1. Back in 1900, a new car company named Horch appeared in Germany, founded by former Benz engineer August Horch. He didn’t kget along with his directors and, when he left nine years later, the company took legal action to prevent him from putting his name on any new automobile. Horch roughly translates to “listen,” so he used the Latin version: Audi.
2. The MacPherson strut is a spring/shock absorber combination used on the front suspension of most of today’s front-wheel-drive cars. It was invented in 1947 by Chevrolet engineer Earle S. MacPherson for the rear suspension of a planned compact model called the Cadet. The car was never built, and a disappointed MacPherson left GM and moved to England to work for Ford.
3. From 1956 to 1959, you could order your Chrysler with a record player. You got six discs with the car and could buy more from the dealer, but your choices were limited to artists signed with Columbia, which made the unique records that worked with the player. They tended to skip over bumps and didn’t work very well, and disappeared for 1962.
7. Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, was the first Englishman ever killed in an airplane and the 12th person worldwide when the Wright Brothers biplane he was flying at an air show in Bournemouth, England, in 1910 snapped its tail and crashed. Henry Royce ran the company after his partner’s death, mailing instructions to his employees when deteriorating health confined him to his home.
9. The tow truck dates to 1916, when Ernest Holmes of Chattanooga, Tenn., was asked to help pull a crashed Ford Model T out of a creek. It took 11 men almost a day to do it with ropes and blocks. Figuring there had to be a better way, Holmes bolted three poles to a 1913 Cadillac chassis, added a pulley and ran a chain through it, which provided leverage to lift vehicles. He also built up a truck body on the chassis for tool storage. His patented design became the standard for vehicle recovery.