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The names of vehicles have been inspired by ideas, adjectives, philosophies and objects and of course by animals. Intriguingly many autos that were christened after the names of animals have been quite a hit during their life times. Following are some blockbuster vehicles that have had millions of eyes pry their gait with rapt attention on streets and freeways.
1. Barracuda (Plymouth): The Plymouth Barracuda was a car produced by the Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation from the years 1964 through 1974. The animal counterpart is a ray-finned fish that’s about 6 ft long and 1 ft wide. It has a characteristic fearsome appearance.
2. Beetle (Volkswagen): The actual name of this vehicle was the Volkswagen Type 1, but it was commonly called as the Beetle or Bug. The beetle was an economy car that was produced from 1938 until 2003. Later, the Volkswagen folks themselves began marketing it as a "Beetle," in the US by 1967. The insect beetle refers to a set of insects, that has the largest number of species, amounting to about
3. Bison (Chevrolet heavy-duty truck): The Chevrolet Bison was a heavy-duty Class 8 truck from General Motors, manufactured between 1977 and 1988. The animal Bison is a biological group containing six species of large variety of ungulates falling under the subfamily Bovinae. Just two of these species are extant, namely the American Bison and the European Bison.
4. Bluebird (Nissan): The Nissan Bluebird was a medium-sized car launched in 1957. The actual bluebirds are medium-sized, mostly insectivorous/omnivorous birds of the thrush family Turdidae. These attractive birds are mostly blue and red in color.
5. Bronco (Ford): The Ford Bronco was an SUV manufactured from 1966 till 1996, and continued for five generations. Irrespective of which year these vehicles were produced, they were by standard four-wheel drive and low range. Faunally, Bronco or bronc, is a term used in North America to refer to an untrained horse or the one that habitually bucks.
6. Cheetah (the Australian sports car): The Cheetah Racing Cars were manufactured in Australia. They were for the most part designed, engineered by Brian Shead. The first Cheetah was built and used in 1960. The quadruped cheetah is a member of the cat family (Felidae) that is well known for its unique ability in speed and stealth. It's the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour or 75 mph.
7. Cobra (Ford): The Ford SVT Mustang Cobra is a pony car by Ford being produced since the year 1993. It was a high-performance rendition of the Mustang built by Ford. The snake cobra, is a venomous snake that's generally found in the tropical and desert regions of Asia and Africa. Its most prominent feature is the hood, which is the part of its neck that flattens outwards when it's threatened.
|Founded||1 December 1914 Bologna|
|Key people||Sergio Marchionne (Chairman) |
Harald J. Wester (CEO)
|Revenue||€448 million (2009)|
Maserati is an Italian luxury car manufacturer established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. The company's headquarters is now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993. Inside the Fiat Group, Maserati was initially associated with Ferrari S.p.A., but more recently it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo.
The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (actually two straight eights mounted parallel to one another). Mario, an artist, is believed to have devised the company's trident emblem, based on one the Fontana del Nettuno, Bologna. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.
The war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. This failed, and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars; the Maserati A6 series did well in the post-war racing scene.
Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, an old Fiat engineer, with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experiences oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years. With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, and Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best engines and chassis to succeed in car racing. These new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O.S.C.A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, and, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCM.The famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio
|Fate||Sold to Hispano-Suiza in 1963|
|Key people||Ettore Bugatti (founder) |
|Products||Automobiles, aeroplane parts|
The original company is legendary for producing some of the most exclusive cars in the world, as well as some of the fastest. The original Bugatti brand failed with the coming of World War II, like many high-end marques of the time. The death of Ettore's son Jean was also a contributory factor. The company struggled financially, and released one last model in the 1950s, before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960s. Today the name is owned by Volkswagen Group, who have revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars.
Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in the town of Molsheim located in the Alsace. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic way in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore's family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (1856–1940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer). The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The company's success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron).
Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured Guilloché (engine turned) finishes on them, and safety wires threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed though a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy".
On 2 January 2009, it was revealed that a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atlantic had been found in the garage of a deceased surgeon in England. Only 17 of this model were made, all by hand.
On 10 July 2009, a 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 which had lain at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Switzerland and Italy for 75 years has been lifted out of the water. The Mullin Museum in Oxnard, CA bought it at auction for $351,343 at Bonham's Retromobile sale in Paris in 2010.
Throughout the production run of approximately 7,900 cars (of which about 2,000 still exist), each Bugatti model was designated with the prefix T for Type, which referred to the chassis and drive train.
