The History of Car Technology

history of Car

The history of car technology can be traced back to ancient times, when chariots ruled the ancient Mediterranean and the Middle East. The 18th century saw the invention of steam-powered vehicles, while French and German engineers began building the first gasoline-powered vehicles. Henry Ford strove to make a car affordable for everyone, and his success in this arena led to mass production and global diffusion. From that point, the automobile changed our world forever.

Henry Ford

The invention of the automobile was born out of Henry Ford’s dream to create a practical vehicle that could be driven on a regular road. As early as 1893, Ford began working on the first engine that would power his experimental car. This engine sputtered on a kitchen table. The car was basically a frame with four bicycle wheels, and Ford completed it on the morning of June 4th, 1896. His first car was a success and he became a worldwide carmaker.


Throughout its history, Rolls-Royce has been a leader in car production, and the Silver Ghost was a model of its legendary brand. The sleek and metallic design of this car earned it the title of “Silver Ghost.” The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost quickly sold out, and Claude Johnson, the company’s managing director, was credited with restoring the brand’s initial reputation. But not everything went as planned for the company in the early years.


Gottlieb Daimler was the inventor of the automobile and the high-speed engine. He and his friend Sarl Venz invested their private funds into their respective enterrprises. In 1883, they founded the Mannheim firm Venz & Sie. In November 1890, they incorporated the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft to create the first car. After this, Daimler had the opportunity to experiment with various different types of engines.

General Motors

The history of General Motors is filled with highs and lows. Throughout its history, the company has been accused of buying streetcar companies. In a landmark case, the company was found guilty of conspiracy. The company has been accused of buying streetcar companies since the 1920s. By the 1950s, it held a 54 percent U.S. market share and manufactured fifty million vehicles. Its prestigious brands included Buick and Cadillac. In the 1960s, it introduced the Chevrolet Corvair, which was attacked by Ralph Nader in his book, Unsafe at Any Speed.

Essex Coach

An advertisement published in the Hudson Triangle, Detroit, Michigan, on December 1, 1922 shows the strength and rigidity of the Essex Coach’s construction. During the early 1920s, most cars had no permanent roofs, but they were cheaper to purchase. The 1924 Essex Coach, however, had a roof. It was an all-seasons car. The license plate reads: MOTOMETER / ESSEX MOTORS – DETROIT. It also reads: ALLEN / STEP – CUSHION PEDAL CO. – L.A.

Nikolaus Augustus Otto

Nicolaus Augustus Otto was born in Holzhausen an der Haide, Germany on 10 June 1832. He was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was a young child. After completing elementary school, he entered high school in Langenschwalbach. He was cited for his excellent performance, but did not graduate. This only served to further his ambition of becoming a car maker.

Charles F. Kettering

It was in the early 1920s that Henry Leland, a friend of Carter’s, suggested that Kettering work on a crank-starting alternative for cars. This was a difficult problem to solve, but Kettering was able to find a solution. He realized that an electric motor could serve as a generator once it was running. The electric motor would generate electricity to start and run the vehicle, and the storage battery would store excess electricity to use for future starting.