Saturday, November 27, 2021

Mercedes Benz history

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Mercedes Benz history

Creating a Tradition

In 1886, Mercedes Benz was born. Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the first self propelled horseless carriage, or the motor car to you and me... Since its conception, no other motorcar company has been so consistently successful.
This makes the German manufacturer the oldest, most successful car producer still in production today.
This illustrious Mercedes Benz history started with Daimler and Benz going in separate directions. Karl concentrated on the self-propelled car, and Gottlieb concentrated on the internal combustion engine. 
Daimler, inspired by the accomplishments of past engineers, created the first four-stroke engine, nicknamed the 'Grandfather Clock'. Meanwhile, Benz was concentrating on the evolution of his first automobile.
Daimler (and Maybach) in 1885, put the 'grandfather clock' through it's testing phase in the aptly named Daimler Riding Car, the world's first motorcycle. This proved to be a tremendous success. On the strength of this success, Gottlieb Daimler took delivery of a horse-drawn carriage from his local coachbuilder. He then set upon the arduous task of fitting it with the 'grandfather clock', he then removed the harnesses, and fitted it with a steering wheel. This was the birth of the Daimler Motorised Carriage. This new invention drew many strange looks as it travelled around - a horse-drawn carriage that lacked a horse!
Daimlers' success encouraged him (and Maybach) to pursue further motorised projects on land, sea, and air. Meanwhile, Karl Benz was an advocate of the 'grandfather clock', using it to power his own patented motorcar, the worlds' first motorcar. The differences between Benz's car, and Daimler's car, was that Karl's car was built to be a single unit car, with all the parts working together. Daimler's was an engine in a horse carriage. This gave Benz the edge, as his invention was a Motorcar, not a horse carriage boosted with an engine, like so many of his competitors machines.
Further developments were added to the patented motorcar at the Benz and Co. factory in Mannheim. These new developments created a car that was uncomfortable to ride. There was no suspension, and the wheels were ill equipped to handle the roads. The next logical step was to correct these problems. Suspension, wooden spoke wheels, and a powerful engine with a soft-top roof, was the incarnation of the Benz car. It's first outing was on Mannheim's Ringstrasse on the 3rd of July, 1886. Sceptics viewed the motorcar cautiously.
Karl Benz's wife could no longer stand and watch these sceptics denigrate her husband's work. She took the car, and with her two sons with her, drove to Pforzheim, only stopping once to refuel. This was the world's first long-distance car journey, and on that day, a legend was born.
Many years passed, during which Benz and Daimler pursued their individual dreams.
In 1894, Benz introduced the Motor Velocipede, the world's first production car. It was also the world's smallest auto. Between 1894 and 1901, twelve hundred Velocipede's were made! It was 7.4 foot long, and was 617 pounds in weight. Meanwhile was producing his vis-a-vis belt driven car.
In April 1900, DMG and Emil Jellinek agreed on the development of a new engine, known as Daimler-Mercedes. Immediatley, Willhelm Maybach began to develop an extremely powerful and advanced four cylinder engine. This established the horseless - the first true motorcar.
The success of Mercedes reflected badly on Karl Benz's motorcar sales. DMG and Benz Cie merged to form Daimler-Benz AG in 1926. However, not just to pursue performance perfection, but to expand car economy by testing the efficiency of diesel engines.
Daimler-Benz went from strength to strength, creating super-charged cars for the rich and beautiful, cars such as the 500 series. Then came the worlds first series produced diesel engine car in 1936.
From here, Daimler-Benz continued to excel. This continued even after Daimler went their separate way.
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Mazda RX7

(Reading time: 5 - 10 minutes)

