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Ford history

1900 till 1942

This US car company was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Two Model A cars were shipped from Detroit to the UK – The first cars to be imported to UK shores. Henry could not have imagined how his company would flourish.

UK recognition

The two Model A's had their debut at Cordingley Automobile show in Islington London, seeing these new car driving around, Aubrey Blakiston was driven to set up a Ford sales agency in Long Acre, London. The agency appointed Percival Perry who eventually took over.
 

Fiat history

The history of FIAT

Fiat was born in the Italian industrialization era. When the company first appeared it sparked instant wonder & now due to this, are recognised globally as one of the most powerful car companies. This power due to owning quite a few car manufacturers. The Fiat logo symbolises great cars and reflects the car manufacturers status.

1899 to 1911

The Societa Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino charter was signed on July 11 1899, this signalled the start of Fiat, out of many of the board of directors, a Director Giovanni Agnelli was determined to make the car company extremely successful in addition he had the strategies to make this happen. Driven by his motivation to put Fiat on the car manufacturers map, in return for his work, Giovanni Agnelli was given the role of Managing Director in 1902.
Carso Dante
 
In Carso Dante the first car plant for the Italian manufacturer, the first of many, opened its doors. Its workforce, 150 people. An impressive 24 cars rolled of the line, including the 3/12 hp. Giovanni recognised that Fiat would need a trademark, in 1904 an Oval on a dark blue background logo was born.
When the Car Tour visited Italy, 9 Fiat cars competed and finished the race.
 
Vincenzo Lancia entered & won the Sassi-Superga, a hillclimb car race in a 24 bhp Fiat car in 1902, this success drove Giovanni Agnelli, FIAT President to enter an 8 hp Fiat car in the following Italian Car Tour, Agnelli even set a race record.

US 1912 / 1925

1908, saw Fiat land on US soil, and open its first US factory. This gave the company the boost they needed they expanded at an unforseen rate and started building factories to manufacture specific engine parts. The company saw the need to produce more than just cars therefore it ventured into trucks, marine engines and commercial vehicles even tram production. The Italian company was making its mark, it continued to compete and win car races, more than often setting records as it went. Fiat was onto a winner.
 
Giacomo Malle Trucco was given leadership to accept the construction of a new car factory - Lingotto factory in Italy, work began in 1916. This new Fiat factory was undoubtedly the biggest car factory in Europe, it was built on five floors, and right at the top a test track was constructed the work was finally completed in 1922. This test track & factory is the symbol of Italian automotive industry.
 
The War, brought hard times for many car companies, Fiat was no different however they did manage to completely recover by 1923, in recognition of this Giovanni Agnelli was given a promotion, he was now the new Fiat CEO. Many new models were released and in recognition for there loyal workers, employees were given health plans etc, also financing was introduced on their cars.

1926 / 1938

Fiat driven by the dictator Mussolini's autarchic ways, meant the car company had to look at the international market for its cars, mainly the domestic part. As part of this strategy The Topolino was released and ran till production ceased in 1955. Also the Tariffa minima, aka Balilla, was also released a popular model which gave exceptionally good fuel economy. 1937 saw the construction of another car plant 
 
- Mirafiori
 
This new new breed of car plants main aim was mass production.

1939 / 1951

WWII saw car production reduce to almost nothing, however commercial vehicles saw the opposite. During this time many of the companies car plants were destroyed , however this did not phase them. The President of Fiat Giovanni Agnelli, sadly died in 1945.
 
His new replacement Vittorio Valletta was issued the role of CEO.

1952 / 1965 R & D

After the end of the war Fiat recognised the need to research more, therefore started taking a great interest in researching new strategies, innovations and practices. The 500 & 1400 were introduced as the first mass production model, these cars had heating and ventilation systems never seen before. The benefits of diesel were looked into soon after rthe 1400 diesel engine was released in 1953. 1958 saw an increase in production and sales, car plants were built overseas and Mirafiori doubled its car factories. Fiat had firmly placed Italy in an economic boom. 1955 saw the release of the 500, a large rear engined car. The car sold well and in 1957 a new version was released, 1960, saw a 500 Giardinetta, more a kind of estate / station wagon. In addition Fiat introduced 1300, 1500 & 1800 car models.

1965 / 1977

The mid 60's brought a rapid growth in sales in Italy and its export market. The Italian car ratio had previously been 1 car to 99, however now it was closer to 28 cars to 96. Fiat saw this as an opportunity to construct more factories throughout Italy, this spurred the intro of the 850.
 
