Timeline of motoring history 1940 – 2008
Car production in Britain is put on hold as most factories go over to munitions production.
The German Luftwaffe destroys the centre of Coventry.
Oldsmobile and Cadillac offer the first fully automatic transmission.
Enzo Ferrari leaves Alfa Romeo to establish Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari.
In Japan, Toyo Kogyo produces its first passenger car.
Lord Austin dies aged 74
Louis Chevrolet dies aged 63. He is buried at Indianapolis, scene of his greatest racing victories.
Packard are the first car manufacturer to offer air conditioning.
Chrysler introduces the Fluid Drive transmission, a manual transmission with a fluid coupling instead of a clutch.
American passenger car production falls to just 139 vehicles as war production requirements take over.
Volvo focus on occupant safety with the introduction of a safety cage.
Louis Renault is arrested and imprisoned for collaborating with the Germans. He dies at Fresnes prison in ‘suspicious circumstances’.
Enzo Ferrari’s Maranello workshops are bombed and destroyed.
2nd World War in Europe ends with Germany’s unconditional surrender to the allies on May 7th.
In receivership since 1939, Triumph is acquired by Standard.
Petrol rationing in Britain continues.
Henry Ford resigns as president of The Ford Motor Company, handing over to his grandson, Henry Ford 11.
French President Charles de Gaulle nationalizes Renault and the company’s name is changed to Regié Nationale des Usines Renault.
The newly elected Socialist government ‘encourages’ manufacturers to export half their output. To counteract the consequential development of an illicit black-market car buyers are required to sign a covenant preventing the sale of new cars for one year.
Newly designed post-war models are launched by British car makers Triumph, Armstrong-Siddeley, Jowett and Bentley as the British Motor Industry celebrates its fiftieth birthday.
Petrol ration for British motorists is increased by 50 per cent.
Ford of Britain produce their millionth car, an 8hp Anglia.
Michelin patent the Radial-ply tyre.
In light of negative wartime connotations William Lyons changes the name of SS Cars Ltd. to Jaguar Cars Ltd and begins to focus on export markets.
Enzo Ferrari rebuilds his bombed workshops and begins work on the development and production of the Ferrari 125 Sport. The first Ferrari hits the road!
Packard offers power seats and windows across their range.
Ettore Bugatti dies in Paris aged 66.
The American car industry celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
Henry Ford dies at the age of 84.
BMW engine and car designs are ‘acquired’ by Bristol and Frazer-Nash as ‘war reparations’.
David Brown, already successful in the British engineering industry, sees an advertisement in The Times offering ‘A high-class motor business, established 25 years’ and pays £20.000 to buy Aston Martin. He has already purchased Lagonda, having owned a Lagonda Rapide himself in the past.
A new name, Standard-Vanguard, is introduced to the British public
Instead of taxing cars based on the 1906 RAC horsepower formula a flat- rate system is introduced.
Enzo Ferrari’s 125 Sport wins its first race. The …