Mazda RX7

The Mazda RX-7 also known as the Ẽfini was was the dawn of a new type of sports car back in 1978, it was the coming of the rotary sports car engine. As soon as the car appeared the it was pitted against such cars as Nissan Fairlady Z. The Mazda had a totally different type of styling, inspired by Colin Chapman's Lotus Elan 2+2 and unlike other sports models it ran a different type of engine a Wankel twin-rotor rotary engine, the RX7 utilised a midship, rear drive system , the perfect balance for racing. The predecessor to the new car was RX-3 (in Japan the Savanna) the rotary engine replaced all Mazda's.
Since the beginning of production 811,634 Mazda RX-7 cars were manufactured, it also achieved Car & Driver's Top Ten Best 5 times. 
It was a real sports coupe, different to cars such as the TR6 or other sports saloons. The Mazda RX7 and its Wankel rotary sporting its lightweight build was the power behind the automobile. The car was avaiable in the US as a coupe 2 seater, in Japan, Australia and some other locations was available as a four seater.

The History

First generation RX7 (SA/FB)
This series the SA22C was the 1st series, it came with crude exposed steel bumpers and number plate plate recess highly-mounted, the car was famously criticised by Road & Track critic Werner Buhrer as Baroque depression.
The Series 2 running from 1981 to 1983 had smoother plastic-coated bumpers integrated into the RX7 cars body, Mazda tried to achieve a more sporty look with this car by adding wide black rubber body side mouldings, wrap around rear lenses upgraded engine and ECU. The GSL came with many optional extras including disc brakes all round, Limited rear slip dif clutch type version (LSD). This model was available in the US, the rest of the world, could only purchase the earlier the RX-7 SA22C until 1986, when the next gen was released.
The Series 3 (1984 to 1985) featured a lower front fascia and different instrument clocks. The RX7 GSL continued into this series of the car, however Mazda had another idea the introduction of the GSL-SE sub-model. This version was equipped with fuel injection and a 1.3 L 13B-RESI engine, this produced 135 bhp with 135 lb-ft torque. It also came with the same options as the earlier version, though the brakes rotors were bigger, this allowed Mazda to utilise the common lug nut, in addition to this the suspension was stiffened the springs and shocks, and just for good measure an upgraded oil cooler was added.
The 1984 Mazda RX-7 S runs approx 29 mpg gallon and the 
NSU-Wankel accelerates from 0 to 50 in 6.3 seconds.
The car has exceptional handling & acceleration making standout back in the 80's. This gen RX-7 had 4-link rear suspension with custome live axle and the fact it had a 50/50 weight distribution ratio, and weighed in at just under 2600 lb, the lightest version ever produced. The RX7 or efini was capable of reaching 60 mph in 9.2 s and ran at 100 bhp @ 6000 rpm,and achieved a max speed of 120 mph (190 km/h). The Wankel rotary engine created very little harshness at high revs, for this reason a buzzer was added to the tacho as an warning aid to the driver quickly coming close to the red line.
The Generation 2 cars varied globally. Over 474,565 first generation Mazda RX7 cars were produced; many of these infact 377,878 were sold in the US alone.

Second generation (FC)

