This Week in Automotive History: Dec. 17-Dec. 23
Dec. 17, 1963
Clean Air Act Passed: The U.S. Congress passes the Clean Air Act, signaling the accelerated development of “desmogged” engines, which gradually sapped performance in the late 1960s and through the 1970s.
Dec. 18, 1968
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Opens In New York: The family movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” starring Dick Van Dyke, debuts in New York. Few people realize that the movie was loosely based on James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s novel and that master of the macabre (and children’s author) Roald Dahl was one of the screenwriters.
Dec. 19, 1924
The Last British Ghost: The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost manufactured in England is sold in London. Production continued in the Springfield, Mass., plant until 1926.
Dec. 20, 1989
Roger and Me Opens: Michael Moore’s scathing film about General Motors chief Roger Smith and the effects his decisions had on Flint, Mich., first plays in theaters.
Dec. 21, 1918
Griffith Borgeson Born: Little known today, Griffith Borgeson was one of the greatest of all automotive historians, with a special interest in racing and high performance automobiles.
Dec. 22, 1952
Chevrolet EX122 Show Car Completed: Shown as part of the traveling road show extravaganza known as Motorama, EX122 would go into production as the 1953 Corvette.
Dec. 23, 1923
Onofre Marimon was Born: The Argentine racing driver participated in 11 Grand Prix in 1953, driving private
and factory-entered Maseratis at a time when his country produced some of the greatest drivers ever, including
Juan Manuel Fangio and José Froilán González.