new world, a family named Staudenbecker decided they wanted to worship however they chose, and have more freedom for their personal lives. The Staudenbeckers were blade-makers in the City of Solingen, which was (and still is) famous for its cutlery. Leaving was not as simple as it might seem.

Fearful of exporting their blade-making skills, the cutlers guild required that anyone leaving the guild had to work at another trade for five years in another city before they could emigrate. The Staudenbeckers did so, and moved to Hagen, Germany for the required five years.

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Studebaker
Subaru

Subaru (スバル, Subaru?) is the automobile manufacturing division of Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (FHI).

Subaru is known for their use of boxer engines in most of their vehicles. The company decided to utilize all wheel drive in most international markets as standard equipment in 1996. They also offer many turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX which is well-known in motorsports, such as rally racing. Other turbocharged models from Subaru include the Forester XT, Impreza STI and Legacy GT Spec.B.

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Subaru
Toyota

In 1937, the Toyota Motor Co. Ltd (TMC) was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spin-off from Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. The first car, AA, was launched a year before. It was based on Chrysler Airflow’s design but with some Chevrolet’s input.  

But the real growth started in the late 50’s - From 1955 to 1961, production scaled up by 10 folds to 211,000 cars per year. The Crown of 1955 was the first car entirely developed by itself. In 1966, the Corolla was launched as the best seller in its line-up for the following 30 years. In 1972, the company’s annual production exceeded the 1 million mark. The 2 million mark was reached 4 years later. Economy boom during those 2 decades benefited all Japanese car makers, but Toyota’s unique production system, including the "just in time" parts delivering system, established a solid status as Japan’s biggest car maker, consistently beating arch-rival Nissan (Datsun). 

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Toyota
Triumph

Siegfried Bettmann founded the Triumph Cycle Company in 1887 and promptly acquired premises in Coventry in which he began manufacturing bicycles. As technology advanced the company moved into the production of powered cycles in 1902. By 1905 the factory output had reached 500 motorcycles per year, with the machines being designed, manufactured and built at the Coventry site.

For the next 18 years Triumph enjoyed steady growth and in 1923 the company added automobile production to their portfolio. By 1925 the motorcycle plant in Coventry occupied 500,000-sq. ft. and employed 3000 people; with production at around 25-30,000 units per year.

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Triumph
Tucker

It was a fairy tale that went disastrously wrong. Millionnaire Preston Tucker, a car industry man through-and-through, decided that America needed an advanced and modern car that would wow the world, and secured the backing of several well-heeled investors to help fund the project. The Torpedo was unveiled in 1948 and caused quite a stir, with its striking styling, amazing aerodynamics, rubber-sprung suspension and distinctive middle headlight, which turned with the steering wheel to help drivers see round corners. But in reality, the Torpedo was a financial disaster that took far too long to develop, and the project was aborted when Preston Tucker was indicted on fraud charges.

He was later acquitted, but investors lost confidence and the project stalled after just 37 cars were made, although a further 14 were constructed from leftover parts.

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Tucker
Volkswagen

Literally, the word "volkswagen" means "people's car." In Germany, the idea of a people's car wasn't exactly a new one. Before the 1930's, there had been many efforts to create simple cars that everyone could afford, but none met with profound success. Almost all cars before 1930, even if they were designed to be simple enough for the average person, ended up costing more than the average worker's yearly wage.

Meanwhile, the year is 1930, and Ferdinand Porsche had just set up an automotive design company, which became known as the Porsche Büro. The company patented a sophisticated independent front suspension system, which consisted of transversely mounted torsion bars connected to two trailing arms on each side. At the time, this was lighter than most other common types of suspension.

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Volkswagon
Volvo

Volvo was founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, allegedly during a meal consisting of crayfish, in 1924. Their first car, the 1944cc Jakob, was in production by 1927.

Born in 1891, Gabrielsson had studied economics, and was sales manager for the Swedish bearings company SKF, at the time he joined up with Larson. The latter was four years older, and had worked for automotive company White and Poppe in Coventry, England, from 1911 to 1913, before joining SKF in 1917. In 1920 he left and was working as technical manager for AB Galco when he was reunited with Gabrielsson.

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Automakers
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• Land Rover
• Lincoln
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• Mercedes Benz
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• Morris Motor Co.
• Nash Automobile
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• Packard
• Pantera De Tomaso
• Peugeot
• Plymouth
• Pontiac
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