The car with the Fishing Hole, and other Automotive Facts.
Melting created a legend.
The very successful Jaguar XJ40 may never have been so popular, had it not been for a little accident whilst being designed. When a clay mould of the car had been created, it slightly melted during transportation, leaving the trade-mark sloping rear end that we know today.
Not you're traditional extra.
The Russian ZAZ 966 had a rather unusual optional extra, a trap-door that allowed the driver to stop on a frozen lake and go fishing without ever leaving the 'comfort' of his car.
The co-founder of Rolls Royce, Charles Rolls was the world's first air-crash casualty, after his plane crashed in 1910.
And it isn't even decent!
The most stolen car in Britain, according to records is the Vauxhall Belmont, which was basically a Vauxhall Astra with a larger boot welded to the rear. Though, how much fun can be had in a Belmont remains to be seen...
American driver Irv Gordon has gone in the record books for clocking an incredible 2.5 million miles in his Volvo P1800, which has undergone over 6000 oil changes, and had over 400 spark plugs in it's 45 year life.
A tad-bit extreme
In 1920s Beijing the penalty for speeding was beheading, and we moan about speeding fines!
Way ahead of it's time.
In 1963 Chrysler pioneered the Turbine, a car that ran on an adapted air-craft engine. It revved at an incredible 60,000rpm and ran on nearly any form of fuel, including alcohol. However it was cancelled due to high building costs. Only 2 survive.
The size of a house!
A wealthy man in Saudi Arabia (The Rainbow Sheikh) had a custom built Dodge Power Wagon built, at a scale of 64:1, meaning it can fit a large car underneath. It does move, due to power from an Excavator, but it's main use is a caravan. It contains 4 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen living room and patio.
One Posh Tractor!
Before branching into cars, popular Supercar maker Lamborghini built tractors and farm equipment.
Wankel isn't new
One of the very first production cars to contain a Wankel Rotary Engine isn't in fact Mazda with their RX models, rather NSU, with the NSU Ro 80 in 1967. Although it was fairly un-reliable and was not a major commercial success.
When a French Diplomat was in his Citroen DS, a small group of people started shooting at his car, puncturing the tyre. The car sped off, and thanks to it's Hydropnuematic self-levelling suspension was able to compensate for the blown tyre, and the diplomat was transported away in relative safety, later crediting the DS for it's life-save-ability.
The only car to have won the Topgear Car of the year competition twice? The Subaru Legacy Outback!
Who says we aren't petrol-heads?
Currently, there are nearly 700 Million cars on the road in the world, most being in the USA and China. The car is also the most recycled object ever created.
Fun Fact: The MKII Vauxhall Cavalier is the most scrapped car in Britain, I wonder why!
When being designed and tested, the Audi 100 was so secret (Because Audi deemed it revolutionary) it was only tested at night, and had anti-flash equipment fitted that would over-expose any photos taken and make them useless to prying eyes.
The Ford Model T was so massively popular, that when it had finished production in 1925, half the cars in the world were Model T's!
Also, the car was only available in black, as that was the only colour that could dry fast enough to keep up with Henry Ford's fast-moving production line. Hence the tag line - "You can have it in any colour, as long as it's black."
Where aren't they now?!
There has been no less than 128 car-manufacturers that have started in the UK, almost all have now gone however.
The BMW Badge was first chosen, as BMW once created engines for the Luftwaffe's aircraft during WW2. It depicts an aircraft propeller.
The Italian Job
The iconic Aston Martin DB4 that was destroyed in the 1968 film, The Italian Job, wasn't actually an Aston Martin, rather a Lancia that had been made to look like a Aston.
Another fun fact: During the time of filming, Michael Caine hadn't got his driving licence!
You see the little spoiler on the back of the first generation Audi TT? That's a major design feature! Without it the car became extremely unstable and had to be recalled due to it's appalling safety record.