Series 4 1986 - 1988 this had a naturally aspirated, fuel-injected 13B-VDEI Wankel Rotary capable of producing 146 bhp. As an option turbocharged model was availabale this was known as the RX7 Turbo II, this came with 182 bhp.
Series 5 1989 this version featured upgraded styling and ECU, the Wankel rotary engine rotors were lightened also the compression ratio was increased to 9.7:1 for the naturally aspirated cars, the Turbo RX7 had a ratio of 9.0:1 for the turbo model. The Turbo II moniker was eventually dropped from the range, the turbocharged RX7 model was then known as dubbed Turbo. The Series 5 FC produced 160 hp, the Series 5 Turbo was capable of creating 200 bhp.
The second generation RX7 was comletely restyled somewhat mirroring the infamous Porsche 944. The SA22/FB was a real sports car, the FC however was more a sports touring car. The Handling of the 2nd Gen was upgraded, oversteer was reduced which was the main problem of the FB. The car was given rack and pinion steering, all round disc brakes became factory standard, however the following Models S4: GXL, GTU, Turbo II, Convertible; S5: GTUs, Turbo, Convertible were fitted with 4 piston front brakes. The rear suspension was upgraded and made independent with a toe control hub to increase a certain degree of passive rear steering. The rear seats were added as an option to the FC RX-7 however these are rare.
The RX7 FC was 80lbs heavier but still had admiration from the press. Winning various awards. The convertible version of the was released in 1988 available as an atmospheric or turbocharged model, this created an overnight success. Production ceased in October 1991, however Mazda manufactured 500 limited edition RX7 convertible cars for 1992. The Japanese & UK were treated to a turbo version of the convertible.
The Japanese market was limited to only the RX7 turbo; an atmospheric version was available only as an export.
The second generation RX7 Mazda did the best overall, with 86,000 sold in 1986 throughout the US alone.
Mazda RX7 Third generation (FD)
The Series 6 1992 - 1995 was exported globally, this version achieved the highest sales. The Japanese Mazda company branded & sold the RX-7 as the Efini RX-7.
The 1993 - 1995 RX7 model were only available in the U.S. and Canada.
Series 8 January 1999 August 2002 was the last RX7 series manufactured and sold, initially available to only European markets & Australia. The car was given upgraded turbochargers, intercooling and radiator cooling.
The interior was overhauled. The rear wing was given the option to adjust it. The No1 the RX7 Type RS came fitted with Bilstein dampers and springs, 17 Inch alloys as standard, the weight was reduced to 1280 kg.
The Jap auto was capable of producing 276 bhp & 243 ft per lb of torque limited to Japanese law. The actual figures were closer 290 to 308 bhp. The RZ version came with Type RS extras, but even lighter 1270 kg. It came with limited edition gun-metal BBS alloys and red racing interior. It was even given an upgraded 16-bit ECU and ABS system, this allowed it to brake independently with each wheel, this gave more controlled steering while turning & during braking.
The third and final generation of the RX-7, FD (FD3S for the JDM and JM1FD for the USA VIN), was an outright sports car by Japanese standards. The 3rd Gen RX7 13B-REW was the 1st mass-produced sequential twin-turbocharged car ever to be exported from Japan, this addition gave the car 255 bhp and finally 280 bhp with the formation of the gentlemen's agreement on engine power agreed by Mazda.
Playboy rated the RX-7 a better car than the Dodge Viper. The FD won Playboy's Car of the Year for 1993. The most desirable RX-7 was the final 1,500 run-out specials. The RX7 Spirit R available in 3 versions the Spirit RA , RB and RC, Spirit R Accounts for 1000 of the 1500 cars made, fitted with 5-speed manual gear box, recognised as the best performer of all. Its available as a 4 seater, with sports manual 5 speed box, however the 'The Spirit C' came as a 4-speed auto box.
The Touring Model of the RX7 Spirit comes with a sun roof, BOSE stereo.

Limited edition RX7 models

Australia had a special high performance the Mazda RX-7 SP, a road-going racing car, driven in the 12hr Bathhurst Endurance race, An initial run of 25 were manufactured in 1991, with an additional 10 added due to demand. The RX-7 SP produced 274 bhp and 263 ft lbf of torque, The car came with a race-inspired nose cone, proven racing wing mounted at the rear, 17 inch alloys, upgraded brakes, upgraded intercooler, exhaust & ECU. The weight of the car was made lighter a carbon fibre bonnet and seats, this reduced the overall weight to 1218 kg (from 1310 kg), this car was capable of challenging the Porsche 968CSRS. The Mazda RX-7SP achieved victory, an RX7SP Bathhurst was released in 2001.

RX7 Modifications & Mazdaspeed

There are many performance houses including Mazdaspeed who sell kits for conversions targetted mainly at the more popular 20B engine Stillen and Pettit Racing specialise in this. The conversion usually comprises of the twin sequential turbo being replaced for a single bigger turbo in such conversions. Such 3-rotor configurations typically produce 550hp and a top speed of well over 200 MPH.
The Third Gen RX-7s are notorious for over heating. Out of the factory 1 out of 3 engines had to be rebuilt within a short period.
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Mazda history

