Colin Chapman CBE

Influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE, was Born 19 May 1928 Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London, joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly. Chapman left UCL without a degree in 1948, resitting his final Mathematics paper in 1949 and obtaining his degree a year late. He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission but turning this down in favour of a swift return to civilian life. After a couple of false starts Chapman joined the British Aluminium company, using his civil engineering skills to attempt to sell aluminium as a viable structural material for buildings.

In 1948 Chapman started building the Mk1, a modified Austin 7, which he entered privately into local racing events. He named the car “Lotus”. With prize money he developed the Lotus Mk2. With continuing success on through the Lotus 6, he began to sell kits of these cars. Over 100 were sold through 1956. It was with the Lotus 7 in 1957 that things really took off. In the 1950s, Chapman progressed through the motor racing formulae, designing and building a series of racing cars, sometimes to the point of maintaining limited production as they were so successful and highly sought after, until he arrived in Formula One. Besides his engineering work, he also piloted a Vanwall F1-car in 1956 but crashed into his teammate Mike Hawthorn during practice for the French Grand Prix at Reims, ending his career as a race driver and focusing him on the technical side. Along with John Cooper, he revolutionised the premier motor sport. Their small, lightweight mid-engined vehicles gave away much in terms of power, but superior handling meant their competing cars often beat the all-conquering front engined Ferraris and Maseratis. Eventually, with legendary driver Jim Clark at the wheel of his race cars, Team Lotus appeared as though they could win whenever they pleased. With Clark driving the legendary Lotus 25, Team Lotus won its first F1 World Championship in 1963. It was Clark, driving a Lotus 38 at the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, who drove the first ever mid-engined car to victory at the fabled “Brickyard.” Clark and Chapman had become particularly close and Clark’s death devastated Chapman, who publicly stated that he had lost his best friend. Among a number of legendary automotive figures who have been Lotus employees over the years were Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, founders of Cosworth. Graham Hill worked at Lotus as a mechanic as a means of earning drives.

In 1952 he founded the sports car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances he is remembered for. He was famous for saying “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, as his design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower and spring rates. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors’ titles, six Drivers’ Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978. The production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the industrial decline of the 1970s.

Chapman sadly passed away on 16th December 1982, aged 54 after suffering a fatal heart attack and Although Lotus is now owned by the Malaysian Automotive Company “Proton”, Chapman pioneered many innovations and Many of Which can still be seen in Formula One and other top-level motor sport (such as IndyCars) today. Such as struts as a rear suspension device. Even today, struts used in the rear of a vehicle are known as Chapman struts, while virtually identical suspension struts for the front are known as MacPherson struts, monocoque chassis construction, the tube-frame chassis, positive aerodynamic downforce, through the addition of wings, moving radiators away from the front of the car to the sides, to decrease frontal area (lowering aerodynamic drag). He also designed a Formula One car that generated all of its downforce through ground effect, eliminating the need for wings, which also had active suspension and a dual-chassis And eventually made its début with the Lotus 99T in 1987. Caterham Cars also still manufacture the Caterham 7 based on the Lotus 7, and there have been over 90 different Lotus 7 clones, replicas and derivatives offered to the public by a variety of makers.

Ferruccio Lamborghini

Italian industrialist and Manufacturing magnate Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini was born on 28 April 1916, to grape farmers from the comune of Renazzo di Cento in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. His mechanical know-how led him to enter the business of tractor manufacturing in 1948, when he founded Lamborghini Trattori, which quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the midst of Italy’s post-war economic reform. In 1963 Ferruccio Lamborghini founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, with the objective of producing a refined grand touring car to compete with offerings from established marques such as Ferrari. The company’s first models were released in the mid-1960s and were noted for their refinement, power and comfort. Lamborghini gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé, which established rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era. Lamborghini grew rapidly during its first decade, but hard times befell the company when sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 worldwide financial downturn and the 1973 oil crisis. Lamborghini was subsequently sold to the Mimrams And The firm’s ownership changed three times after 1973 in the wake of the Oil Crisis and a Worldwide Finacial Downturn including a bankruptcy in 1978. the Mimrams finally sold Lamborghini to the Chrysler Corporation who took control in 1987. They replaced the Countach with the Diablo and discontinued the Jalpa and the LM002.

