Automotive History

A history of presidential state cars from Roosevelt to Trump


1939 Lincoln K Sunshine Special

Source: Classic Cars

(November 8, 2020) The first official presidential state car was used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and boasted a two-way radio as one of its defensive capabilities. Fast forward to today, and “The Beast” can withstand an asteroid (or so some say). British vehicle leasing company Vanarama has compiled a narrative of official state cars that have been used by United States presidents throughout the past 80 years.

From Woodstock to Waikiki, the nostalgic pull of VW's 23-window bus

(October 23, 2020) What do touring musicians, alpine explorers and beach bums all have in common? You could catch them behind the wheel of the elusive and highly sought-after hippie classic — the Volkswagen 23-window bus. Known to U.S. buyers as the “Deluxe Microbus with Samba package," the 23-window bus was originally designed as a vehicle to tour the Swiss Alps, offering up to nine passengers maximum visibility, but was quickly adopted by families, campers and members of the counterculture. The van features a collection of unique windows including eight skylights, two curved rear windows, a retractable skylight, and a coveted split windshield.

The Bugatti 'Macaron' badge — A unique component made of silver

(October 17, 2020) MOLSHEIM, France —  150 grams of sterling silver. Finest embossing quality, high-gloss enamel and a 3D effect. Ever since the year the brand was founded, the Bugatti badge, the Macaron, has symbolized exclusivity, luxury, design and outstanding hand craftsmanship on the horseshoe radiator.

Lamborghini celebrates 50th anniversary of the Urraco

(October 11, 2020) SANT' AGATA BOLOGNESE, Italy — This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Urraco, unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in late October 1970. The model immediately stood out for having introduced technical solutions that were innovative for the time, thanks to the contribution of engineer Paolo Stanzani, the technical father of the Urraco and Lamborghini’s chief technical officer at the time. The styling of the project was entrusted to renowned designer Marcello Gandini, who in that period was principal designer for Carrozzeria Bertone.

Porsche celebrates 70 years selling cars in America


1948 Porsche 356

(September 28, 2020) ATLANTA — It was autumn 1950 when a fateful meeting between Professor Ferdinand Porsche and Max Hoffman led to the decision that a fledgling German automotive manufacturer from humble beginnings would begin exporting its sports cars to America. The result was the creation of a bond stronger than anybody could have imagined, and this year, Porsche is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its arrival into the American market.


The first Porsche sports car received its certification for road use in Germany on June 8, 1948, meaning the history between the brand and the U.S. goes back almost to the very beginning. The young sports car company caught the eye of a visionary New York-based salesman. 



BBC film depicts 'The Golden Age of the British Sports Car'


1965 MG Midget

(September 9, 2020) The BBC produced a documentary several years ago tracing the history of the British sports car during the decades of the 1950s and 1960s. The film covers many of the famous sports cars of that era from the Jaguar E-Type to the MG to the Austin Healey — and interesting owner experiences.

A collection of automotive-themed billboards from the 1920s

(July 4, 2020) It's always fun to look back on days gone by and reminisce about how things used to be. Here you will find some interesting automotive-themed billboards from almost a century ago, all from the East Coast. The 1920s billboard pictures reside at Duke University in Durham, N.C., from the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing history collection.  

The history of the Volkswagen Passat in the United States


1987 VW Quantum Syncro

(June 22, 2020) HERNDON, Va. — Most Volkswagen fans think that the Golf is currently the longest-lived Volkswagen nameplate, but that honor actually belongs to the Passat, which went on sale a year before the Golf in Europe, in 1973. Based on the Audi 80, the Passat was initially sold in two- and four-door fastback sedan and three- and five-door hatchback form, with a wagon joining one year later.

Take a walk back in time with the first MotorWeek show

(April 29, 2020) Most people who have an even passing interest in automobiles have watched at some point over the past 39 years  MotorWeek — "Television's original automotive magazine" — and host John Davis, who originated the show and remains the host and executive producer.

An automotive legend — Bugatti Type 41 La Royale


Bugatti Royale Roadster

(April 10, 2020) MOLSHEIM, France — With the Type 41 Royale, in 1926, Bugatti presented the strongest, largest and most luxurious automobile in the world, characterized by unimaginable power and opulent equipment. For Ettore Bugatti, the Royale was the culmination of his creation. A vehicle that knew no competitors in terms of performance, quality and image. A vehicle for emperors, kings and queens. Simply put, “Royale” — the royal.

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