Nelson Piquet

Brazilian race car driver and former Formula One World Champion, Nelson Piquet was Born 17th August 1952 in Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Brazil, the son of Estácio Gonçalves Souto Maior, a Brazilian physician. His father moved his family to the new capital, Brasília, in 1960 and became Minister for Health in João Goulart’s government (1961–64). Piquet had two brothers, Alexis, and Geraldo, and a sister Genusa. Piquet was the youngest of the children.

His father wanted Piquet to be a professional tennis player and was given a scholarship at a school in Atlanta. Piquet started playing tennis at the age of 11. He won tournaments in Brazil and eventually took a trip to California to test his skill against tougher American players. During his time, he had learned to speak English and greatly matured. His short tennis career saw Piquet to be prized as a good player but not thought sufficiently exciting for the sport, Piquet dropped out of a University two years into an engineering course in 1974. He was subsequently employed in a garage to finance his career, since he had no financial support from his family

Piquet secretly started kart racing at the age of 14, but because his father did not approve of his racing career, he used his mother’s maiden name Piquet (of French origin and pronounced as “Pee-Kè”) misspelt as Piket to hide his identity. Upon returning to Brazil, Piquet and three friends brought a 20 hp cart and participated in Brazilian go-karting (1971 and 1972 national champion) and in the local Formula Super Vee 1976 championship, on the advice of Emerson Fittipaldi, the first Brazilian Formula One world champion who sold the chassis for the Brazilian Formula Vee champion car with his brother, he arrived in European motor sports hailed as a prodigy. In the 1978 British Formula 3 season he broke Jackie Stewart’s record of the most wins in a season. he also made his Formula One debut in 1978 with the Ensign team and drove for Mclaren and Brabham.

In 1979, Piquet moved to the Brabham team and finished the runner-up in 1980 before winning the championship in 1981. Piquet’s poor performances in 1982 saw a resurgence for 1983 and his second world championship. For 1984-85, Piquet had once again lost chances to win the championship but managed to score three wins during that period. He moved to the Williams team in 1986 and was a title contender until the final round in Australia. Piquet took his third and final championship in 1987 during a heated battle with team-mate Nigel Mansell which left the pair’s relationship sour.

Piquet subsquently moved to Lotus for 1988-89 where he experienced his third drop in form. He eventually left the Lotus team and went to drive for the Benetton team for the 1990-91 season and he managed to win three races before retiring. After retiring from Formula One, Piquet tried his hand at the Indianapolis 500 for two years. He currently runs his own company Autotrac, which supplies tracking equipment for transport and also manages his son Nelson Piquet Jr.

Enzo Ferrari

Italian motor racing legend and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team and Ferrari automobile marque Enzo Ferrari, sadly died 14 August 1988. He was born February 18, 1898 in Modena, Italy. Ferrari grew up with little formal education but a strong desire to race cars. At the age of 10 and seeing 1908 Circuit di Bologna, he decided to become a racing Driver.During World War I he was assigned to the third Alpine Artillery division of the Italian Army. His father Alfredo, as well as his older brother, also named Alfredo, died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Ferrari became severely ill himself in the 1918 flu pandemic and was consequently discharged from Italian service. Upon returning home he found that the family firm had collapsed. Having no other job prospects, Ferrari eventually settled for a job at a smaller car company called CMN (Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali), redesigning used truck bodies into small passenger cars. He took up racing in 1919 on the CMN team, but had little initial success.

He left CMN in 1920 to work at Alfa Romeo and racing their cars in local races he had more success. In 1923, racing in Ravenna, he acquired the Prancing Horse badge which decorated the fuselage of Francesco Baracca’s (Italy’s leading ace of WWI) SPAD S.XIII fighter, given from his mother, taken from the wreckage of the plane after his mysterious death. This icon would have to wait until 1932 to be displayed on a racing car.In 1924 Ferrari won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. His successes in local races encouraged Alfa to offer him a chance of much more prestigious competition. Ferrari turned this opportunity down and did not race again until 1927. He continued to work directly for Alfa Romeo until 1929 before starting Scuderia Ferrari as the racing team for Alfa.Ferrari managed the development of the factory Alfa cars, and built up a team of over forty drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari. Ferrari himself continued racing until 1932.

