Facts About Cars

You have most likely been riding around in a car since you were a baby.

These vehicles are everywhere. Did you know there are over a billion cars in use today?

Read on to discover all about the car.




We will be exploring the history of the automobile, how the first cars worked, and much more.

So let’s get in high gear and discover the world of this cool vehicle.

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The History of the Car

Cars have gone through a lot of changes over the years.

Read on to explore the fascinating history of the automobile.

  • 1769 – Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot invents a car-like vehicle. It was a steam-powered tricycle.
  • 1807 – two brothers (Nicephore and Claude Niepce) were working on the internal combustion engine. Unfortunately, they choose to put in on a boat. Later that same year another inventor (Francois Isaac de Rivaz) also perfected this engine. However, he put it on a car.
  • 1886 – Carl Benz is the first to make a modern car. It was called the, Benz Patent-Motorwagen
  • 1888 – Carl Benz’s wife (Bertha Benz) took this automobile for a trip. Before this no one believed it could travel for long distances. She was also responsible for doing minor repairs along the way. Bertha even gave her husband suggestions that would improve the car.
  • 1892 – a German engineer (Ralph Diesel) invented a new and improved combustion engine.
  • 1897 – Diesel’s discoveries led him to invent the first diesel-powered engine.
  • 1902 – the popularity of automobiles grew. Ransom Olds makes the first production-line made cars, the Oldsmobiles.
  • 1908 – Henry Ford improves on the production line, making the first affordable cars.
  • 1914 – Ford’s cars were zipping off the production line. It only took 1.5 hours to make a car!

Today – cars are being used all over the world.

They come in all sizes, makes, and models and are much more efficient.

Ponder This: What did a car cost in 1908? Find out if you are right in More Car Facts below.


How the First Cars Worked

The first cars in history used many methods to work.

As knowledge grew of the engine, so did the means by which it ran.

Read on to see the different ways cars ran.

  • Steam-powered cars were the first. These used a fuel that heated water in a boiler. This super-hot water would turn to steam. The steam would expand and push the pistons. These would then turn a crankshaft, which powered the car.
  • Electricity was stored in a battery. The battery would power a small electric motor. This tuned the driveshaft and the car was on its way.
  • Gas-powered cars used a small explosion to ignite the cylinders inside the engine. This would then push the pistons and turn the crankshaft, which was attached to the wheels.

Ponder This: The first car did not have a steering wheel. What do you think was used instead?

Cars Today

All you have to do is look around a parking lot to see many different types of cars.

They come in every size imaginable from the huge Humvee to tiny electric cars. But there are also many other features cars come with today.

Check it out,

  • air conditioning
  • power windows
  • airbags
  • GPS computers
  • automatic parallel parking
  • hands-free telephones
  • voice activation
  • stop-control
  • instant starters
  • seat warmers
  • a huge range of colors and even artwork

Ponder This: Even though electric cars have been around for many years, they are becoming faster and more popular today.


Car Facts for Kids

  • Cars usually have four wheels
  • A car is used to carry passengers
  • Another name for the car is the automobile
  • It’s estimated that there are over 1 billion passenger cars in the world
  • Over 12 million cars are recycled in the U.S. every year
  • Just over 85% of a car’s material can be recycled
  • A car has about 30,000 parts
  • The world record for a traffic jam was in Beijing, China: August 2010 and was 62-miles long
  • The first cars used a lever, not a steering wheel? It wasn’t until 1894 that a racing car company incorporated a wheel instead of a lever.
  • A car cost $825.00 in 1908? That would be like thousands of dollars today.
  • Windshield wipers were introduced by a woman?
  • The first self-propelled car was used by France in their army? It moved canons.
  • In 1902 the first-ever speeding ticket was issued?
  • In 1922 the first gas gauge was placed inside of the car?
  • In 1929 the first car radio was invented?
  • Most American-made car horns beep in the key of “F”?


Now that you have learned all these fascinating facts, you can impress your friends and family with your new-found knowledge.

Who knows?

You might just become known as “the vehicle to all thing car-fun.”