1903 Knox Runabout
The horizontally mounted, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine fitted to this car was nicknamed ‘Old Porcupine’ due to the large number of 3/16” studs screwed into the outside of the cylinder to increase the surface area for cooling.
1891 Panhard et Levassor
In 1887 Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor established a factory to build Daimler motors and they unveiled their first car in 1891. After experiments with locating the engine under the floor in the middle of the car and at the rear they opted for a front mounted power plant driving the rear wheels. The passengers all faced forwards, the steering was via the front wheels and the Systeme Panhard was to set the template for motoring during much of the 20th century.
1901 De Dion Bouton 4½hp
The famous De Dion motor tricycle entered production in 1897, and in 1900 they launched the ‘Vis-à-Vis’ Voiturette in which the driver sat on the rear seat and faced the passengers. The transmission was via a two-speed gearbox and the formula was so successful that De Dion sold 500 units, introducing a more powerful version of the single-cylinder engine.
1903 Ford Model A
The most reliable machine in the world’ was available in any colour you wished, provided that it was red. On the 15th July 1903 the Ford Motor Company received the first order for the Model A from Ernst Pfenning who spent the then vast sum of $850 on a Model A. One major advantage of the new Ford car was its two-cylinder eight horsepower engine which gave an extremely impressive top speed of 30 mph – although at that time there were comparatively few tarmac roads in the USA on which to experience such performance.