The support of Alfa Romeo lasted until 1933. Only at the intervention of Pirelli did Ferrari receive any cars at all. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers, the company won few victories. Auto Union and Mercedes dominated the era, but Ferrari achieved a notable victory when Tazio Nuvolari beat them on their home turf at the German Grand Prix in 1935.In 1937 Alfa took control of its racing efforts again, reducing Ferrari to Director of Sports under Alfa’s engineering director. Ferrari soon left, but a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing cars for four years.In response, Ferrari organized Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. Ferrari did manage to manufacture two cars for the 1940 Mille Miglia, driven by Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni. During World War II his firm was forced to undertake war production for Mussolini’s fascist government. Following Allied bombing of the factory, Ferrari relocated from Modena to Maranello. It was not until after World War II that Ferrari could start making cars bearing his name, founding today’s Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947.

The first open-wheel race was in Turin in 1948 and the first victory came later in the year in Lago di Garda. Ferrari participated in the Formula 1 World Championship since its introduction in 1950 but the first victory was not until the British Grand Prix of 1951. The first championship came in 1952–53, with Alberto Ascari. The company also sold production sports cars in order to finance the racing endeavours not only in Grands Prix but also in events such as the Mille Miglia and Le Mans.Ferrari’s decision to continue racing in the Mille Miglia brought the company new victories and greatly increased public recognition. However, increasing speeds, poor roads, and nonexistent crowd protection eventually spelled disaster for both the race and Ferrari. During the 1957 Mille Miglia, near the town of Guidizzolo, a 4.0-litre Ferrari 335S driven by the flamboyant Alfonso de Portago was traveling at 250 km/h when it blew a tire and crashed into the roadside crowd, killing de Portago, his co-driver, and nine spectators, including five children. In response, Enzo Ferrari and Englebert, the tyre manufacturer, were charged with manslaughter in a lengthy criminal prosecution that was finally dismissed in 1961. Many of the firm’s greatest victories came at Le Mans (14 victories, including six in a row 1960–65) and in Formula One during the 1950s and 1960s, with the successes of Juan-Manuel Fangio (1956), Mike Hawthorn (1958), Phil Hill (1961) and John Surtees (1964).

In 1969 the problems of reduced demand and inadequate financing forced Ferrari to allow Fiat to take a stake in the company. Ferrari had previously offered Ford the opportunity to buy the firm in 1963 for US$18 million but, late in negotiations, Ferrari withdrew once he realised that he would not have been able to retain control of the company sporting program. Ferrari became joint-stock and Fiat took a small share in 1965 and then in 1969 they increased their holding to 50% of the company. (In 1988 Fiat’s holding rose to 90%). In 1974 Ferrari nominated Luca Cordero di Montezemolo sporting director. Niki Lauda won the championship in 1975 and 1977. After those successes and another title for Jody Scheckter in 1979, the company’s Formula One championship hopes fell into the doldrums.1982 opened with a strong car, the 126C2, world-class drivers, and promising results in the early races. However, Gilles Villeneuve was killed in the 126C2 in May, and teammate Didier Pironi had his career cut short in a violent end over end flip on the misty back straight at Hockenheim in August. Pironi had been leading the driver’s championship at the time. Ferrari remained chairman of the company until his death in 1988 but the team would not see championship glory again during his lifetime.

W. O. Bentley

English Engineer Walter Owen Bentley, MBE sadly died 13 August 1971. He was born 16 September 1888. in Hampstead, London, His father was retired businessman Alfred Bentley, and mother was Emily, née Waterhouse. He was as privately educated at Clifton College in Bristol from 1902 until 1905, when at the age of 16 he left to start work as an apprentice engineer with the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster in Yorkshire for five years . Here he learnt to design complex railway machinery and gained practical experience in the technical procedures to cast, manufacture, and build it. After completing his apprenticeship he left Great Northern in 1910 and began racing Quadrant, Rex, and Indian motorcycles. He competed in two Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races, on a Rex in 1909 and as a member of Indian’s factory team in 1910.

After studying theoretical engineering at King’s College London, he took employment with the National Motor Cab Company, where his several duties included overseeing the maintenance of the fleet’s 250 Unics. He was fascinated by the cabbies’ ingenuity at fiddling the meters. In 1912 he joined his brother, H. M. (Horace Millner) Bentley, in a company called “Bentley and Bentley” that sold French DFP cars. To improve performance Bentley designed Aluminium Alloy pistons and a modified crankshaft for the engines which went onto break several records at Brooklands in 1913 and 1914. During World War I Bentley used aluminium alloy pistons in military applications to benefit the national interest: as they improved power output and ran cooler, allowing higher compression ratios and higher engine speeds. He was Commissioned in the Royal Naval Air Service, and shared his knowledge and experience with various manufacturers. The company’s first aero engine, named the Eagle, was designed with pistons of aluminium instead of cast-iron or steel and the same innovation was also used in all Sunbeam’s aero engines. The Navy gave him a team to design his own aero engine at the Humber factory in Coventry. Designated the BR1, Bentley Rotary 1, And The bigger BR2 followed in early 1918. In recognition, Bentley was awarded the MBE. the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors also awarded him £8,000.

