The establishment of the automotive industry in Canada was 113 years ago, and it’s been over 40 years since we’ve opened our doors to provide the car repair services needed in the Lakeland. Are you sitting in a stunned silence yet? Stay with us! Check out our list and uncover a few surprising (and possibly bizarre) facts about the history of car repair and the automotive industry.
- A Need For The Industry
When the Model T car was first mass produced and available to the general public in 1908, only those involved in the design and building of the car were qualified to repair it. People were forced to turn to machinists and even bicycle repair shops!
Between 1908 and 1927, over 15 million Model T cars were produced. Cars were becoming more commonplace; manufacturers decided to make standardized parts that were easily interchangeable. During this time, dealerships and independent car repair companies started hiring mechanics and were easily able to repair vehicles using the pre-made parts!
- Impact of the Car
By the 1920s, cars had already begun making their mark on society. Roads were being constructed to be suitable for driving in all types of weather, houses were being built with garages and driveways, and people were given the ability to commute to work! New jobs were created to offer car repair as well.
- Armor-plated Limo
The day after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt rode in an armour-plated limo to Congress to deliver his declaration of war. The limo was seized by the Treasury Department from Al Capone after he received his famous tax evasion conviction!
- Windshield Wipers Were Invented by a Woman
Mary Anderson was visiting New York City when she noticed that a streetcar driver had to keep his window open during a sleet storm so he could manually clean his windshield with a squeegee. She received the patent but was unable to sell her invention to auto companies because they couldn’t see the commercial value. After her patent ran out in 1920, windshield wipers became a standard feature on cars.
- How Many?!
The average car has over 30,000 different parts.
- No Tunes Allowed
When the car radio was first introduced in 1922 by Chevrolet (and cost $200!), many government officials wanted to ban it immediately. Why? Officials felt it would distract drivers too much and cause accidents. Thankfully, the ban didn’t stick, and by 1963, over 60% of cars had radios installed.
- Soy What Now?
In 1941, Henry Ford made a car out of soybeans. Well, the frame had 14 plastic panels made from a chemical formula that included soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie. The car weighed 2000 lbs, which was 1000lbs lighter than a steel car.
There was a metal shortage at the time due to World War II, and Ford was seeking an alternative that could combine the automotive industry with agriculture.
- Staying Safe
Volvo created the three-point seatbelt design. Feeling so strongly that their invention would save lives, the patent was left open and available to other car manufacturers for free.
- Seeing Green
In the early years, cars were seen as the environmentally friendly option because of the waste left behind by horses.
- Top Speed
The world’s first real automobile race was held in 1895. The winner was going an astonishing 24 km/h. The first speeding ticket was issued to a motorist the following year for going 12 km/h when the speed limit was 3 km/h.
- Smooth Body
In 1953, Chevrolet put the fiberglass body into mass-production with the Corvette. Car repair became a little bit easier because fiberglass is easy to cut, and damaged sections can be quickly removed.
- War! What Is It Good For?
During WWII, Dodge made war materials that were used in weapons, tanks, aircraft and air raid sirens. Dodge also contributed more than 500,000 military trucks and over 18,000 aircraft engines.
- Show Me The Money!
In 1914, Ford announced their employees would be making $5.00 a day, which was more than double the current daily wage of the time. Workers now entered the middle class and could afford to buy the cars that they were building. Eventually, other manufacturers had to follow suit to maintain their employees.
- Safety First
The 1970s was a turning point in the car repair industry. Plastics were becoming readily available, and drivers wanted lighter, fuel efficient cars. The mandatory introduction of safety windshields, head restraints, torque boxes and seat belts, meant that vehicles were becoming safer, and car repair was becoming more standardized.
Understanding the history of car repair and the automotive industry means we can appreciate our beginnings. Car repair is constantly changing, as new innovative collision repair techniques are discovered. At JD Collision, we make a point to continually educate ourselves so we can offer the most up-to-date repair technology, getting you back on the road quicker and safer.
Did any of these facts have you perplexed? Let us know on our Facebook page!