Did you know that only 3% of Germans drive over 30,000 km per year by car? Did you know that the first cars were so slow that in 1898 the New York police preferred to use bicycles for chasing?
A car has long since ceased to be just an object of everyday use, but a mirror of the soul: it is a luxury good that says a lot about a person’s character. Within automotive history, there are pages that are still hidden – it is high time to shed some light on the dark, so that you are no longer deprived of the most informative facts.
On the following pages you will learn about the time of year when most cars are stolen, why Steve Jobs’ secretary owns a Jaguar and what the office tower in Japan is all about.
1. The red double-decker bus
Buses in London are red because the owners want to stand out from the competition. For the 25th and 50th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, a number of the Routemasters were painted in silver and gold.
2. There are more cars than people in Los Angeles
So far, about 40 million cars are registered in Germany. According to this, every second German citizen drives a car – sounds like a lot, but it’s not. Because there are more cars than people in Los Angeles, each household has 1.8 vehicles.
3. The speed camera lottery
In Stockholm there is a speed trap that raffles the money collected to those drivers who keep to the regular speed. The speed camera lottery has enjoyed great popularity since its introduction and who knows, maybe it will stop one or the other from committing a traffic sin.
4. On an island in Michigan, cars are prohibited
Go on a time travel into the 19th century: On the island of Mackinac in Michigan, visitors still have to do without cars, as they have been banned since 1898 – the inhabitants still use horses as a means of transport. And this in the US state of the Midwest of all places, which is home to the car manufacturers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
5. The weekend was Henry Ford’s idea
Henry Ford is considered a pioneer of modern employer models: He was the first to come up with the idea of giving his employees Saturdays and Sundays off so that they can spend more time with their cars. This established the idea of the weekend.
6. New Year’s Eve is a decent opportunity for car thieves
According to statistics, most cars are stolen at New Year.
7. The first electric car was built in 1966
Electric cars are not among the inventions of recent years, because as early as 1966 Ford developed an electric car that could travel up to 300 km on one tank of fuel. A sodium-sulphur accumulator (a rechargeable battery) was used as the drive.
8. Men are more interested in cars than their bodies
Apparently more men are interested in their car than in their body – who knows how they will then be interested in their wives. So about 91% know how much gas their car uses on average, but only 43% know their cholesterol level and 58% know their own blood group.
9. Look out for the reindeer!
The antlers of the reindeer from Lapland are sprayed with reflective paint so that car drivers can see the animals better in the dark – this should reduce car accidents.
10. The promise to Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ secretary was late to the office due to a car breakdown – later that day her boss came back with a key for a Jaguar, saying, “Never be late again. If this always worked…
11. To the moon!
It takes four months to drive a car to the moon at a speed of 130 km/h.
12. Life in a car
Are you a driver? Then you spend on average two years and six months of your life in a car – two weeks alone at a red light.
13. The first car accident
In 1896, the first car accident with fatal consequences occurred in the history of mankind: Londoner Bridget Driscoll was on her way to a dance event and was hit by a Roger Benz, whose speed was 6 km/h.
14. The longest traffic jam ever
Traffic jam – we all love it. The longest traffic jam was on February 16, 1980. Where? In France. Due to the bad weather conditions and a high volume of traffic caused by many holiday returnees, the route between Lyon and Paris became jammed. So there was no back and forth – a whopping 176 km long.
15. The risk of driving a car
It is more likely to die in a taxi on the way to the airport than on the actual plane.