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Mazda timeline

The company first emerged in 1920, Mazda actually started as a small manufacturer of cork in Hiroshima, Japan. Today the Global car company is recognized as a leading car manufacturer recognised for its many achievements and array of cars from the MX-5 to the RX-7.
1920 - Tokyo Cork Togyo Co, LTD is founded in Hiroshima, Japan.
1931 - Production of moves towards motor vehicles, Mazda release their 1st three-wheeled truck.
1960 - This is the decade that Mazda started manufacturing cars at a higher rate, the R380 Coupe is introduced, recognised as the 1st 2-door car.
1961 - Mazda introduce the first compact pickup, the B-Series 1500.
1962 - The Carol 600 is introduced, the of its kind a 4-door car.
1967 - Mazda's trademark the rotary engine is first released in the form of the Cosmo Sports 11OS.
1970 - Mazda Motor of America (N.W.), Inc is born - This was marked by mass production of the rotary engine the R100 coupe, this car utilised the same engine as the Cosmo .
1971 - Next to be launched was the the RX-2, this marked the beginning of the RX supercar series, initially released only in the US. The car was available in either a 2-door coupe or 4-door saloon, and came with a rear wheel drive system. It was the 1st car in America to use the 12A rotary engine.
1972 - The success of the Mazda 12A rotary engine and rear wheel drive meant the release of the next incarnation the RX-3. A little more compact than the RX-2, available in either a 2-door coupe, 4-door saloon and estate version. The high performance of the RX-2 and RX-3 cars gave Mazda cars a certain reputation for designing and building competition street and track cars. The performance of the rotary engined cars rivalled V-8s, even European sports cars such as Porsche. These cars are somewhat rare today and are hardly ever seen, however some do still exist and still compete on the track.
1974 - Mazda decided to introduce a 110 bhp 13B rotary engine RX-4 coupe a mid sized car, saloon, and estate(wagon). The 13B had a greater displacement, advanced cooling and uprated rotor seals, even better fuel economy and the advantage of lower emissions than its predecessors. In
1975 - This year saw the introduction of the world famous revised Mazda typeface, still in use today.
1976 - The RX-4 was renamed the Cosmo, this model was seen as the one of the most luxurious cars in 
1977 - Mazda saw the introduction of the GLC. The car originally was a rear wheel drive, this car used a piston-engine. This marked the changeover to piston-engines for non-sportscar models. The GLC slowly changed into the 323, inturn to the 3.
1978 - This year marked the introduction of the RX-7. The car was a very light, front-engined rear wheel drive 2 seater sports car, it was designed to fully utilise the rotary engine and its capabilities. This technology and design earned it Car of the Year 1978, it gained worldwide recognition even making the 10 Best list in Car and Driver magazine no less than 5 times. The 1000'000th rotary powered Mazda vehicle was manufactured, the 626 was introduced, a rear wheel drive saloon car & finally the B2000 pickup truck was released.
1979 - This year was a major marker for Mazda, in 24-hours of Daytona the RX-7 placed 1st and 2nd, and drove to victory in its 1st of 7 GTU series championships.
1980 - Mazda release their first front-wheel drive car to be sold solely in the US ,the GLC is redesigned to suit the American market, the car back in Japan receives 1980-1981 Japanese Car of the Year award.
1982 / 84 - The 626 redesign is introduced, this earns the car many global awards one of which: 1983 Import Car of the Year courtesy of Motor Trend.
1985 - The Mazda RX-7 after 7 years at the top is redesigned by, the new model now features rack-and-pinion steering, rear suspension on each wheel working independently and a 200 bhp engine running a turbocharger. The long waited B-Series Pick-up is introduced. The infamous RX-7 shatters the IMSA record for 1 car - 67 victories.
1986 - Mazda feel the need for a Hot hatch to suit the up and coming market featuring such cars as the Golf GTI 16V and Peugeot 205 GTI, a 4 wheel drive turbocharged 323 GTX is released. The RX-7 receives more credit and is named Motor Trend Import Car of the Year 1986.
NEWS FLASH 1986 - The Mazda RX-7 sets a record of 238.442 mph at the Bonneville National Speed Trial in the SCTA’s C/Grand Touring Class.
1987 - The 1 st Convertible Mazda RX-7, in the US, is introduced. The new Mazda factory in Flat Rock, Michigan starts production production reaches reaches 20 million vehicles manufactured in Japan.
1988 - A relatively quiet year, the introduction to N USA for the MPV.
1989 - The beginning of an era, the MX-5 Miata is unveiled February, Chicago Auto Show, the car was so popular sales commenced the July after, becoming an overnight success and a cult sensation globally.
1991 - Mazda are victorious in the LeMans 24-Hour Endurance Race racing the 787B car No.55 a first victory Japanese car utilising the rotary engine.
1992 - Efini 276 BHP standard released, this car features dump valve engine power in excess of 300 BHP & comes with Enkei Wheels
1992 - The RX-7 is redesigned and unveiled introduced as the 3rd Generation, it was decided the car should be redesigned to suit the 90's. Therefore a pure high-powered rotary engine sports car would be given a power increase through the utilisation of a highly tuned 255 hp refinement of the 13B and the added power & acceleration of sequential twin-turbochargers the first available in the US. This matched with engine power-to-weight ratio recognised as record breaking and of course the added reputation to being one of the best handling cars ever.
The Mazda receives Motor Trend magazine award 'Import Car of the Year'
1993 - 'Only the Strong' film released this introduces Zoom-Zoom-Zoom, now globally associated to Mazda as there slogan.
1995 - This year sees the end of importing the RX-7 into the US, this is mainly due to very high insurance rates and a high currency conversion from the yen-to-dollar ratio. 
The Japanese giant Mazda celebrates their 75th Anniversary, also its 25 years since they started doing business in the U.S.
1996 - A major mark in Japanese car maunfacturing, due to Scottish born Henry Wallace being appointed as CEO, 1st time a Japanese car company has appointed a non-Japanese CEO.
1997 - The MX-5 Miata flattens all competition and receives the award 'All Stars' the seventh year consecutively.
1998 - Mazda debut the second generation MX-5 Miata one of the stars of the Chicago Auto Show.
2000 - The first SUV for is released.
2002 - The 6 is released receiving 60 global awards.
Mazda astound the world with the reintroduction of the rotary sports car the RX-8, the new car is powered by the new RENESIS rotary engine. Almost immediately the car receives numerous awards including Car and Driver 10 Best award and All star 2004 to name just a few.
MAZDASPEED emerge with the 170 hp turbocharged sports car a first of its kind extending the excellent reputation of high end tuner.
2003 - The 3 is launched globally.
2004 - The special edition Mazdaspeed MX-5 is released, much to the delight of its dedicated fans. SpeedSource Racing RX-8 takes both titles of driver and team championship.
2005 - A 274 bhp 4-wheel-drive MAZDASPEED 6 is introduced, making this the most powerful US model.
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Maserati history