However Chrysler found themselves unable to operate Lamborghini profitably, so they sold Lamborghini to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V’Power Corporation in 1994. Sadly Lamborghini’s financial difficulties continued throughout the 1990s, until Mycom Setdco and V’Power sold Lamborghini to the AUDI AG subsidiary of Volkswagen Group on 27 July 1998. Audi’s ownership marked the beginning of a period of stability and increased productivity for Lamborghini. Sales increased nearly tenfold over the course of the 2000s, peaking with record sales in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately The world financial crisis in the late 2000s negatively affected all luxury car makers worldwide, and caused Lamborghini’s sales to drop nearly 50 percent. Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese production facility produces V12 engines and finished automobiles. Lamborghini’s current production vehicles are the V10-powered Gallardo and the V12-powered Aventador. Both production models are available in a variety of regular and limited-edition specifications as well as Roadster versions. Lamborghini also produce the Reventon and the Huracan, which is the replacement for the Gallardo plus a variety of Concept models.

In 1969 Lamborghini also founded a fourth company, Lamborghini Oleodinamica, but sold off many of his interests by the late 1970s and retired to an estate in Umbria, where he pursued winemaking. Lamborghini Sadly passed away on February 20, 1993 At 76 years, at Silvestrini Hospital in Perugia after suffering a heart attack fifteen days earlier. Lamborghini is buried at the Monumental Cemetery of the Certosa di Bologna monastery. Today all of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s companies continue to operate today in one form or another. His son, Tonino, designs a collection of clothing and accessories under the Tonino Lamborghini brand. Ferruccio’s daughter, Patrizia Lamborghini, runs the Lamborghini winery on his Umbria estate. A museum that honors Lamborghini’s legacy, the Centro Studi e Ricerche Ferruccio Lamborghini, also opened in 2001.

Karl Benz

Generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, the German engineer & Automotive pioneer Karl Benz sadly passed away at his home in Ladenburg from a bronchial inflammation on April 4, 1929 at the age of eighty-four. He was born on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg (Karlsruhe). Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Next he studied at the Poly-Technical University. Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but went on to locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age fifteen, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. During these years, while riding his bicycle, he developed a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage.After his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, starting in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company. He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. In 1868 he went to Pforzheim to work for a bridge building company Gebrüder Benckiser Eisenwerke und Maschinenfabrik. Finally, he went to Vienna to work at an iron construction company.

At the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter at the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, later renamed Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working. Karl Benz led in the development of new engines & in 1878 he began to work on new patents. First creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach were also working on similar engines, but Benz was the first to make the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. Karl Benz showed genius, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition, the spark plug, the carburettor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator.

in 1882 The company became Gasmotoren Fabrik Mannheim, but Benz left in 1883 and got a job at a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Company Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, (Benz & Cie) which began producing static gas engines as well. Benz continued his ideas for a horseless carriage. Using a similar technology to that of motorcycles he created an automobile, which had wire wheels with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels and a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it the Benz Patent Motorwagen. This was the first automobile entirely designed to generate its own power, and not simply a motorized-stage coach or horse carriage.

Then In 1886 Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, This was then subsequently modified and in 1887, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year. Benz began to sell the vehicle making it the first commercially available automobile in history, then In Early 1888 another gear was added to The Motorwagen allowing it to climb hills. To generate publicity and demonstrate the feasibility of using the Benz Motorwagen for travel, Benz’s wife Bertha took her first long distance automobile trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim , using one of the vehicles.Having to locate pharmacies on the way to fuel up, and repairing various technical and mechanical problems during the journey, Including adding leather to the brake blocks to make them more effective thus inventing brake lining. She arrived at her destination and sent Karl Benz a Telgram announcing the fact & Today the event is considered world’s first long-distance journey by automobile.