After the war, in early 1919, W. O. and his brother founded Bentley Motors Limited in Cricklewood and turned his aero engines business into one of car production. In a group that included Frank Burgess (Humber) and Harry Varley (Vauxhall), they designed a high quality sporting tourer for production under the name Bentley Motors and Engine designer Clive Gallop helped develop their 3,000 cubic centimetres (180 cu in) straight-4 engine. The 3-litre engine ran for the first time in New Street Mews, Baker Street, London. W.O.’s first complete Bentley 3 Litre car began road tests in January 1920 and the first production version arrived in 1921. W.O.’s motto was “To build a good car, a fast car, the best in class.” His cars raced in hill climbs and at Brooklands, and the lone 3 Litre entered by the company in the 1922 Indianapolis 500 mile race and driven by Douglas Hawkes finished thirteenth at an average speed of 74.95 mph. In 1922 Bentley entered a team of his new 3-litre modified and race-prepared cars in the 1922 Tourist Trophy driving himself in Bentley III. Jean Chassagne (later himself a ‘Bentley Boy’) on a 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeam winning outright. Bentleys set many records at the Le Mans 24-hour races, with “Bentley Boy” Woolf Barnato winning three times. In 1923 Bentley attended the inaugural Le Mans race, he saw John Duff and Frank Clement’s private entry take fourth place. ABentley 3 Litre won at Le Mans in 1924. However neither of the two Bentleys entered in the 1925 race finished it, but subsequent models won again in 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930, Prompting. Ettore Bugatti to comment that W.O. made “the fastest lorries in the world.”

Sadly Bentley Motors Ltd. encountered financial difficulties, And Kimberley diamond magnate Barney Barnato’s heir Woolf Barnato purchased the business’s assets and became chairman.W. O. continued his design work as Barnato’s employee. The racing version of the W.O.-designed six-cylinder Speed Six—the road car was introduced in 1928—proved to be the most successful Bentley in competition, and won Le Mans in 1929 and 1930. In 1929, a supercharged, “Blower” version of the 1927 4½ Litre was developed sadly though it was not a success. Although Barnato continued racing Bentleys with distinction, and even though the company sold a hundred of its 8 Litre model, which was launched as a grand car for the ultra-rich in October 1930 (Bugatti sold three of his equivalent model, the Royale), the Great Depression took its toll and By July 1931 Barnato’s financial support had dwindled, and Bentley Motors went into voluntary liquidation with a Receiver appointed to the company.

Rolls-Royce eventually bought the company in 1931 and production of the Bentley 8 Litre, which competed directly with the Rolls-Royce Phantom II, was terminated and production switched to Rolls-Royce premises in Derby and, postwar, Crewe. Rolls-Royce also acquired the Bentley showrooms in Cork Street, the service station at Kingsbury, the whole establishment at Cricklewood and Bentley himself and Barnato was invited to become a director of the new Rolls-Royce subsidiary, Bentley Motors (1931) Limited, Bentley also joined Rolls-Royce under a contract extending from 1 May 1932 to the end of April 1935 and Work began on The new Derby 3 1⁄2-litre. Although Bentley admired Rolls-Royce’s achievements he left Rolls-Royce at the end of April 1935 with a sense of freedom.