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Maserati history

A range of cars seen as real drivers motor cars available with extremely bland designs through to superbly styled looks, generally every type of Maserati sports a driving force usually in the incarnation of either a V8 or upward.
For many years the Italian car manufacturer have been producing a breed of supercars, however the looks have qutite dramatically changed the older versions had a certain charisma, the newer ones seem to mimic the rounded shapes of many other autos. As for the engine tones now thats a different story, pure bliss the growl from the highly tuned V8 or whatever engine they chose. Mindyou there is one car that really does deserve the Maserati seal that is of course the MC12.
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Landrover history

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Land Rover history

The heritage of Land Rover and the Ford connection

Landrover is relatively young compared to many other car manufacturers. Born in 1948 the famed Land Rover name has become a household synonimous with impeccable 4x4 wheel drive off roaders. The first of the Landy carnation was the Defender. The introduction of the Defender, Discovery, Range Rover, Freelander and now the Range Rover Sport have pushed Land rover into various directions, from farmers wnating a rugged vehicle to rapper wanting a bling 4x4. The ultimate in style urban and rural, outstanding comfort and the best in off-road capability.
Land rover over the last 55 years has evolved from building farm transport to supplying some of the most well known celebrities with extreme bling motors. Pure durability, toughness and elegance.
The manufacturer now resides in India, now owned by Tata the owners of Jaguar.
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Lancia history