1938 Type 57SC Atlantic from the
|Founded||28 May 1937|
|Key people||Martin Winterkorn: |
Chairman of the Board of Management,
Ferdinand Piëch : Chairman of Volkswagen Supervisory Board
Volkswagen.com (International)VW.com (US)
Volkswagen (abbreviated VW) is one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers. The company is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Volkswagen is the original marque within the Volkswagen Group, which includes the car marques Audi, Bentley Motors, Bugatti Automobiles, Automobili Lamborghini, SEAT, Škoda Auto and heavy goods vehicle manufacturer Scania.
Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, in which it is pronounced [ˈFOLKS-va-guhn]. Its current tagline or slogan is Das Auto (in English The Car). Among its largest owners are the Porsche family, the Emirate of Qatar and the state of Lower Saxony.
Volkswagen was originally founded in 1937 by the Nazi trade union, the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront). In the early 1930s German auto industry was still largely composed of luxury models, and the average German rarely could afford anything more than a motorcycle. Seeking a potential new market, some car makers began independent "peoples' car" projects – Mercedes' 170H, Adler's AutoBahn, Steyr 55, Hanomag 1,3L, among others. The trend was not new, as Béla Barényi is credited with having conceived the basic design in the middle 1920's. Josef Ganz developed the Standard Superior (going as far as advertising it as the "German Volkswagen"). Also, in Czechoslovakia, the Hans Ledwinka's penned Tatra T77, a very popular car amongst the German elite, was becoming smaller and more affordable at each revision. In 1933, with many of the above projects still in development or early stages of production, Adolf Hitler declared his intentions for a state-sponsored "Volkswagen" program. Hitler required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle (an average income being around 32RM a week).
Despite heavy lobbying in favour of one of the existing projects, Hitler chose to sponsor an all new, state owned factory. The engineer chosen for the task was Ferdinand Porsche. By then an already famed engineer, Porsche was the designer of the Mercedes 170H, and worked at Steyr for quite some time in the late 1920s. When he opened his own design studio he landed two separate "Auto für Jedermann" (car for everybody) projects with NSU and Zündapp, both motorcycle manufacturers. Neither project come to fruition, stalling at prototype phase, but the basic concept remained in Porsche's mind time enough, so on 22 June 1934, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche agreed to create the "People's Car" for Hitler.
Changes included better fuel efficiency, reliability, ease of use, and economically efficient repairs and parts. The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme ("Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren" — "Five Marks a week you must save, If to drive your own car you crave"), which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. Volkswagen honoured its savings agreements in West Germany (but not in East Germany) after World War II. Prototypes of the car called the "KdF-Wagen" (German: Kraft durch Freude — "strength through joy"), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine. The VW car was just one of many KdF programs which included things such as tours and outings. The prefix Volks— ("People's") was not just applied to cars, but also to other products in Europe; the "Volksempfänger" radio receiver for instance. On 28 May 1937, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH (sometimes abbreviated to Gezuvor) was established by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront. It was later renamed "Volkswagenwerk GmbH" on 16 September 1938.
Erwin Komenda, the longstanding Auto Union chief designer, developed the car body of the prototype, which was recognizably the Beetle known today. It was one of the first to be evolved with the aid of a wind tunnel, in use in Germany since the early 1920s.
The building of the new factory started 26 May 1938 in the new town of KdF-Stadt, now called Wolfsburg, which had been purpose-built for the factory workers. This factory had only produced a handful of cars by the time war started in 1939. None was actually delivered to any holder of the completed saving stamp books, though one Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on 20 April 1938 (his 49th birthday).
War meant production changed to military vehicles, the Type 82 Kübelwagen ("Bucket car") utility vehicle (VW's most common wartime model), and the amphibious Schwimmwagen which were used to equip the German forces..
The company owes its post-war existence largely to one man, British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst, REME. In April 1945, KdF-Stadt, and its heavily bombed factory were captured by the Americans, and subsequently handed over to the British, within whose occupation zone the town and factory fell. The factories were placed under the control of Oldham-born Hirst. At first, the plan was to use it for military vehicle maintenance. Since it had been used for military production, and had been in Hirst's words a "political animal" rather than a commercial enterprise, the equipment was in time intended to be salvaged as war reparations. Hirst painted one of the factory's cars green and demonstrated it to British Army headquarters. Short of light transport, in September 1945 the British Army was persuaded to place a vital order for 20,000. The first few hundred cars went to personnel from the occupying forces, and to the German Post Office.
Some British Service personnel were allowed to take their VW Beetles back to the United Kingdom when they were demobilised, and one of the very first Beetles brought back in that way (UK registration number JLT 420) is still owned by Peter Colborne-Baber, the son of the original proprietor of the UK's first official Volkswagen Importer, Colborne Garages of Ripley, Surrey.
