The American Auto Club UK

General Interest Articles

Not A Lot of People Know That

Cadillac's must be the most musical cars of all time. It has been estimated that over a thousand songs have been written with the word Cadillac in them. Something in the region of ten thousand recordings of these songs have been made. The Coupe de Ville is the most popular model mentioned in these songs.

The Plymouth Superbird of 1970 was the world's fastest production car. The top speed actually depended on the options chosen, but it could be almost 200 M.P.H. The fastest ever, essentially stock Superbird reached 219 M.P.H. at Bonneville. It was 16 years before a faster car was produced.

Packard introduced air conditioning in 1941. A world first.

About 1930 Studebaker and Graham introduced metallic paint. The metallic effect was obtained by mixing dried fish scales in the paint.

Pink was a standard colour on '59 Cadillac's, but it was one of the least popular colours available.

People who choose red as a colour for their new cars are the most likely to have accidents. Yellow is the safest colour. Simply because yellow is most visible under a wide range of conditions.

As American cars have become smaller, the incidence of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. has fallen.

In 1904, Walter Christie designed a racing car with a transverse engine and front wheel drive. Christie went on to design a suspension system for tanks. In World War II he worked for the Nuffield Organisation in this country with Alec Issigonis designer of the Mini, which had the same basic layout as Christie's racer.

The first Cadillac Allante's were fitted with Hepolite pistons made in the U.K.

The Dodge La Femme of the mid fifties was a Custom Royal painted pink & white and fitted with feminine extras such as a make up box and an umbrella holder.

Ford also had a couple of designs aimed at lady drivers, but they were less sexist. On the '37 and '38 V8 the brake linkage could be adjusted for a lighter pedal pressure "more suitable for the lady driver". The Mk II Ford Probe (the one sold in this country) was styled by a lady. It had a low bonnet line to give short women a better view of the road.

When it was new, the '57 Chevrolet was considered a bit of a failure, if you can call 1.5 million sales a failure. Ford and Plymouth had completely restyled bodies and increased their sales, whereas Chevrolet's body was in its third year and sales actually went down.

By the late fifties, some American cars had become so wide they were illegal in some states. No one was ever prosecuted and the laws were changed to suit the cars. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?
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