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Lancia guide

True elegance in a car

Lancia has always been seen as a some what marque of distinction, well this is very true during the earlier years. The company was formed some years ago 1906 to be exact since then there cars have always been associated with the 'rich lifestyle'. Lancia motor cars have always been a target of the rich from movie stars like Brigitte Bardot through to Royalty with the likes of Prince Rainier of Monaco. The cars created were always elegant and well designed including the Aurelia in 1952, B 24 Spider & the 1956 Flaminia this particuler motorcar even had a fully panoramic windscreen.
1906 a company was founded by a racing car driver known as Vincenzo Lancia, throughout 1930 and on, became a highly successful for Grand Prix and Rallye circuits wins, however while winning he was also developing an impressive roster of luxury cars, his company was Lancia. This Italian car company was responsible for many milestones within car history. 1921 The Lambda, the first car with an integral body,1937 the Aprilia, great flowing lines almost sports car like, the Pininfarina coupe, was Italy's answer to US streamline design.
The war finished leaving the auto manufacturer to reclaim its tradition of racing car victories and of course reputation for excellent design through producing elegant cars, granted Bertone, Pininfarina, Touring, and Zagato styling techniques.
Lancia, now is known for elegant mid-sized cars, the company was acquired by Fiat in 1969, however still remaining an independent brand.


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Kia history

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Kia history

The beginning

It was 1944 in Kyungsung, and Kia the Asian manufacturing company concentrated on domestic bicycles, steel tubing and parts. Kia originates from the Chinese language and translates into "to arise, to come up out of Asia." By the 1950's the company was looking into branching out, they already had released Korea's first bike near the end of the decade,this prompeted them start producing and release motorised scooters, namely the C100.

1960's / 70s - 3 wheels and beyond

The 1960's were an experimental decade for Kia, they diversified and started producing motorcycles and a range of three-wheeled pickup vehicles namely the T-600. The next step was to start producing cars, this started to happen in the early 70s. However by 1973 a Plant had been designed and constructed in Sohari plant. This was Korea's first production line car company facility, the facility started working on a petrol engine driven car, the first step was achieved a petrol engine , then a year later the Kia Brisa followed. This was the counties first passenger car, by 1979 the technology developed and used to make vehicles was being adopted to produce such vehicles as Fiat and Peugeot cars.


The 80s saw a turn in producing, a whole array of cars were released theses included new models such as the Concord, Capital, Pride & Potentia. In 1987, Kia cars started arriving on US soil, but as other models one being the Ford Festiva the other being Avella a couple of years later, this car was renamed the Ford Aspire.
This move by Ford gave the Asian car manufacturer the inspiration to begin selling cars and other vehicles on US soil. This took place in the early '90s, this started with the Sephia, it was a very gradual process at first early, with models only available in limited US states. As the 90's came so did more Kia import vehicles throughout Europe and the US, vehicles varied from SUV's to roomy saloons however the company recognised the next big thing was the SUV ( Sport Utility Vehicle) it was already very popular vehicle with drivers due to space & versatility; Kia therefore released the Sportage to satisfy this lust, in 1995. By the end of the '90s, They had successfully established their goal of rolling out a car to the whole nation, there was now Kia dealerships in all US states with the exception of North Dakota. Due to financial problems there was no more money to expand the rest of the range, Hyundai Koreas other car giant recognised the problem and offered a merger this formed Hyundai-Kia automotive group in 1998.

The Millenium, and beyond

Hyundai-Kia entered the year 2000 very positively with the Sportage finishing The paris to Dakar rally, since merging with Hyundai, both companies have improved and improved. There 2007 range showcases some very fine models, a car for all occasions, from the Picanto, Rio & Magentis to the Cee'd right throught to their new range of SUV's such as the new Sportage and Sorento. The future looks bright.
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