14 May 2012

This Week in Automotive History: May 14- 20

May 14, 1961


Stirling Moss Wins Monaco Grand Prix: Starting from the pole in his underpowered
Coventry-Climax-powered Lotus 18 owned by Johnny Walker Scotch heir Rob Walker, Moss holds off a fierce challenge from Richie Ginther in the much more powerful Ferrari 156.

May 15, 1942


Gas Rationing Begins: Less than six months after the United States declared war on
Germany and Japan, 17 states initiate gas rationing, with the rest of the states to follow
by December 1942.

May 16, 1903


First Transcontinental Motorcycle Trip Begins: Departing San Francisco, bicycle racer George Wyman took 50 days to reach New York on his 1.25 horsepower California motorcycle.

May 17, 2005


Toyota announces Camry Hybrid: Foreshadowing its future as the leader in gasoline-electric hybrid cars, Toyota announced that its best-selling car would be available in a hybrid version and would be the first of Toyota’s hybrid models to be built in the United States.

May 18, 1973


Dario Franchitti Born: Racing Driver Dario Franchitti was born in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. A resident of the United States and married to actress Ashley Judd, he has won the Indianapolis 500 twice and is three-time IndyCar Series champion.

May 19, 2007


Smart Car Promotion Begins: As an introduction to the American market, prior to its
2008 launch, the Smart Car begins a North America road tour in California.

May 20, 1959


Ford wins court battle to use Falcon Name: Although the Falcon is a well-known Ford Model dating from 1960, Chrysler had used the name on the Chrysler Falcon concept car of 1955 and had planned on using the name for the car that became the Valiant. However, Ford had filed to use the name first and won the court battle to own the name.

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