The Steam Engine
• Cars at first were put simply, Thomas the Tank
Engine without the rail roads
• The first person who put the steam engine onto a
‘car’ to power it was Nicolas Joseph Cugnot.
• Cugnot’s steam car reached, at that time, break-
neck speeds of around 4 km/h
• The steam engine was a failure because they took
up a lot of space, added a lot of weight and most
importantly weren’t consistent as they stopped every
10-15 minutes to build up steam power
Early Electric Engines
• Electric engines aren’t as recent as most people
seem to believe. The first electric powered
automobile or carriage, in those days, was invented
by Robert Anderson of Scotland
• The idea was soon abandoned as they were heavy,
slow and expensive due to the amounts of electricity
and its availability in those times
• This idea wasn’t a complete waste as from it we got
tramways, streetcars and now electric trains
The Veteran Era
• The Veteran Era marked the start of car
production with Karl Benz's Motor Wagen in
• By the start of the 20th century the car industry
was taking off in Europe
• This era was by far the most fruitful with
hundreds of different and new technologies
being introduced to better man's urge to travel
• The technologies or ideas that survived like
petrol for fuel and the 4-wheeled design of cars
have become the basis for cars today
Major Inventions and Breakthroughs of
the Veteran Era
• Internal Combustion Engine
• Petrol and Gasoline used as fuel
• Partial Invention of modern disc brakes
• 4-wheeled design of cars
Design of an Early Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)
Internal Combustion Engines(ICE)
• Early experiments for this engine used gases.
• Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz used
hydrogen and oxygen to create such an engine
• Our modern gasoline engines owe their credit
to Siegfried Marcus who in 1870 put his
gasoline powered engine on to a simple
handcart and became the first to power car by
• The Edwardian era was also known as the Brass era
because of the widespread use of Brass
• Throughout the era motoring was for the rich as cars
became more refined and reliable
• Car design was still in the 'carriage' style giving them
their name 'horseless carriage'
• Modern characteristics like engines in the front of the
car, rear wheel drive and use of ICE emerged
• The Ford Model T went into production becoming one
of the best selling cars of all time
• Independant Suspension
• 4-Wheel Brakes
• Windscreen Wipers
• Electric Ignition
• Perfection of the Assembly Line
• There are various claims for the first windscreen
• Some say they were first used in France.
• British photographer Gladstone Adams is
believed to have had the idea for wipers whilst
driving home from a soccer game in 1908.
• In 1919 William Folberth marketed the first
automatic windscreen wipers in USA
A Mercer Raceabout
One of the First Sports cars
Major Cars of the Era
• Ford Model T-- The most widely produced and available
4-seat car of its time. The Model T has been proclaimed
the most influential car of the 20th Century
• Bugatti Type 13-- Notable race car with advanced
engineering and design.
• Mercer Raceabout-- Redarded as one of the first sports
• The vintage era lasted from the end of WW I to
the stock market crash in 1929
• The vintage era was an era of upgrades with
more powerful engines and better looking body
• Cars became reliable, cheap and efficient
• Increased popularity of Motorsport
• Cars grow into a status symbol
• Shortest of all Eras
The Austin 7
The Most Widely Copied Vehicle Ever
• Bugatti Type 35– One of the finest and
most successful racing vehicles of all time.
It won over a thousand races throughout
its five year reign
• Austin 7– Is the most widely copied
vehicle ever, serving as a template for
cars around the world
Pre World War II Era
• The Pre WWII era saw the rise of diverse body styles
like the saloon and sedan
• The body also became lower, longer and broader
• A modern luxury the trunk or boot was included in the
back of a car
• Due to Great Depression the number of car companies
• First luxury cars rolled of production line, reaching
speeds of 140 kph
• Standard military vehicles like Jeep came into production
• No production of civilian cars due to WWII, companies
produced war products instead
• Volkswagen Beetle– A modern take on the Ford
Model T. It was famous for its efficiency and low
price. It has been produced for over 60 years with
minimal changes. It also has the largest production
in history, over 20 million in several countries.
• Rolls-Royce Phantom III– The absolute zenith of
pre-war engineering. It had superior performance
and quality, not seen in most cars during that time.
The Royce, even today, is considered as royalty
among car manufacturers.
The Modern Volkswagen Beetle
Not Much has Changed
Post World War II Era
• Post WWII cars had increased engine power and top speed
• Body styles became more flamboyant and a car’s looks
were integral in the selling of a model
• American Muscle cars like Mustang and Camaro were
• Safety while driving made a big impact, with seat-belts and
lowered speed limits in cities
• Ferrari is born, remaining the most well-known car
• Invention of the Turbocharger
• By the end of the era small performance cars like Toyota,
Nissan and BMW become leading manufacturers
One of the Most Beautiful Sports Cars Ever
• Mini– The small, space saving car that is recognized
everywhere. The popular TV character Mr. Bean is seen
• Porsche 911– An expensive sports car that was and still
is known for its beauty and handling
• Ford Mustang– One of the best-selling and widely
collected cars of the era
• Chevrolet Camaro– Introduced by General Motors to
compete with the Mustang
• Datsun 240Z– A Japanese sports car that was
affordable, well-built and reliable. A sports car for the
• The Modern Era saw the increased use of computer-
• A more diverse selection of body styles emerged like the
Hatchback and SUV
• Fuel-efficiency was stressed with the knowledge of
pollution and a decrease of oil reserves.
• Combined with another exponential increase in engine
output made cars faster, more powerful and more
reliable than ever
• The average cost of a car plummets, widening the
variety of consumer, from high-class and lower class
• Turbochargers and Superchargers
• Traction Control
• Possibilities of alternative fuel
• Introduction of Hybrid Cars
• Reliable small electric cars
• Prospect of solar-powered cars
• Toyota Corolla– A simple, small Japanese sedan
• Range Rover– The first SUV. It was so popular a new
model wasn’t released till 20 years after the first
• Mercedes-Benz S-Class– First to use modern features like
airbags and traction control. A status symbol for the rich
• Honda Accord– Along with the Corolla it increased the
demand for Asian Sedans
• Toyota Prius– The most known Hybrid vehicle in the world
• Tata Nano– A small city car built primarily for the Indian
Market. One of the cheapest cars ever costing around
Cheap and Built for the Crowded Cities of India
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