This event is celebrated every two years in Germany with an antique automobile rally called the Bertha Benz Memorial Route and is signposted from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim (Black Forest) and back. Benz’s Model 3 made its debut at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. there was a great demand Benz’s vehicles and By 1899 Benz was the largest automobile company in the world. In 1893 Benz created a less expensive vehicle suitable for mass production – the Victoria. This was a two-passenger automobile with a 2.2 kW (3.0 hp) engine, which could reach the top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) and had a pivotal front axle operated by a roller-chained tiller for steering. The Benz Velo also participated in the world’s first automobile race, the 1894 Paris to Rouen, where Émile Roger finished 14th, after covering the 127 km (79 mi) in 10 hours 01 minute at an average speed of 12.7 km/h (7.9 mph). In 1895, Benz designed the first truck in history, some of these were subsequently modified to become the first motor buses.

In 1896, Karl Benz created the first flat engine. It had horizontally opposed pistons, where the corresponding pistons reach top dead centre simultaneously, thus balancing each other with respect to momentum. Flat engines with four or fewer cylinders are most commonly called boxer engines or horizontally opposed engines. This design is still used by Porsche, Subaru, and some high performance engines used in racing cars (Like the Subaru Impreza WRC) and BMW motorcycles. Competitions between Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in Stuttgart and Benz & Cie became intense. The main designer of DMG, Wilhelm Maybach, built the engine to the specifications of Emil Jellinek, who stipulated the new engine be named Daimler-Mercedes (after his daughter) and began racing the vehicles with great success. So Benz countered with the Parsifil, in 1903 with a vertical twin engine that achieved a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). In 1903 Karl Benz announced his retirement from design management but remained as director on the Board of Management through its merger with DMG in 1926 and, remained on the board of the new Daimler-Benz corporation until his death in 1929. Benz son Richard returned to the company in 1904 as the designer of passenger vehicles along with continuing as a director of Benz & Cie.

In 1906 Karl Benz, Bertha Benz, and their son, Eugen, then founded the private company, C. Benz Sons (German: Benz Söhne), producing automobiles and gas engines. The latter type was replaced by petrol engines because of lack of demand. The Benz Sons automobiles were of good quality and became popular in London as taxis.In 1909, the Blitzen Benz was built in Mannheim by Benz & Cie. The bird-beaked vehicle had a 21.5-liter (1312ci), 150 kW (200 hp) engine, and on November 9, 1909 in the hands of Victor Hémery of France, the land speed racer at Brooklands, set a record of 226.91 km/h (141.94 mph). on November 25, 1914, the seventy-year-old Karl Benz was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, the Karlsruhe University, thereby becoming—Dr. Ing. h. c. Karl Benz.

sports car racing became a major method to gain publicity for manufacturers and the Benz Velo participated in the first automobile race: Paris to Rouen. soon Unique race vehicles were being built. Including the Benz Tropfenwagen, which was introduced at the 1923 European Grand Prix at Monza and became the first mid-engine aerodynamically designed Racing car.In 1924 both Benz Cie and DMG started using standardized design, production, purchasing, sales, and advertising— marketing their automobile models jointly—although keeping their respective brands. Then in 1926, Benz & Cie. and DMG finally merged as the Daimler-Benz company, naming all of its automobiles, Mercedes Benz, after ten-year-old Mercédès Jellinek. A new logo was created, consisting of a three pointed star (representing Daimler’s motto: “engines for land, air, and water”) with the laurels from the Benz logo.The Benz home is historic and is now used as a scientific meeting facility for the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation, which honors both Bertha and Karl Benz for their roles in the history of automobiles.

Motor Racing legends

Jack Brabham🏁


Australian race car driver Sir John Arthur “Jack” Brabham, AO, OBE was born 2 April 1926. He was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name. Brabham was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic and ran a small engineering workshop before he started racing midget cars in 1948. His successes with midgets in Australian and New Zealand road racing events led to his going to Britain to further his racing career. There he became part of the Cooper Car Company’s racing team, building as well as racing cars. He contributed to the design of the mid-engined cars that Cooper introduced to Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and won the Formula One world championship in 1959 and 1960. In 1962 he established his own Brabham marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac, which in the 1960s became the largest manufacturer of customer racing cars in the world. In the 1966 Formula One season Brabham became the first – and still the only – man to win the Formula One world championship driving one of his own cars. He was the last surviving World Champion of the 1950s. Brabham retired to Australia after the 1970 Formula One season, where he bought a farm and maintained business interests, which included the Engine Developments racing engine manufacturer and several garages. Brabham sadly died 19 May 2014.