In 1935 Bentley joined the Lagonda board of directors as technical director, after A Lagonda M45R Rapide with a Meadows engine won at Le Mans with the majority of the Rolls-Royce racing department staff following him to Lagonda, including Frank Stark, Reg Ingham, Donald Bastow and Stewart Tresilian, who was Chief designer of the 4480 cc 180 Bhp V12 project launched in 1937 which could go from 7 to 105 mph in top gear and to rev to 5000 rpm. However Tresilian left in early 1938 for a Hawker Siddeley subsidiary and V12 development was abandoned. During the Second World war W. O. worked on armaments at Lagonda. towards the end of the war he began work on a new straight-6 engine as Lagonda’s V12 was too extravagant, so he developed a modern 2580 cc dual overhead cam straight-6 engine producing 105Bhp. In 1947 production of the Lagonda 2.6 litre motorcar designed by Mr W. O. Bentley, was cancelled. However this Lagonda specification was bought by David Brown & Sons (Huddersfield) Limited, gear-wheel manufacturer, along with Aston Martin to gain Bentley’s engineering expertise, and placed The under the bonnet of The Aston Martin DB2 and was used until 1959. Bentley remained as an engineer at Aston Martin-Lagonda until moving to Armstrong Siddeley, where he designed another twin-overhead-cam 3-litre engine for the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire before retiring. However He became a revered patron of The Bentley Drivers’ Club.

W. O. married three times. In 1914 he married Leonie Gore, the daughter of the ninth baronet, who tragically died in 1919 . He then married Poppy (Audrey Hutchinson) in 1920. a fun-loving society woman who disliked factories, whereas Bentley, a homely modest man loved to spend his time in the workshop. Needless to satpy this caused frictionand they divorced in 1931. He finally married Margaret Roberts Hutton née Murray in 1934 and she survived him until 1989. He had no children.

International Biodiesel Day

International Biodiesel Day is celebrated annually on 10 August to commemorate the occasion in 10 August 1893 when Rudolf Diesel’s prime model, a single 10 ft (3.0 m) iron cylinder with a flywheel at its base, ran on its own power for the first time in Augsburg, Germany, fuelled by nothing but pea-nut Oil. Rudolf Diesel and the Otto Company also exhibited a small Diesel Engine at the Paris Exhibition in 1900 (Exposition Universelle) Which ran on arachide (ground-nut or pea-nut) oil and worked so smoothly that only a few people were aware of it. The engine was constructed for using mineral oil, and was then worked on vegetable oil without any alterations being made. The French Government at the time thought of testing the applicability to power production of the Arachide, or earth-nut, which grows in considerable quantities in their African colonies, and can easily be cultivated there.” Diesel himself later conducted related tests and appeared supportive of the idea. In a 1912 speech Diesel said, “the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time.”

Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil – or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, ethyl, or propyl) esters. Transesterification of a vegetable oil was conducted as early as 1853 by Patrick Duffy, four decades before the first diesel engine became functional. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, soybean oil, animal fat (tallow) with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters. Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel in any proportions. Biodiesel blends can also be used as heating oil. The National Biodiesel Board (USA) defines “biodiesel” as a mono-alkyl ester.

Despite the widespread use of petroleum-derived diesel fuels, interest in vegetable oils as fuels for internal combustion engines was reported in several countries during the 1920s and 1930s and later during World War II. Belgium, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and China were reported to have tested and used vegetable oils as diesel fuels during this time. Some operational problems were reported due to the high viscosity of vegetable oils compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which results in poor atomization of the fuel in the fuel spray and often leads to deposits and coking of the injectors, combustion chamber and valves. Attempts to overcome these problems included heating of the vegetable oil, blending it with petroleum-derived diesel fuel or ethanol, pyrolysis and cracking of the oils.

On 31 August 1937, G. Chavanne of the University of Brussels, Belgium was granted a patent for a “Procedure for the transformation of vegetable oils for their uses as fuels” (fr. “Procédé de Transformation d’Huiles Végétales en Vue de Leur Utilisation comme Carburants”) Belgian Patent 422,877. This patent described the alcoholysis (often referred to as transesterification) of vegetable oils using ethanol (and mentions methanol) in order to separate the fatty acids from the glycerol by replacing the glycerol with short linear alcohols. This appears to be the first account of the production of what is known as “biodiesel” today. More recently, in 1977, Brazilian scientist Expedito Parente invented and submitted for patent, the first industrial process for the production of biodiesel. This process is classified as biodiesel by international norms, conferring a “standardized identity and quality. No other proposed biofuel has been validated by the motor industry.” As of 2010, Parente’s company Tecbio is working with Boeing and NASA to certify bioquerosene (bio-kerosene), another product produced and patented by the Brazilian scientist.