By 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month, a remarkable feat considering it was still in disrepair. Owing to roof and window damage, rain stopped production and new vehicles were bartered for steel required for more production.
The car, and its town changed their Second World War-era names to "Volkswagen", and "Wolfsburg" respectively, and production was increasing. It was still unclear what was to become of the factory. It was offered to representatives from the British, American and French motor industries. Famously, all rejected it. After an inspection of the plant, Sir William Rootes, head of the British Rootes Group, told Hirst the project would fail within two years, and that the car "is quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer, is too ugly and too noisy … If you think you're going to build cars in this place, you're a bloody fool, young man". In an ironic twist of fate, Volkswagen would manufacture a locally built version of Rootes's Hillman Avenger in Argentina in the 1980s, long after Rootes had gone bankrupt at the hands of Chrysler in 1978—the Beetle outliving the Avenger by over 30 years.
Ford representatives were equally critical: the car was "not worth a damn," according to Henry Ford II, the son of Edsel Ford, although he did reportedly look at the possibility of taking over the VW factory, but dismissed the idea as soon as he looked up Wolfsburg on the map and found it to be too close for comfort to the East German border.
In Occupied Germany, the Allies followed the Morgenthau Plan, to remove all German war potential, by complete or partial pastoralisation. As part of this, in the Industrial plans for Germany, the rules for which industry Germany was to be allowed to retain were set out. German car production was set at a maximum of 10% of the 1936 car production numbers.
As mentioned above, the Volkswagen factory at Wolfsburg came under British control in 1945; it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain. Thankfully for Volkswagen, no British car manufacturer was interested in the factory; "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car … it is quite unattractive to the average buyer … To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise". The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead. Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid 1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. In March 1947 Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating: "There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it". Thanks to the protection of British Army Major Ivan Hirst, Volkswagen survived the perilous times, and became part of the German economic recovery.
From 1948, Volkswagen became a very important element, symbolically and economically, of West German regeneration. Heinrich Nordhoff (1899–1968), a former senior manager at Opel who had overseen civilian and military vehicle production in the 1930s and 1940s, was recruited to run the factory in 1948. In 1949 Major Hirst left association with the company, as it had now been re-formed as a trust, controlled by the West German government, and the government of the State of Lower Saxony. Apart from the introduction of the Volkswagen Type 2 commercial vehicle (van, pick-up and camper), and the VW Karmann Ghia sports car, Nordhoff pursued the one-model policy until shortly before his death in 1968.Volkswagens were first exhibited and sold in the United States in 1949, but only sold two units in America that first year. On its entry to the U.S. market, the VW was briefly sold as a "Victory Wagon". Volkswagen of America
|Type||Private limited company|
|Founded||11 September 1922 (as Swallow Sidecar Company), changed to Jaguar Cars Limited on 9 April 1945|
|Founder(s)||Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley|
|Headquarters||Whitley, Coventry, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Ratan Tata, Chairman |
Dr Ralf Speth, CEO
Mike O'Driscoll, Managing Director
|Parent||Jaguar Land Rover|
Jaguar Cars Ltd., better known simply as Jaguar, is a British luxury car manufacturer, headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors Ltd. and is operated as part of the Jaguar Land Rover business.
Jaguar was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company by Sir William Lyons in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before evolving into passenger cars. The name was changed to Jaguar after World War II due to the unfavourable connotations of the SS initials. Following a merger with the British Motor Corporation in 1968, subsequently subsumed by Leyland, which itself was later nationalised as British Leyland, Jaguar was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1989. Jaguar has, in recent years, manufactured cars for the Prime Minister, the most recent delivery being of a XJ model on 11 May 2010. The company also holds Royal Warrants from HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Charles.
Jaguar cars today are designed in Jaguar/Land Rover's engineering centres at the Whitley plant in Coventry and at Gaydon in Warwickshire, and are manufactured in two of Jaguar/Land Rover's plants; Castle Bromwich assembly plant in Birmingham and Halewood Body & Assembly near Liverpool.
Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, by two motorcycle enthusiasts, Sir William Lyons, William Walmsley, the SS Jaguar name first appeared on a 2.5 litre saloon in 1935, sports models of which were the SS 90 and SS 100.
