The automobile as we know it was not invented in a single day by a single creator. The history of the automobile reflects a growth that took place worldwide. In 1769, the extremely first self-propelled road vehicle was a military tractor invented by French engineer and mechanic, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot (1725 - 1804). The vehicle had to stop every ten to fifteen minutes to put up steam power. The steam engine and boiler were split from the rest of the vehicle and placed in the front .Cugnot drove one of his road vehicles into a stone wall, making Cugnot the first person to get into a motor vehicle disaster. Steam engines motorized cars by burning fuel that heated water in a boiler, creating steam that expanded and pushed pistons that turned the crankshaft, which then turned the wheels. During the early history of self-propelled vehicles - both road and railroad vehicles were being made with steam engines. Steam engines added so much weight to a vehicle that they proved a poor design for road vehicles; however, steam engines were very effectively used in locomotives. Historians, who accept that early steam-powered road vehicles were automobiles, feel that Nicolas Cugnot was the creator of the first automobile. Cugnot's vehicle was enhanced by Frenchman, Onesiphore Pecqueur. In 1789, the first U.S. rights for a steam-powered land vehicle were granted to Oliver Evans. In the United States, many steam coaches were built from 1860 to 1880. Creators included: Harrison Dyer, Joseph Dixon, Rufus Porter, and William T. James. Amedee Bollee Sr. built advanced steam cars from 1873 to 1883. The "La Mancelle" built in 1878, had a front-mounted engine, shaft drive to the gap, chain drive to the rear wheels, steering wheel on a vertical shaft and driver's seat behind the engine. The boiler was carried behind the passenger section. In 1871, Dr. J. W. Carhart, professor of physics at Wisconsin State University, and the J. I. Case Company built a running steam car that won a 200-mile race. In 1891, Ford became an engineer with the Edison enlightening Company in Detroit. This event signified an aware decision on Ford's part to dedicate his life to industrial pursuits. His promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893 gave him enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on internal combustion engines.These experiments culminated in 1896 with the completion of his own self-propelled vehicle-the Quadricycle. The Quadricycle had four wire wheels that looked like heavy bicycle wheels, was steered with a tiller like a boat, and had only two forward speeds with no reverse. Although Ford was not the first to build a self-propelled vehicle with a gasoline engine, he was, however, one of several automotive pioneers who helped this country become a nation of motorists. The very first self-powered road vehicles were powered by steam engines and by that definition Nicolas Joseph Cugnot of France built the first automobile in 1769 - recognized by the British Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Club de France as being the first. An internal burning engine is any engine that uses the explosive burning of fuel to push a piston within a cylinder - the piston's movement turns a crankshaft that then turns the car wheels via a chain or a drive shaft. The different types of fuel normally used for car burning engines are gasoline (or petrol), diesel, and kerosene.
1807 - Francois Isaac de Rivaz of Switzerland made-up an internal burning engine that used a combination of hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Rivaz designed a car for his engine - the first internal burning powered automobile. However, his was a very failed design.
1824 - English engineer, Samuel Brown adapted an old Newcomen mist engine to burn gas, and he used it to for a short time power a vehicle up Shooter's Hill in London.
1858 - Belgian-born engineer, Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir invented and original (1860) a double-acting, electric spark-ignition internal burning engine fueled by coal gas. In 1863, Lenoir attached an improved engine (using petroleum and a primitive carburetor) to a three-wheeled wagon that managed to finish a historic fifty-mile road trip. (See image at top)
1862 - Alphonse Beau de Rochas, a French civil engineer, original but did not build a four-stroke engine (French patent #52,593, January 16, 1862).
1873 - George Brayton, an American engineer, developed an unsuccessful two-stroke kerosene engine (it used two external pumping cylinders). However, it was careful the first safe and practical oil engine.
1866 - German engineers, Eugen Langen and Nikolaus August Otto enhanced on Lenoir's and de Rochas' designs and invented a more well-organized gas engine.
1876 - Nikolaus August Otto invented and later original a successful four-stroke engine, known as the "Otto cycle".
1876 - The first winning two-stroke engine was created by Sir Dougald Clerk.
1883 - French engineer, Edouard Delamare-Debouteville, built a single-cylinder four-stroke engine that ran on stove gas. It is not positive if he did indeed build a car; however, Delamare-Debouteville's designs were awfully superior for the time - ahead of both Daimler and Benz in some ways at least on paper.
1885 - Gottlieb Daimler invented what is often known as the prototype of the modern gas engine - with a vertical cylinder, and with gasoline injected through a carburetor (patented in 1887). Daimler first built a two-wheeled vehicle the "Reitwagen" (Riding Carriage) with this engine and a year later built the world's primary four-wheeled motor vehicle.
1886 - On January 29, Karl Benz got the first patent for a gas-fueled car.
1889 - Daimler built an enhanced four-stroke engine with mushroom-shaped valves and two V-slant cylinders.
1890 - Wilhelm Maybach built the first four-cylinder, four-stroke engine. Engine design and car design were basic activities, almost all of the engine designers mentioned above also designed cars, and a few went on to become major manufacturers of automobiles. All of these inventors and more made notable improvements in the evolution of the internal burning vehicles.
Karl Benz built a powered tricycle driven by an oil-spirit internal burning engine
1900 Ferdinand invented a battery-power car with four electric motors, one
at each wheel
1902 Spyker featured a 6-cylinder engine and a four wheel drive
1907 Peking to Paris was won by an Itala
Model-T manufacture began
1911 FWD sold its first 4x4
The first MG car was built
1927 Model-T production ended;15 million Model-Ts had been built from
Bentley taken over by Rolls Royce
Dodge started building 4WD trucks
Jeep specification issued
1941-1945 Ford and Willys-Overland built 700,000 General Purpose vehicles for
Land-Rover released, Porsche's first car had a 1086cc 30kW VW engine, Jaguar XK 120 launched, Holden 48-215
Suzuki's first motorcycle
Suzuki's first car
Porsche 911;it went on to be a classic
Range Rover released-luxury full-time 4WD
Specification for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled vehicle
1998 Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz merged to form DaimlerChrysler
Volvo cars sold to Ford
Ford bought Land-Rover
2002 Rolls Royce became pure BMW