This Week in Automotive History: April 24-30
April 24, 1983
German endurance driver killed in crash: Rolf Stommelen, endurance racing ace and frequent rival of the great Hurley Haywood known for his three wins for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Daytona, is killed when the wing comes off of his Porsche 935L at the Six Hours of Riverside in Riverside, Calif.
April 25, 2001
Italian Formula One driver dies in crash: Retired F1 veteran Michele Alboreto is killed testing an Audi R8 at high speed after a tire blowout causes his car to veer into a wall.
April 26, 2009
Chrysler and autoworkers’ union agree to a deal: Chrysler union employees agree to benefit cuts that would pave the company’s exit from bankruptcy and eventual sale to FIAT.
April 27, 2009
GM announces plans to phase out Pontiac: April is a bad month for GM divisions. Nearly five years to the day after announcing the end of Oldsmobile, GM announces that Pontiac will be no more.
April 28, 1916
Ferruccio Lamborghini born: The former tractor manufacturer and dissatisfied Ferrari customer was born on this day in 1916. After a dispute with Enzo Ferrari, Lamborghini vowed to start his own sports car company that would rival Ferrari. He would pass away in 1993 at age 76.
April 29, 2004
The end of the road for Oldsmobile: After failing to turn the brand around or even define what it stood for to post-baby boomers, GM announces that it will shutter the division.
April 30, 1948
Original Land Rover debuts at auto show: The British army’s answer to the Willys Jeep, Land Rover would go on to create the luxury SUV category. The Defender model, which is still in production, like the Jeep Wrangler, pays homage to the original product.