This Week in Automotive History: Sept. 10-Sept. 16

Sept. 10, 1897


First DUI: In the UK, George W. Smith becomes the first person to be arrested for drunken driving.

Sept. 11, 1970


Pinto Introduced: The Ford Motor Company introduces its new $2,000 Pinto subcompact to fight off the influx of economical Japanese imports. The Pinto would become notorious for being susceptible to bursting into flames after a violent rear impact. 

Sept. 12, 1912


Lincoln Highway Announced: Carl G. Fisher, president of Prest-o-lite and co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, announces plans for the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast highway.

Sept. 13, 1899


First Pedestrian Fatality: Henry Bliss becomes the first pedestrian known to be killed by an automobile
after motorist Arthur Smith strikes him at the corner of Central Park West and 74th Street in NYC. 

Sept. 14, 1982


Princess Grace of Monaco Dies: After suffering a stroke — which caused her to drive her Rover P6 3500 off of a cliff the previous day — Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly known as actress Grace Kelly, dies in the hospital.

Sept. 15, 1909


Henry Ford Loses Selden Patent Case: A New York judge rules that Henry Ford infringed on George Selden’s 1895 patent for a “Road Engine.”  In subsequent court battles, this ruling would be overturned and the patent declared invalid.

Sept. 16, 1908


GM Established: General Motors is incorporated by William Crapo Durant in Flint, Mich., as a holding company for Buick, which Durant controlled.

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