The first front wheel drive car was introduced in 1971 the 127, this auto was instant success, it even received Car of the Year 1971. Gianni Agnelli grand son of Giovanni, became Fiat President in 1966. Like his Grandfather he ensured the company would concentrate on car production while still researching, ike many other car manufacturers suffered greatly during the late 70's oil strikes.

1978 / 1990

Robogate, turned the corner for automed assembling, a flexible robotic system introduced in 1978.
 
The years between 1978 and 1990 saw many projects for Fiat including the setting up of Fiat Avio - Auto - Engineering - Ferraviaria, Comau, Teksid & Magnet Marelli.
 
The Panda was introduced in 1980 and styled by famed designer Guigiaro in 1980, a small car available in 4x4. The Uno, a really rare site today was the symbol of the car rejuvination in 1982. The Fiat Uno had electronics unforseen before, it came in a range of models from a standard 1.1 to a 1.4 IE Turbo, this model also had a full electronic dashboard and turbo charger. The Tipo was released in 1989 and made car of the year, the car had conquered cutting edge technical issues and not forgetting the Strada avaiable in many models the top being the Abarth.

1991 / 2003

The Tempra was introduced in 1990, the following year the new 500 was released, followed by the Punto, this car seemed to replace the Uno, it came with similar engine sizes and also was available in a turbo-charged model it was given Car of the Year award in 1995. Then came the Coupe, a new breed of car.
 
Fiat released the Ulysse in 1995 to tackle the multi purpose vehicle market, as far as cars are concerned the Bravo, Brava and the Barchetta / Cinnequento were released all released in the same year. 1996 / 1997 saw the intro of the Palio, Marea and Marea WE.

100th Yr Anniversary

In commemoration of the 100 Year Anniversary, the original logo was changed to a round logo from the orginal blue oval logo.
 
The year 1998 saw the release of the Seicento, a car smaller than its Cinnequento predecessor, the ideal car for the Italian people, small easy to manouvre and easier to park, and above all was great for driving roound the thin streets in the city, this year also saw the release Multipla.
A new millenium
 
The year 2000 saw the release of a new breed cars including the Diablothis new car had its debut at the Paris Motor Show it showcased as a commercial / informal car. The Stilo introduced in 2001, was the the first real technologically advanced car for Fiat of the millenium, it sported stylish looks and lots of toys and came in a variety of engine sizes. 
2002 was the year for restyling the vehicles included in this were the New Ulysse, Multipla and the even the 2001 Stilo MW, this model was restyled with more aggresive features.

The FIAT future

It was recognised in 2003 that already successful Punto needed a restyle, therefore the new model of Punto was released it had different styling and cam e with an additional engine size a 1.3 Multijet 16v. The following autumn the Panda was re-released and received Car of the Year Award. The following year the Fiat idea was released a new type of MPV ( Multi Purpose Vehicle) a first for the Italian company.
 
As for 2007 - The Grande Punto has made its mark, a bigger version of the Fiat Punto with many additions to the original, also the Fiat 500 is to be re-released with stiffer suspension, wider arches and awesome 150 hp turbo charged engine - 0 to 60 in eight seconds. As expressed by Giovanni Fiat continues to innovate with advanced technology way into the future.
 

Facts

56% of Ferrari is owned by FIAT.

 

2CV

Citroen 2CV

The most highly acclaimed Citroen car ever made, made infamous due to its debut in James Bonds For your eyes only.

 

The 2CV was released 1948 on the Paris Autosalon, designed by Pierre Boulanger it was a start of the show with its extraordinary design. The stand was flooded with people gazing at its revolutionary design and it's technology. The car even had suicide doors, greatly desired in todays cars.

 

 

This car was designed for one simple job, to take a basket full of eggs over the country roads and ploughed fields without breaking one.

 

The 2CV is a very light, very economical and extremely cheap to buy. The ideal car for the masses.

 

Major production of the automobile started back in 1949 with the A Version a 375cc 9hp engine, it came with a basic grey metallic body and a very limited interior, 2 years later a van was added to the range, with each year the 2CV became more popular with new models being released in 1954 including the Berline and Cammionette featuring a 425cc 12hp engine, with a centrifugal clutch.

 

Citroen started to think maybe they should add some more luxury to the car therefore released the AZL, a luxury model of the of the AZ, this model was blinged up with a full chrome trim. An added extra the Bootlid was released in 1957.

 

In 1958 the French car manufacturer took the bold step of turning the 2CV in to a 4x4. The Citroen sahara was released the 4x4 was made possible by adding an additional engine in the boot to drive the rear wheels. 1960 saw the release of the AK350, basically a longer version of the AZU but running a newer AMI6 602 engine.

