Automotive History

Bugatti Type 35 — Celebrating a century of design, engineering, racing genius

(February 16, 2024) Without equal at its launch in 1924, the epoch-defining Bugatti Type 35 secured more than 2,500 race victories during its active time, and its beauty, technical ingenuity and driving brilliance remain just as appealing a century later. To understand the Bugatti Type 35, one must first understand its creator, Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti. Without the one, there could have never been the other.

Gilmore gas stations were prevalent in western U.S. into the 1940s

(December 27, 2023) This picture of a Gilmore Blu-Green gas station in California was taken around 1920. The Gilmore Oil Company was an independent oil company in California founded by Arthur Fremont Gilmore after he struck oil on his dairy farm in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles around 1903.

Coca-Cola shows off its new fountain dispenser in 1934

(October 15, 2023) Coca-Cola introduced its first automatic fountain dispenser at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition. Then to promote the machine Coca-Cola commissioned coachbuilders H. McFarlane & Company of Chicago to build a truck. The "sampling truck" for was built using a 1934 Dodge KH-23 truck chassis.

Rare Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen emerges after 43 years

(July 26, 2023) HERNDON, Va. — One of the highlight vehicles at the first International VW Bus Day and the launch of the 3-row ID. Buzz EV in Huntington Beach, Calif., on June 2 was Lind Bjornsen’s 1955 Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen. These vehicles were built as traveling training vehicles for VW dealerships and Bjornsen’s is believed to be the sole survivor. The vehicle was also a standout at the Orange County Transporter Organization’s Type 2 event in Long Beach, Calif., the next day.

Packard and Ford assembly lines at mid-century

(July 11, 2023) Viewing vintage images of automaker’s assembly lines gives us insight into how vehicles were constructed decades ago and also serves as a valuable visual reference of details for car owners when restoring a vehicle. It was during the period when autoworkers actually operated the machines and provided the labor to assemble cars and trucks rather than banks of CNC-controlled robots and spot welders.

100th anniversary of trailblazing Bugatti Type 32 ‘Tank’ is celebrated

(July 3, 2023) MOLSHEIM, France — Bugatti is known across the world for visionary engineering and ingenious designs, and today the brand celebrates the official centenary of the racing debut of one of its most innovative cars — the Type 32 "Tank." This streamlined racing car was to lay the foundations for aerodynamic motorsport innovations, earning its nickname not only for its shape, but also for its visible rivets and bolts.

Historic experimental Chrysler jet car gets feature-length documentary

Watch the in-depth documentary
on the Chrysler Turbine Car here

(June 29, 2023) TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Hagerty Drivers Foundation has debuted documentary on the history of the Chrysler Turbine Car.  The film "The Chrysler Turbine Car: Engineering a Revolution" traces Chrysler’s groundbreaking efforts beginning in the 1950s to disrupt the automotive industry with its multimillion-dollar turbine research program.

First ever Bentley to race at Le Mans 24 Hours sells for over $3.6 million

(May 28, 2023) GENEVA — A century ago, a Bentley 3 Liter would become the first British car and the first Bentley to compete at the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours race in its debut year. Today, as this iconic race — a 24-hour full- throttle test of man and machine — celebrates its centenary, that very first Bentley has been sold to a British enthusiast for in excess of £3m ($3.6 million).

Innovative front wheel drive Alvis Grand Prix race car resurrected

(April 13, 2023 KENILWORTH, UK — The sole surviving Alvis Grand Prix racing car, once abandoned in a scrapyard in Coventry, is being revived by The Alvis Car Company, its original creator. It is set to mark its first public appearance in Chiba City, Japan, at Automobile Council 2023, 96 years after its race debut at the 1927 Junior Car Club 200 Mile Race at Brooklands.

Spreading the LUV — A brief history of Detroit’s mini-trucks


1972 Chevrolet LUV

Benjamin Hunting
Hagerty.com

(March 4, 2023) It might be hard to imagine, given the current, cutthroat state of the pickup truck segment, but there was once a time when these task-focused haulers were largely an afterthought to the bean counters in Detroit. Fifty years ago, before King Ranches and Longhorns lined their interiors with enough leather to reach from Lansing to Laredo, trucks were barebones affairs built to get the job done and sold to customers who honestly weren’t expected to use them as daily drivers.

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