5 November 2012

This Week in Automotive History: Nov. 5-Nov. 11

Nov. 5, 1895


Selden Patent Granted: Despite not having a running or driving machine, George Selden manages to patent the concept of the self-propelled automobile. In theory all other manufactures would have to pay royalties to Selden or his assignees — he sold the patent rights in 1899 — should they manufacture a motor vehicle.

Nov. 6, 1899


First Packard Runs: James Ward Packard tests the single-cylinder motorcar bearing his name.

Nov. 7, 1840


Galloping Gertie Collapses: During construction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge workers noted the obvious flexing of the deck in windy conditions and gave the span its nickname. It ultimately collapses on this date during unusually high winds that caused excessive movement in the deck and supporting structure.  

Nov. 8, 1895


Daimler Returns to Company He Founded: After an absence of two years, Gottlieb Daimler returns to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft as chief engineer.

Nov. 9, 1960


Robert McNamara Named President of Ford: The motoring giant’s new president is one of a group of bright executives known as the “Whiz Kids.” He would ultimately leave Ford to become Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy and, later, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Nov. 10, 1885


Paul Daimler Becomes First Motorcyclist: On a two-wheeled machine built by his father, Gottlieb, Paul Daimler becomes the world’s first “Biker.”

Nov. 11, 1967


Gil de Ferran is Born: The Brazilian driver, who ended his career as a team owner, starts his CART career with Jim Hall’s Pennzoil -sponsored team. He ultimately won two Champ Car titles and the Indy 500 driving for Penske Racing.

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