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Check Out These Weird Car Factoids if You’re in Automotive Training

Published on October 3, 2019 by in Blog, CATI

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No matter how long you work with vehicles, there is always more to explore and rekindle your passion for the job. You may find that the more you know, the more curious you become.

Car facts can come in handy during fun banter with customers. Plus, they make you a formidable opponent on trivia night! Read on for some interesting facts about cars for your next coffee break at the shop.

Anyone in Mechanic School Will Want to Know This About the History of “Green Travel”

Electric cars seem to be the vehicle of the future as they present a cleaner alternative to internal combustion engines. However, there was a time when the combustion engine was considered the “green” way to travel. Before cars, people traveled using horses. Since the animals produced a large amount of waste and odour, they were seen as a cause of pollution. In the 19th century, health authorities saw this as a serious public health hazard. So, the less smelly combustion engine-powered machines were welcomed and encouraged as a cleaner form of transportation.

Speed Limit Facts for Automotive School Students

If you’re in automotive training, you may be interested in the history of the rules of the road. The first speeding ticket issued was to a man named Walter Arnold, who was driving at just under 13 km/h in Paddock Wood, Kent, England in 1896. The speed limit at the time was about 3.2 km/h in cities and 6.4 km/h in the country. These regulations were under the Locomotive Act of 1865 in the UK, which formalized vehicle registration, rules and regulations.
Arnold’s car was an 1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage. He was a car dealer and the local Benz vehicles supplier. An officer on a regular bicycle was able to catch him, which gives an idea of just how fast speedy Arnold was going.

There’s no way anyone could have slipped by a police officer driving 80 km/h in 1896

There’s no way anyone could have slipped by a police officer driving 80 km/h in 1896

The Interesting Origin of the Rearview Mirror

A race car driver named Ray Harroun won the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911, as the only driver without a second person in his car, called a riding mechanic. This person was responsible for watching to the rear of the vehicle and giving the driver information about what was happening behind him. Instead, Harroun had mounted his own rearview mirror above the dash, to keep an eye on things himself.

This change opened up his car, The Wasp, to a streamlined shape with less weight inside. It was so influential that soon after Harroun’s victory, rearview mirrors began to appear on regular passenger cars. Harroun credited the idea to a mirror he’d seen for the same purpose on a horse-drawn carriage.

The rearview mirrors in today’s passenger cars have surprisingly competitive roots

The rearview mirrors in today’s passenger cars have surprisingly competitive roots

The First Ever Documented Road Trip Was a Lot of Work

After mechanic school, you might help customers get their cars safe and ready for big road trips. The first long-distance drive in an automobile ever documented was taken by Bertha Benz, Karl Benz’s wife, in 1888. While Karl Benz had accomplished quite a bit with his vehicle design, he wasn’t receiving much recognition or experiencing too much success. Bertha decided to take a road trip as a publicity stunt, accompanied by her two sons.

The drive was just under 100 km, from Mannheim to Pforzheim, but was much more labor-intensive than road trips today. Their path stretched across areas without roads aside from wagon tracks, stopping frequently for fuel and to refill tanks with water for engine cooling. The car even needed to be pushed up some hills, due to its small amount of power.

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