Research into the use of transesterified sunflower oil, and refining it to diesel fuel standards, was initiated in South Africa in 1979. By 1983, the process for producing fuel-quality, engine-tested biodiesel was completed and published internationally. An Austrian company, Gaskoks, obtained the technology from the South African Agricultural Engineers; the company erected the first biodiesel pilot plant in November 1987, and the first industrial-scale plant in April 1989 (with a capacity of 30,000 tons of rapeseed per annum). Throughout the 1990s, plants were opened in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. France launched local production of biodiesel fuel (referred to as diester) from rapeseed oil, which is mixed into regular diesel fuel at a level of 5%, and into the diesel fuel used by some captive fleets (e.g. public transportation) at a level of 30%. Renault, Peugeot and other manufacturers have certified truck engines for use with up to that level of partial biodiesel; experiments with 50% biodiesel are underway. During the same period, nations in other parts of the world also saw local production of biodiesel starting up: by 1998, the Austrian Biofuels Institute had identified 21 countries with commercial biodiesel projects. 100% biodiesel is now available at many normal service stations across Europe.

Charles Rolls (Rolls Royce)

English engineer, Motoring and aviation pioneer, businessman and co-founder of car and aero manufacturer Rolls-Royce Limited, Charles Stewart Rolls sadly died 12 July 1910. He was born in Berkeley Square, London, 27 August 1877. After attending Mortimer Vicarage Preparatory School in Berkshire, he was educated at Eton College where his developing interest in engines earned him the nickname dirty Rolls. In 1894 he attended a private crammer in Cambridge which helped him gain entry to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mechanical and applied science. In 1896, at the age of 18, he travelled to Paris to buy his first car, a Peugeot Phaeton, and joined the Automobile Club of France. His Peugeot is believed to have been the first car based in Cambridge, and one of the first three cars owned in Wales. An early motoring enthusiast, he joined the Self-Propelled Traffic Association which campaigned against the restrictions imposed on motor vehicles by the Locomotive Act, and became a founder member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain. Rolls was a keen cyclist and spent time at Cambridge bicycle racing. In 1896, he won a Half Blue and the following year became captain of the Cambridge University Bicycle Club.

Rolls graduated from Cambridge in 1898 and began working on the steam yacht Santa Maria followed by a position at the London and North Western Railway in Crewe. However, his talents lay more in salesmanship and motoring pioneering than practical engineering; in January 1903, with the help of £6,600 provided by his father, he started one of Britain’s first car dealerships, C.S.Rolls & Co. based in Fulham, to import and sell French Peugeot and Belgian Minerva vehicles. He was intorduced to Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on 4 May 1904 . Royce first started an electrical and mechanical business and made his first car, a two-cylinder Royce 10, in his Manchester factory in 1904, and of that year. Rolls was proprietor of an early motor car dealership, C.S.Rolls & Co. in Fulham. In spite of his preference for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the Royce 10, and in a subsequent agreement of 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make. All would be badged as Rolls-Royces, and be sold exclusively by Rolls.The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904.

Rolls-Royce Limited was formed on 15 March 1906, by which time it was apparent that new premises were required for production of cars. After considering sites in Manchester, Coventry, Bradford and Leicester, they moved to Derby. The new factory was largely designed by Royce, and production began in early 1908, with a formal opening on 9 July 1908 by Sir John Montagu. During 1906 Royce had been developing an improved six-cylinder model with more power than the 30hp. Initially designated the 40/50 hp, this was the company’s first all-new model. In March 1908 Claude Johnson, Commercial Managing Director and sometimes described as the hyphen in Rolls-Royce,succeeded in persuading Royce and the other directors that Rolls-Royce should concentrate on the new model, and discontinue all the earlier models. After the First World War, Rolls-Royce successfully avoided attempts to encourage the British car manufacturers to merge

Charles Royce has the dubious distinction of being the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident involving a powered aircraft, when he was tragically killed 12 July 1910 at the age of 32 when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display in the Southbourne district of Bournemouth.

During the early 1920’s Rolls Royce were Faced with falling sales of the 40/50 (later known as Silver Ghost) so the company introduced the smaller, cheaper Twenty in 1922, effectively ending the one-model policy followed since 1908. After the introduction of the Phantom model in 1925 this 40/50 model was referred to as the Silver Ghost. The new 40/50 was responsible for the company’s early reputation with over 6,000 built. In 1921, the company opened a second factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States (to help meet demand), where a further 1,701 “Springfield Ghosts” were built. This factory operated for 10 years, closing in 1931. Its chassis was used as a basis for the first British armoured car used in both world wars.In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired the much smaller rival car maker Bentley after the latter’s finances failed to weather the onset of the Great Depression. From soon after World War II until 2002 standard Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars were often identical apart from the radiator grille and minor details.In 1933, the colour of the Rolls-Royce radiator monogram was changed from red to black because the red sometimes clashed with the coachwork colour selected by clients, and not as a mark of respect for the passing of Royce as is commonly stated.