 

The 2 CV is now known for its suicide doors, however in 1964 Citroen changed the door setup and removed the suicide doors and replaced them with rear opening doors. Side repeaters were added in the front wings and square headlights to the front to create an icon, AK400 a longer version was released, however the car didn't last forever the Acadiane was the last to roll of the production line.

 

An end of the era came when production of the Citroen 2 CV ceased for ever.

 

BMW Pictures

BMW Gallery


Caterham

The history of Caterham

A real drivers car capable of 0-60 in around 3.4 seconds, one of the best handling cars, a British hero, no extras, no mods, no technology just raw power and a formula 1 car based chassis, which needs real skill to keep it on the road or track when driven hard.
 
The Caterham is a racing car, but road legal, light as a feather, very quick and no comforts not even a roof but overall lightning acceleration the top motor being the Super Seven, a real drivers machine.

Citroen history

Citroen timeline

A documented timeline of the French cars achievements from 1919 to present day, this timeline outlines release dates of specific Citroen cars, including descriptions of each model.
 
1919 - 1921 Type A

B2 Torpedo von 1920

1919 : 1st production car released with a 1327cc, 18 bhp 68 km/h ts.
 
1920 : Best selling Torpedo 4. The A, 1st french & European built car on a large scale. American production techniques on the european continent. 20,000 cars built.
 
1921 : Torpedo Sport released, 1452cc, 22hp, 75 km/h. 1st to use overhead valves.
 
1922 : A was replaced by the B2.
1922 - 1925 Type B2
 
1922 : B2 released, instant hit. The publicity due to fuel consumption races & taxi fleet.
 
1923 : Normande introduced Caddy featuring 22 hp 90 km/h replaces Torpedo sport.
 
1924 : Caddy production ends.
 
1925 : The B2 replaced by the B10.
1922 - 1926 Type C,C2,C3
 
1922 : The C, cloverleaf released, summer 1922 onwards. 856cc, 11hp, 69 km/h top speed. The Torpedo 2 was bright yellow AKA The Citroen Lemon.
 
1923 : The C Cabriolet 2 places renamed the C2.
 
1924 : Torpedo 3 C2 renamed the C3.
 
1925 : The Torpedo 3 adopts the name Trefle which translates to Cloverleaf.
 
1926 : Torpedo 2 dropped, C3 dropped in 1926 more economical, B10 chosen.
1925-1928 Type B10,B12,B14 - B10 - B12 1926 - B14
 
1927-1928 - Torpedo models change from horizontal to curved.
 
1925 : The B10 introduced.
 
1926 : The B10 replaced by the Citroen B12.
 
1927 : The B10 replaced by the B14 running a 1538cc, 22 hp, top speed 80 km/h). The B14F released featuring Westinghouse servo brakes as standard.
 
1928 : B14G replaces B14 and B14F. Conduite Interieure cars now have a curved roof and Westinghouse brake system.
1929-1932 Type C4,C6 - C4 - C6
 
1929 : Introduction of the AC4 also called C4 running a 1628cc, 30 hp (40% increase), topspeed 90 km/h. AC6 or C6, a 6 cylinder, 2442cc, 45 hp engine capable of 105 km/h.
 
1930 :C4 replaced by the C4 III or C4 NT. The C6 replaced by C6F which now uses 5 wheels bolts covered by a small hubcap.
 
1931 : The C4 renamed C4F, uprated engine and shocks, predecessor of "Moteur Flottant", available as the C4 F Large which has increased track width. The C6F release Grand Luxe running a 2650cc, 53 hp, 110km/h top speed.
 
1932 : Citroen C4 renamed C4G now runs a 1767cc, 32 hp, 95 km/h topspeed. The C6F is replaced by C6G.
April cars now fitted with Floating Power engine suspension, cars are now renamed to C4G M.F.P. , C4G Grand Luxe M.F.P. , C6G M.F.P. , C6G Speciale M.F.P. (MFP - Moteur Floating Power).
 
1933 : The C series is replaced by the Rosalie.
1933 - 1938 - Légère - Grand luxe - Berline - Conduite interieure - Familiale - commerciale
 
Citroen Rosalie van
 
This design originated from the racing Petite Rosalie, achiever of many sprint, speed & long distance records.
A car and van ahead of its time, using aerodynamics in the cars design. The 8 was released in 1933, all the aerodynamics and design were improved, and the vehicle was renamed NH (nouvelle habilage) in 1934. A Torsion bar was added, giving the French manufacturer a lead over its competitors.
1934 - 1957 Faux cabriolet (coupé) - Berline - Limousine - Familiale - Traction Avant 7, 11L, 11, 15, 22
 
Was this to be Citroëns most revolutionary car of its time?
 