JUHA KANKKUNEN🏁

Finnish rally driver Juha Matti Pellervo Kankkunen was born 2 April 1959 in Laukaa His factory team career in the World Rally Championship lasted from 1983 to 2002. He won 23 world rallies and four drivers’ world championship titles, which were both once records in the series. Sébastien Loeb has since collected more world titles, but no driver has so far been able to repeat Kankkunen’s feat of becoming a world champion with three different manufacturers. Kankkunen was signed by Toyota in 1983 and he took his first WRC win in his third year in the team. His performances got him a deal with the defending champions Peugeot for 1986, and Kankkunen was soon crowned the series’ then youngest-ever champion. As Peugeot withdrew from the championship following the ban of Group B, Kankkunen moved to Lancia and became the first driver to successfully defend his title. After a two-year stint back at Toyota, he returned to Lancia and won a record third title in 1991.

In 1993, Kankkunen re-joined Toyota and won his fourth title. Following Toyota’s disqualification and 12-month ban in 1995, Kankkunen did not return to active participation in the series until joining Ford halfway through the 1997 season replacing an underperforming Armin Schwarz. After moving to Subaru for 1999, he took his first win in over five years. Before retiring after the 2002 season, he competed part-time for Hyundai. Kankkunen’s achievements outside the WRC include winning the Dakar Rally in 1988 and the Race of Champions in 1988 and 1991. Following his retirement from active rallying, he has worked in the fields of business and politics. In 2007, Kankkunen set the world speed record on ice in a Bentley Continental GT. In 2011, he set a further record of 330.695 km/h in a convertible Bentley Continental Supersports.


MIKE HAILWOOD

British Grand Prix motorcycle road race Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM was born 2April 1940. Hailwood became known as “Mike The Bike” because of his natural riding ability on bikes with a range of engine capacities. Hailwood saw his first race at age 10 with his father, and first spectated at the Isle of Man TT races in 1956.VHe first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park. Barely 17, he finished in 11th place. In 1958 he won ACU Stars at 125 cc, 250 cc, and 350 cc classes, earning him the Pinhard Prize, an accolade awarded yearly to a young motorcyclist under 21. He teamed with Dan Shorey to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race and finished well in four classes of TT race with one podium. By 1961, Hailwood was racing for an up-and-coming Japanese factory named Honda. In June 1961, he became the first man in the history of the Isle of Man TT to win three races in one week when he won in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc categories.[7] He lost the chance at winning a fourth race when his 350 AJS failed with a broken gudgeon pin whilst leading. Riding a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250 cc Honda, Hailwood won the 1961 250cc world championship. In 1962, Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships and In February 1964 during preparations for the US Grand Prix, Hailwood set a new one-hour speed record on the MV 500 cc recording an average speed of 144.8 mph (233.0 km/h) on the oval-shaped, banked speed-bowl at the Daytona circuit. The previous record of 143 mph (230 km/h) was set by Bob McIntyre on a 350 cc Gilera at Monza in 1957. Hailwood then went on to win the GP race, which carried World Championship points, in the afternoon of the same day.[9]

During 1965, Hailwood entered selected UK events riding for the Tom Kirby Team. In heavy rain, Hailwood won the 1965 Hutchinson 100 Production race at the Silverstone circuit on a BSA Lightning Clubman entered by dealer Tom Kirby, beating the Triumph Bonnevilles entered by Syd Lawton.[10] The ‘Hutch’ was a main production race of the season along with the Thruxton 500, so it was very important for manufacturers to establish the racing potential of their recent models. As this was production-based racing open to all entrants, ‘official’ works teams were ineligible; instead, machines were prepared and entered through well-established factory dealers. BSA Lightning Clubmans were ridden by Hailwood (carrying number 1 on the fairing) and factory rider Tony Smith, whilst Triumph Bonnevilles were ridden by World Champion Phil Read and works employee Percy Tait. Conditions were poor and Smith was out of the race at slippery Stowe Corner. With little regard for the rain, Hailwood was achieving laps of 83 mph (134 km/h) to establish his winning lead. After his successes with MV Agusta, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in the 250 cc and 350 cc categories. At the ‘Motor Cycle’ 500 race at Brands Hatch in 1966, Hailwood demonstrated a Honda CB450 Black Bomber fitted with a sports fairing. It was unable to compete in the 500cc category, the FIM deeming it was not classified as a production machine as it had two overhead camshafts.