Rolls-Royce and Bentley car production moved to Crewe in 1946 where they began to assemble complete cars with bodies from the Pressed Steel Company (the new standard steel models) for the first time. Previously they had built only the chassis, leaving the bodies to specialist coach-builders. Rolls-Royce also started to produce diesel engines in 1951. Initially, these were intended for heavy tractors and earth-movers but, later, they were installed in lorries (e.g. Scammell), railcars, diesel multiple units and Sentinel shunting locomotives. Rolls-Royce took over Sentinel’s Shrewsbury factory for diesel engine production in 1956. The Rolls-Royce diesel business was acquired by Perkins in the 1980s. In 1971, Rolls-Royce was crippled by the costs of developing the advanced RB211 jet engine, resulting in the nationalization of the company as Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited. In 1973, the car division was separated from the parent company as Rolls-Royce Motors. Rolls Royce also made Torque converters and railcar engines were often used with Twin Disc torque converters which were built by Rolls-Royce under licence from Twin Disc of the USA. “Twin Disc” is the name of the company (which originally manufactured friction clutches) and does not describe the construction of the torque converter.

Sadly in 1971 Financial problems caused largely by development of the new RB211 turbofan engine led – after several cash subsidies – to the company being nationalised by the government. (Delay in production of the RB211 engine has also been blamed for the failure of the technically advanced Lockheed TriStar, which was beaten to launch by its chief competitor, the Douglas DC-10. In 1973 the motor car business was spun off as a separate entity, Rolls-Royce Motors. The main business of aircraft and marine engines remained in public ownership until 1987, when it was privatised as Rolls-Royce plc, one of many privatisations of the Thatcher government. Since then Rolls Royce has been bought by BMW and Bentley by Volkswagen.

International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day takes place annually on 23 June. The event commemorates the birth of English mechanical engineer and inventor Verena Holmes who was born 23 June 1889. She worked with marine, locomotive, diesel and internal combustion engines; and in 1924, she became first woman elected to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (although she wasn’t made a full member until the 1940s). She also became an associate member of the Institution of Marine Engineers; and was a strong supporter of women in engineering. She was also an early member of the Women’s Engineering Society, and its president in 1931, the same year she was admitted to the Institution of Locomotive Engineers.

Among Her many patents include the Holmes and Wingfield pneumo-thorax apparatus for treating patients with tuberculosis, a surgeon’s headlamp, a poppet valve for steam locomotives, and rotary valves for internal combustion engines, and several other patents medical devices and engine components; during WWII, she also worked on navel weaponry and trained women for munitions work, serving as headquarter technical officer with the Ministry of Labour (1940-1944). In 1946, founded the firm of Holmes and Leather, which employed only women, and published a booklet, Training and Opportunities for Women in Engineering.


More Events happening on 23 June

Pecan Sandies Day
UN Public Service Day
International Widows Day
International Women in Engineering Day

National Hydration Day takes place annually on 23 June. It was founded 23 June 2016 in honor of Coach Victor Hawkins, who invented a mouthguard that releases electrolytes to keep his players hydrated during games and practices. It is very important during hot summer weather, to keep your body hydrated, especially when engaged in physical activities such as sports.

Plastic Pink Flamingo Day takes place annually on 23 June. It was declared 23 June 2007 by Mayor Dean Mazzaralla of Leominster, Massachusetts to honor Don Featherstone who is credited with creating the lawn ornament,

James Hunt

Charismatic British Motor Racing legend James Hunt tragically died 15 June 1993 after suffering a heart attack. He was Born 29 August 1947, He began his racing career in touring car racing, Hunt progressed into Formula Three where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and was soon taken under their wing. Hunt’s often action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname “Hunt the Shunt”. Hunt entered Formula One in 1973, driving a March 731 entered by the Hesketh Racing team. He went on to win for Hesketh, driving their own Hesketh 308 car, in both World Championship and non-Championship races, before joining the McLaren team at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 World Drivers’ Championship, and he remained with the team for a further two years, although with less success, before moving to the Wolf team in early 1979. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season.

After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman, commenting on Grands Prix for the BBC. He was known for his knowledge, insights, dry sense of humour and his criticism of drivers who, he believed, were not trying hard enough, which in the process brought him a whole new fanbase. He was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame on 29 January 2014.