It was a mass produced car including unitary construction, front wheel drive, Independent double wishbone front suspension, front and rear torsion bars and modern aerodynamics, it was even lower than other auto's and featured perfect weight distribution.
1948 The 2CV a car that remained in production from 1948-1990
 
This Citroen car was developed for the alpine valleys & back roads of France, for the french farmer who didn't want to remove their hat and needed a car capable of travelling across ploughed fields and cobbled tracks with a tray of eggs without breaking any, comfortably and of course as little maintenance as possible.
 
 
 
2CV
 
Bear in mind this vehicle as seen as a symbol of peace and is seen as Green, it could not be farther from the truth. It gives way more CO2 than many gas guzzlers.
Take a look at the 2 CV
1968 - 1983 Dyane
Another great car the was the Dyane, however this ceased production in 1983.
 
1968 - 1987 Mehari
 
This little 2 CV jeep was released in 1968 and was produced till 1987, the Mehari had a plastic body and ran a 602cc engine.
1961 - 1978 Ami 6, 8, Super and M35
 
The Ami was a comfortable 2cv with a stronger body. April 1961 1st Ami 6 appears.
1970 - 1975 - Citroen SM Sport engineered by Maserati
 
A deal was compiled in 1968 which produce one of the fastest cars the world would see The GT. The french manufactuer bought a large part of Maserati stock, this was the first stage. There idea was to fit Citroën parts to Maserati cars, and the best bit Maserati had the job of engineering the engine for the GT car - The Citroen SM became the fastest front wheel drive car in the world at that time.
SM Sport Maserati
DS and ID 1955-1975 - Berline - Break - Cabriolet
 
Introduced in 1956 the DS 19. The car ran till it ceased production in 1975.
GS and GSA 1970-1986 - Berline - Birotor Berline - Break - Service
 
The GS was a revolutionary car it was 1 of the first cars to combine luxury and comfort in a mid range car.
1987 Saw the whole GSA range cease production.
CX 1974-1991
 
The CX replaced the DS. Although the previous car was very comfortable and a joy to drive, the CX is at a better auto and more modern. In some countries it is is known as the Safari.
1991 - 2006
 
These years brought many new models including the Visa back in the late 80's early 90's then followed on by the AX, and of course the Saxo Era replaced the AXGT and the latest Craze.
 
 
The C Craze the C1 , C2, C3
 

M1

BMW M1

A motorsport breakthrough

In 1976, the BMW Motorsport Division was surrounded by much speculation, regarding the development of a GT race car for approval in Group 4 and Group 5 racing. In order to qualify, they had to design and engineer at least 400 exact replica cars in 2 years. The project came in the form of the "Mid-Engined BMW M1" (E26) The project took 4 years, and was finally finished in 1980. The Supercar debuted at the Paris Motor Show.
 
The M1 was designed by Giugiaro and was to be assembled by super car manufacturer Lamborghini, unfortunately, the Italian company were in the middle of a financial nightmare at this time, and this forced assembly to be moved to Baur - the specialist German convertible builders.
 
When production of the BMW M1 resumed, international Group 5 approval rules had altered, and due to unforseen circumstances, the car did not met the required sales figures. The Beemer Supercar was reincarnated as The Procar series. The original M1 never stood a chance, as by the time it had achieved the prerequisite sales, the car didn't posess the required credentials, and was seen as no longer eligible for the Group 5 racing series.
 
In 1981, the Procar was driven and co-piloted by David Cowart and Kenper Miller who achieved victory in the IMSA GTO category. This gave the revamped M1 a great feature as a support series car for Formula 1 races within Europe, until its untimely demise in 1981. Again, it never had a chance to prove its worth, due to the unforseen delays and set of circumstance hindering its production. Very few M1 cars were produced, and the rarest model was engineered and assembled between 1979 to 1980 by Baur. This particular model utilised an Italian space frame chassis designed on the basis of the Turbo concept of 1972.
 
The BMW M1 ran a 3.5 litre straight 6, 24-valve, an engine that already powered a range of other models. This engine had 277 bhp at 6500 rpm, and 239 ft/lb of torque at 5000 rpm. For the racing versions, a few were developed with power outputs exceeding 850 bhp.
 
