This Week in Automotive History: Apr 7-Apr 13

April 7, 1947


Henry Ford dies: Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford dies in Dearborn, Mich. Ford is best known for developing and manufacturing the first automobile that was accessible to many middle class Americans.

April 8, 1916


Road race crash in California: In Corona, Calif., race car driver Bob Burman rolls over his open-cockpit Peugeot, killing himself and three spectators. Afterward, his friends, Barney Oldfield and Harry Arminius Miller, were inspired to build a race car that incorporated a roll cage inside a streamlined driver’s compartment.

April 9, 1959


Project Mercury astronauts are named: NASA names the first seven astronauts for Project Mercury, the United States’ first human spaceflight program.

April 10, 1879


Hertz founder is born: John Hertz, the future founder of the world’s largest rental car company, is born in present-day Slovakia as Sandor Herz.

April 11, 1888


Henry Ford is wed: Future Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, 24, marries Clara Jane Bryant, 22, at her parents’ house in Michigan.

April 12, 1934


Auto-Lite strike begins: A strike by the American Federation of Labor against the Electric Auto-Lite company of Toledo, Ohio, begins, lasting until June 3, 1934. A five-day clash between 6,000 strikers and 1,300 members of the Ohio National Guard resulted in two deaths and 200 injuries.

April 13, 1931


Dan Gurney is born: American race car driver, builder and team owner Dan Gurney is born in Port Jerfferson, N.Y.

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