Cars are defined as motor vehicle which is capable of carrying 1 to 8 people at a time along with its own engine. Most definition specifies its origin as a result of transporting passengers and not goods.

There was no single person who ran down the road announcing his achievement; rather different parts of the vehicle came down together gradually in bits; then, together.


The 17th and 18th Century

First automobile was built by Ferdinand Verbiest in 1672 for a Chinese emperor as a toy. It couldn’t carry a driver though. In 1770 and 1771, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot demonstrated a steam-driven artillery tractor to transport people and cargo. William Murdoch in 1784 in Redruth built a working model of steam carriage and in 1801 Richard Thevithick in Camborne has a full sized vehicle on road. Multi speed transitions, breaks and improved steering were developed gradually. The Locomotive act in UK in 1965 then required the self-propelled vehicles on roads to be escorted with a man in front on foot blowing a horn and waving a red flag.

The 19th Century

JosefBozek, a professor of PraguePolytechnic built an oil-fired steam car. It was followed by a four-seater steam phaeton by WalterHancock in 1838 and then a 4-wheeled ‘steam buggy’ by Henry Seth Taylor in 1867.

It was 1873 when French Amédée Bolléecame with the first real automobile as termed by some people.

Electrical Automobiles

  • AnyosJedlik built an early type of electric motor in 1828
  • Vermont blacksmith and Thomas Davenport in 1834 installed to test his motor in a small model car
  • Powered by non-rechargeable primary cells Professor Sibrandus Stratinghin 1835 created a small scale electrical car
  • Scotsman Robert Davidson in 1838 built a faster electrical locomotive
  • Invention continued with the advancement in internal combustion technology till late 19th and 20th century.

1890 in France was the marking year of automobile production on a commercial scale. It entered the market as a toy for the riches during early years. North America and Europe saw cheaper automobiles; accessible to middle class providing freedom to travel when and where they wanted. It was Henry Ford in 1903 who revolutionized the industry by lowering the rates to an affordable figure and paying handsomely to his workers.

Prevalent method of automotive propulsion defined the developments during these years. Post World War I with the economy bloom, the popularity of cars increased which further improved post the II war where the demand and availability had an inverse proportion. It was the Vintage era and then came the modern era.

The Modern era defined by trends in utility preferences, exterior styling and size has sedans, hatch back and sport utility vehicle which dominate the current market with improved combustion, speed and fuel efficiency. Today, since 2009, China continues to dominate the market in car manufacturing.