This auto was a true Italian sports car in its look and feel, with the exception of a 3.5 German made straight six engine howling from its rear. The car was described as the sensation of having bass subs behind your head, minus the subs and the twin-cam six just inches from your head! All in all, a real race car.
 
Today there are only a small amount of road going M1 cars in existance.
 

Specifications M1 Road Car

Cylinders: 6 in-line, mid mount

Capacity: 3453cc Power: 277hp @ 6500rpm

Torque: 243lb @ 5000rpm

Weight: 3175lb

Top Speed: 162mph

Acceleration: 0-62mph in 5.6sec

Fuel Consumption: 14.4mpg

Front Wheels/Tires: Alloy 7x16 205/55 VR16

Rear Wheels/Tires: Alloy 8x16 225/50 VR 16

Engine Mangement : Kugelfischer-Bosch Mechanical injection

 

 

Citroen SM

The Citroen SM

Engineered by Maserati

The SM was released in Paris at the Autosalon. The Citroen SM was built and engineered by Maserati & Citroen, and the car was nothing short of spectaclular it even had Roues Resin (Carbon fibre wheels) as an optional extra developed specifically by Michelin. They weighed only 4.2 kgs instead 9.4 kgs for a steel version.
 
The SM was basically a racing car with added extra of being a four seater, with a Bosch D-jetronic electronic fuel injection, delivering 178 DIN hp in 1973. The car basically ran the same system as on the DS.
 
New tires 205/70 VR 15 are fitted. This boosted the top speed to around 230 km/h, it was also kitted out with a Borg Warner automatic gearbox.

Citroen SM Specifications

Maserati 90 degree V6, 2670cc 87x75mm
170 DIN hp @ 5500 rpm
2 overhead camshafts per head
3 twin choke Weber carburettors
DIRAVI speed dependant powered steering
195/70 VR 15 X tires, servo disc brakes all round
Fully independent and self levelling suspension
Topspeed: 150 km/h.
 
The fastest front wheel drive car at that time.
 
1975 saw production of the Citroen SM stopped.
 

Cadillac history

Cadillac history

The Smithsonian

Cadillac was formed with the remaining team members of the Henry Ford Company. The company dissolved when Henry left, taking key members with him. The financial backers of Ford, Lemuel Bowen & William Murphy, were unwilling to let the plant go, and asked Henry M. Leland to visit and appraise the former Ford plant and equipment within. Leland saw the plant as a great opportunity and persuaded them to carry on, with the proviso that they use Leland's 1-cylinder engine, which already had a proven track record. The departure of the previous owner required a new name...
 
On August 22, 1902, the Cadillac Automobile Company was born, deriving its new name from the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, the founder in 1701 of Detroit, Michigan.
1903 Carving the future
 
The new company then got busy establishing a future and its first car was completed in October 1902, and was capable of producing 10 bhp (7 KW) and was similar to the 1903 Ford Model A. Many sources say the first car rolled out of the factory on October 17 , however there is other dates saying the car was released on both the 16th and the 20th.
 
The brand new Cadillac was showcased at the famed New York Auto Show in January of the following year, called the Smithsonian. It impressed crowds so much that over two thousand orders were placed for the car. The one thing the US company counted on as its biggest selling point was its precision manufacturing and reliability, in a word they boasted it was better than all its competitors.
 
With the staggering success of the Cadillac Smithsonian, the car company decided to compete in an annual Royal Automobile Club's Standardisation Test, from February to March 1908. To do this they used three Model K cars from the stock of Frederick Bennett (Cadillac - London UK).
 
The Cadillac K's were driven 25 miles to Brooklands racing track, in Weybridge, where they completed another 25 miles, then all the cars were put safely under lock and key until March 2, 1908 - a Monday when all the cars were dis-assembled completely.
 
All of the 721 components were piled into one heap; 89 of the specialist parts requiring extreme accuracy were taken from the pile, and locked away and replaced with brand new parts from showroom stock. With the use of only spanners and screwdrivers, the 3 Cadillac cars were re-assembled and on March 13, a Friday, all the cars completed a 500 mile run. When the run was completed, one of the model K cars was placed under lock and key until the beginning of the 2,000 mile Reliability Trials, to come over the following months. The K came in as the R.A.C. Trophy winner. The interchangeability of the cars parts could not have been demonstrated any better.
 
The Cadillac Automobile Company was also awarded 1908 The Dewar Trophy for winning these awards. This award was only ever presented to the most important car industry advancement of the year, allowing the car to speak for itself.

GM

Cadillac was bought by a General Motors conglomerate in 1909.
 