The Jaguar name was given to the entire company in 1945 when the "SS" name was dropped due to its association with Germany's SS military organisation much publicised and in Britain greatly reviled during and following World War II. Cash was short after the war and Jaguar sold to Rubery Owen the plant and premises of Motor Panels, a pressed steel body manufacturing company which had been acquired in the late 1930s when growth prospects had seemed more secure. Nevertheless, Jaguar achieved relative commercial success with their early post war models: times were also tough for other Coventry based auto-makers and the company was able to buy from John Black's Standard Motor Company the plant on which Standard had built the six cylinder engines which, hitherto, they had been supplying to Jaguar.
Jaguar made its name by producing a series of extremely eye-catching sports cars, in the XK 120 of 1949, developed into XK 140 and XK 150, and the E Type (or XKE in the US) of 1961. These were all successful and embodied Lyons' mantra of 'value for money'. They were also highly successful on the international stage of motorsport, a path followed in the 1950s to prove the engineering integrity of the company's products.
Jaguar's sales slogan for years was "Grace, Space, Pace": a mantra epitomised by the record sales achieved by the MK VII, IX, Mks I and II saloons and later the XJ6.
The core of Bill Lyon's post World War II success was the Twin Cam Straight Six Cylinder Engine—a design conceived pre-war and realised while design staff at the Coventry plant were dividing their time between fire-watching (Coventry being a main industrial centre was a prime target for the Luftwaffe) and designing the new power plant.
To place this in focus, pre-war, a benchmark for racing and competition engines was the "Double Knocker", or Twin Cam engine: Jag's new engine was a hemispherical cross-flow cylinder head with valves inclined originally at 60 Degrees (Inlet) 45 Degrees (Exhaust) and later standardised to 90 Degrees for both Inlet and Exhaust.
As octane ratings of fuel were relatively low from 1948 onwards, three different pistons configurations were offered: Domed (High Octane) Flat (Medium Octane) and Dished (Low Octane).
The main designer, William "Bill" Heynes, ably assisted by Walter "Wally" Hassan was determined to design the Twin OHC unit. Bill Lyons agreed over misgivings from Hassan. The sheer concept of applying what had hitherto been considered a racing or low-volume and cantankerous engine, needing constant fettling into reasonable volume production everyday saloon cars was brave.
And simultaneously, brilliantly inspired.
And the subsequent engine was the mainstay powerplant of Jaguar, used in the revolutionary XK 120, Mk VII Saloon, Mk I and II Saloons and XK 140 and I50 as well as the stunning E Type, itself a development from the race winning and Le Mans conquering C and D Type Sports Racing cars.
(The E Type was the production version of the short-lived XKSS: a road-legal version of the famed D Type Sports Racing car and built mainly to use up redundant D Type Chassis. Production of the XKSS was cut short when a disastrous fire decimated essential jigs and tooling.)
Few engines have demonstrated such ubiquity and longevity: the Twin OHC "XK Engine", as it came to be known, was used in the new Jaguar XJ6 saloon in 1969 (which use continued right up until 1992!), and additionally employed as the power plant (in this case typed the J60) in such diverse vehicles as Scorpion tanks and armoured personnel carriers such as the Scimitar, Fox Milan reconnaissance and Fox Scout armoured vehicles, the Ferret and the Stonefield four wheel drive all-terrain lorry.
Properly maintained (Few were) the standard production XK Engine would happily achieve 200,000 miles of useful life.
Two of the proudest moments in Jaguar's long history in motor sport involved winning the Le Mans 24 hours race, firstly in 1951 and again in 1953. The 1955 victory was somewhat overshadowed by the tragic events that occurred. Later in the hands of the Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse (who went down in legendary status for twice pulling off a David v Goliath effort in the famed car-killing race) two more wins were added in 1956/57.
However it was always Lyons intention to build the business by producing world-class sporting saloon (sedan) cars in larger numbers possible than the sports cars. They enjoyed some degree of success in this aim with the early 3 & 3½ litre cars, the Mark 7/8/9, the compact saloons Mark I and 2, and XJ6 and XJ12. Again all were deemed to be very good value for money with their comfortable ride, good handling, high performance and great style.
In order to place Lyon's achievements into some relative perspective, it must be remembered that post-war Britain was riven with raw material shortages (All raw materials were allocated by the Ministry of Supply): furthermore, metallurgy was in an early stage, all of which makes Sir William Lyon's success all the more laudable.
Jaguar, pronounced /ˈdʒæɡjuːər/ JAG-ew-ər (U.K.) or pronounced /ˈdʒæɡwɑr/ JAG-wahr (U.S.), made its name in the 1950s with a series of elegantly styled sports cars and luxury saloons. In 1951 the company leased what would quickly become its principal plant from the Daimler Motor Company (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz), and in 1960 purchased Daimler from its parent company, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). From the late 1960s, Daimler was used as a brand name for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.
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