Meaning General Motors' prestige division was the new US company, this division concentrated on producing large luxury vehicles. It was used as GM's Commercial Voice, with production of a "commercial chassis", limousines, ambulances, hearses, and funeral cars. The last 3 of these were custom built by aftermarket manufacturers.
 
In 1911, Cadillac was the first petrol engine manufacturer to add an electric start, rather than the traditional crank start. The electric start was favoured as a convenience device for female drivers, and the starter was developed by Charles Kettering, and was mass produced and added to cars from 1912 onwards. Also pioneered were many great achievements and innovations including an automotive V8 engine in mass production by 1915. Other great innovations included the introduction of shatter-resistant glass in 1926, and a fully synchronized gearbox in 1928. These boxes were soon seen as very robust, smooth and ideal gear ratios for use by the blingsters of the day.
 
A popular modification of the day was to add a Ford or Mercury V8 engine to a recycled Cadillac or LaSalle transmission. In 1928, car stylist Harley Earl, a new art & design specialist, came up with a new, smaller "companion" car called the La Salle. This too was named after another French explorer, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and was in production until 1940.
 
Many Pre war Cadillac motor cars were powerful, robust and were mass-produced luxury cars, for upperclass markets, e.g. ultra-exclusive Pierce-Arrow and Duesenberg.
The 1930s brought the Cadillac V12- and V16-cylinder engines with custom coach chassis's.

1932 - what now?

It now appeared that the goodtimes were over, for in 1932, the company suffered a new record of low sales and unfortunately managed to pick up a record of discrimination against black customers. Alfred Sloan panicked and formed a committee to think over the idea of stopping production on Cadillac. The problem was worse than they realised, due to rigidity of the separatist movement. The president Nicholas Dreystadt, found out that the legendary boxer Joe Louis couldn't even enter a Cadillac dealership to buy a new car, due to him being black, however Joe Louis loved the cars, so had a white friend buy the car for him.
 
Dreystadt was humiliated, and decided to give the General Motors Board of Directors a speech about the importance of advertising the cars to black customers. The GM Board completely agreed and gave him 18 months to prove his worth.
 
Thanks to the company's President, the manufacturer had regained its profitability, and they were the only US car manufacturer to continue earning a profit during the Great Depression.
1940 saw Cadillac sales increase 1,000% compared to 1934, giving them a new lease of life.

Philips head screw

1934 brought a new power to the Cadillac assembly line. One Henry F. Phillips introduced the Phillips screw head and screw driver into the market. Phillips met with General Motors, and convinced the company his revolutionary screw types would reduce assembly time and therefore increase profits.
It was agreed & the automobile company became the first car manufacturer to adopt Phillips screw technology, by 1940 his idea was used widely.

Postwar production

After the war Cadillac started to adopt ideas from GM Styling Chief Harley J. Earl. This guy was a genius - dreaming up many new styling features relative to classic American cars. His ideas included tailfins and wraparound windscreens. It was these first tailfins that inspired Lockheed to add twin rudders to the Lightning P-38 in1948! The epitome of tailfin crazy cars was seen as the 1959 Cadillac - the cars had the recognisable tailfins of any American classic.
 
Dagmar bumpers or simply 'Dagmars', made the classic Cadillac . The classic artillery shell shaped bumper became a major sellin point, coupled with the complicated front grille and bumper assembly. As the 1950's progressed, so did the Caddy , and design was placed higher in the front end , this made the design more of an icon than bumper guards. The design was likened to the 1950s television personality Dagmar.

The Cadillac recovery

Cadillac suffered as much as many other car manufacturers from the 1970s to the late 80s. There were high points, one being the launch of the Eldorado in 1967, a simple, yet elegant car. The 1970s may have seen less chrome and tailfins, but it did see bigger engines, including the V8 [7.7 litre] that debuted with the 1968 Eldorado. Then an even bigger [8.2 litre] for the 1970 Eldorado. So popular, this engine and system was adopted across all the whole Caddy range in 1975.
The Seville was introduced 1975 as a 1976 model running an Oldsmobile 350 fuel injection system.

The Eldorado

Between 1973 and 1979 the company was forced to downsize due to the looming fuel crisis. The entire Cadillac De Ville and Fleetwood lines had been downsized by 1977.
By1985, the US car company was piking up, and launched a smaller car similar to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, called the Seville, it became an instant classic.
 
Due to the fuel crisis and looming shortages, a solution was developed by offering a Diesel Oldsmobile V8 engine, for its range of full-size cars from 1979 to 1981. However, they did suffer badly due to poor fuel quality even though the Diesel engines were uprated (diesel was extremely notorious for being filthy and water contaminated especially in the late 1970s), this initiated corrosion in the fuel pump, inturn creating high pressure. The uncompressible quality of liquids caused a hydro lock, this could snap pistons, destroy crankshafts and all other parts of the engine including connecting rods, this resulted in complete mechanical failure and irreversible engine damage.
Why did other GM diesel engines not suffer from this?
 
An effective water separating system was the culprit. The reasons were:-
 
1) A badly designed and setup fuel system.
2) An inaccurate sales to sell a Diesel as maintenance free as a gas engine.
3) Ill equipped and trained mechanics, forever using incorrect oils and lubricants, and no knowledge of Diesel servicing.
 
This sums up the failure and easy to see why it never succeeded.

The Cavalier Vs BMW 3 Vs Cimarron

To gain even more market share in the 80's the Cimarron was released, this car shared the same design platform as Chevrolet Cavalier it was and was built to rival the BMW 3-series. The car was pushed into production ahead of schedule by three years, due to this only a four-cylinder engine was available until 1985 when a V6 was made available, the car was seen as "warmed-over Cavalier" people recognised it from the much cheaper Chevy. Even though the Cadillac Cimarron came with many extras and option it never fully recovered from its initial rejection, this lead to production finishing in 1988.
The worst engine
 
An major low point in the 1980s was the release of the 4100 (4.1 L) V8 engine, this was widely used in man models through the late 80s. It was undoubtedly the worst engine ever built by Caddy. It suffered from coolant leakage, warped intake manifolds even warped heads. This engine cost Cadillac dearly and their customer loyalty suffered.
 
The 1980's brought the rebuilding of their damaged image. Competition from European and Jap imports and the fact that Honda was going to launch their American luxury division, Acura. New styles were applied to cars: the Seville was treated to rounded wheel arches and a splash of chrome. The main challenge for the import vehicles was the Pininfarina designed Cadillac Allante convertible, this cars other claim to fame was the fact it was made on the world's longest production line— the Allante was completely fabricated in Italy and imported by a Boeing 747 to the US then the shell and engine / box were built. The Allante never reached commercial success, however it is still heralded a modern classic next to the Mercedes-Benz SL its main rival. A new strategy was needed, a smaller car, enter the Cimarron and Seville.
 
The 1980s saw many American car makers downsize their popular car models, the late '80s, introduced the the Brougham Cadillac, the only car to keep its classic style and size of the 70's DeVilles and Fleetwoods.
 
Even this was discontinued after the 1996. The company needed new strategies quick...

The New direction - The SUV

The GMC Yukon Denali an SUV based on the Escalade, this was Cadillac's first attempt at a Sport Utility Vehicle, it was showcased in 1998 ready for sale in 1999 it featured constant all-wheel drive.
Cadillac had recognised the importance of the Lincoln Navigator and its market success, launched the previous year.
 
November 1998, saw Lincoln's year-to-date lead was 6,783 vehicles a decent lead in the SUV market, however Cadillac's sales for December were a reported 23,861, over 10,000 ahead of November sales. (However there had been grave error, where alledgedly they outsold Lincoln, however this was an error, kept quiet to a point). A large proportion of this lead was down to the Escalade's 960 sales in November to 3,642 in December. However Lincoln still had outsold them in 1998.
182,570 for Cadillac V's 187,121 Lincolns sold vs.
 
1999 May, saw a public apology and retraction issued by Jim Farmer a GM Spokesman, saying "a combination of internal control breakdowns and overzealousness on the part of our team members" was the reason for the error, plus there would be no celebrating to Jap & German imports knocking them from the top and 2nd place.

The Escalade

Cadillac's idea of keeping with big sedans such as the Eldorado were crushed with the intro of the Escalade, a large luxury SUV with an already marked market by the Lincoln Navigator, Ford Explorer & Range Rover. The Escalade was favoured by many rappers e.g. as Jay-Z, this boosted the image of the motor and saw many heavily modified SUV's becoming big business they reflected wealth and status. This 4x4 was the key to cracking a younger generation of affluent buyers, the Cadillac name has now been firmly established, yet again seen as luxury rather than geriatry.
 

BMW History

BMW History

Bayersiche Motoren Werke

BMW the German car company starts over a hundred years ago, making the label a household name in luxury and perfect engineering.
 
 
Karl Friedrich Rapp in 1913 a well-known Bavarian working for a German Aircrafts manufacturer, left his job and formed Rapp Motoren Werke in Munich, he specialised in engineering and developing aircraft engines. Rapp soon became aware that the path he had chosen was very problematic, it seemed the majority of his creations suffered from excessive vibration. At around the same time another Bavarian Aircraft specialist, Gustav Otto set up set up his light aircraft builders Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik.
Rapp Motoren Werke grew tired of the problems and started to work with Austro-Daimlers engines, they were unable to meet demands to existing suppliers. The new contract for Rapp involved developing V12 Aeroplane engines, however things went too fast and and Rapp resigned due to financial troubles in 1916. Two Austrians Max Friz and Franz Josef Popp were appointed to run the company. Then in March 1916 Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik merged with March Rapp Motoren Werketo and formed Bayersiche Flugzeungwerke. The birth of Bayersiche Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works), or better known as BMW had taken place.
 
The first car to be developed at newly formed BMW was the Dixi 3/15 PS in 1928 at the Eisenbach factory, it was an open top with 15BHP and 743cc and was produced under an Austin license, basically it was a US Bantam / Japanese Datsun. The 1st Dixi was an open topped model, running a 743cc 4 cylinder engine producing 15 bhp. In 1930, the Dixi won its first motor race. A total of 18,976 units were sold.
 
The first real car made its appearance in 1932, the AM 4 (Munich Version 4 Speeds - Ausfuhrung Munchen 4 Gange) its also known as the 3/20 PS, and built entirely by BMW. It came with a 4 cylinder 782cc engine suspended valves, double chain camshafts, 20 bhp at 3500 rpm and a top speed of 50 mph.
 
The 303 saloon was introduced in 1933 and was the first inline-6 cylinder car and the first to demonstrate the twin kidney shaped grilles, recognised more today than ever. It was constructed with a welded tubular steel frame and came with rack and pinion steering & independent front suspension. It came with a 1173cc - 30 bhp & Top Speed of 56mph.
 
1936 saw the release of the BMW 328. No doubt' a famous pre-war sports car, this was succeeded by the 315. A model more for motor sport. It was victorious at the 1938 Mille Miglia in Italy, this made it an icon to. The 328 weighed 1830 lb constructed from an extra-light tubular spaceframe and alloy parts for the bonnet, doors and boot. It came witha gutsy 1971cc inline-6 cylinder three carbs and could produce 80 bhp at 5000 rpm, and go onto reach 93 mph top speed. 462 units were manufactured in total.
 
After World War II, BMW lay in ruins.A 3 year ban put an end to any motor car productions this also ceased manufacture of rockets & plane engines.
 
1951 saw a 501 emerge, a luxury model production nightmare, due to demand being low, the BMW 501 never had a hope and never came upto expectation.
 
BMW needed a new angle, the Isetta 250 was introduced in 1955, a mini-car idela for the 1950's mini car craze. It was Italian manufacturer Iso licensed and came with a Motorbike 245cc one cylinder engine, but still reached 53 mph. It stayed in production for 7 yrs. 161,728 Isetta autos were manufactured.
 
1956 saw the BMW 507 it won hearts from the offset. A 2-door car, and came with a new idea a retractable soft top, designed by Alberecht Graf Foertz. A 3168cc V8 engine with twin downdraught carbs this gave the 507 150 bhp at 5000rpm & pushed it upto a top speed of 124mph. 
However it couldn't keep up with its closest competitor the Mercedes 300SL. Only 252 507's were made, the car is a symbol of the BMW's problems in the 1950's.
 
1962 saw the 1500, developed in the 1950s released, it came with a 80bhp, 1.5 capable of hitting 92 mph, 23,807 were sold over the next 2 years.
 
Over 334,165 cars models of the 1500, 1600, 1800, 2000 combvined were manufactured in total. The first generation 5 series was based on these classic models, the E12 was launched 10 yrs after 1972.
BMW then released the 3 series in 1975, the M1 supercar was developed in 1976, followed by the 7 series in 1977.
 
1992 saw BMW outsell Mercedes in Europe for the first time in history. 
 
1998 The Bavarian car company bought the Rolls Royce logo & name off Volkswagen.
 
The Rover Group PLC was acquired by BMW in 1994, however heavy losses were still destroying the company the decision was made to sell in 2000. Rover was split, Ford bought Land Rover and BMW held the rights to the Mini, shortly the car was released in 2002.
 
The following years saw the BMW, Z1, Z3, Z8 and many variations of the 3, 5, 7 series.
 
BMW still continue to release the new incarnations of the Mini including Mini Clubman, after the success of the Mini.