Hailwood is remembered for his accomplishments at the famed Isle of Man TT. By 1967, he had won 12 times on the island mountain course. He won the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini setting a lap record of 108.77 mph (175.05 km/h) on the Honda RC181, that stood for the next 8 years. After suffering breakdowns in 1967, Hailwood had intended to re-sign for Honda provided the 1968 machinery was to his satisfaction, and had relocated to South Africa where he started a building business with former motorcycle Grand Prix rider Frank Perris, completing their first house in October 1967, also selling one to ex-racer Jim Redman. Hailwood stated to Motorcycle Mechanics that even without suitable machinery from Honda he would not go elsewhere, preferring to retire prematurely and he would in any case finish at the end of the 1968 season. For 1968, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but paid Hailwood £50,000 (equivalent to over £620,000 or US$1.1m at 2006 prices) not to ride for another team, in expectation of keeping him as its rider upon return to competition.

Hailwood continued to ride Hondas during 1968 and 1969 in selected race meetings without World Championship status including European events in the Temporada Romagnola (Adriatic Season of street-circuits), sometimes wearing an unfamiliar plain-silver helmet, including on a 500 cc engined machine which used frames privately commissioned by Hailwood. Hailwood also appeared in selected UK events, in 1968 appearing in the post-TT race at Mallory Park on a Honda, and in 1969 he participated in the Mallory Park Race of the Year riding a Seeley He had already started to race cars and with no other factory racing teams available to compete against MV Agusta, Hailwood decided to pursue a career in car racing, placing third in the 1969 Le Mans 24-Hour race in France as a co-driver of a Ford GT40 with David Hobbs.

In 1970, Hailwood was again lured back into bike racing, this time by the BSA team riding a Rocket 3 at the Daytona 200 race in Florida, part of a strong BSA/Triumph team. Whilst placed at the head of the field the machine soon failed due to overheating. Hailwood again rode for BSA at the 1971 Daytona race, qualifying on the front row. He led the race but again broke down. Mike’s son David Hailwood completed a demonstration lap of the Isle of Man TT course on 3 June 2002, riding Mike’s Daytona 1971 BSA Rocket 3 carrying large letters ‘H’ instead of a race number. He crashed at low speed when waving to the spectators at Governor’s Bridge, a tight hairpin bend close to the end of the 37-mile course. He became one of the few men to compete at Grand Prix level in both motorcycle and car racing and is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time. Hailwaood sadly died 21 March 1981.


WILL HOY

English racing driver and 1991 British Touring Car Champion will Hoy was born 2 April 1952 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. Hoy did not begin racing until his late 20s and first raced at international level in 1985, taking on the full World Sportscar Championship including Le Mans. Over the next few years, he raced in an assortment of championships and one-off races, the highlight undoubtedly being second overall in the 1988 All Japan Touring Car Championship. Hoy supplemented his racing career as a fully qualified chartered surveyor, employed first by Bernard Thorpe and latterly by DTZ.

For 1991 he concentrated on the BTCC, in the first season of Super Touring regulations. Although manufacturers including Vauxhall and Toyota had factory entries, the established BMWs were the car to have initially. Will made full use of his opportunity in a car entered by Vic Lee, building a championship lead nobody was able to overhaul. He also won the Willhire 24 Hour at Snetterton in a BMW M3, partnering Ray Bellm and Kurt Luby. For 1992 he was signed by the Toyota team, went into the final round in a three way tussle for the championship but was beaten by Tim Harvey’s BMW. However, the car was not competitive in subsequent seasons, Toyota won once in 1993 with Julian Bailey at Knockhill. The closest Will came was at Silverstone in 1993, when he was punted off onto his roof by team-mate Julian Bailey, an incident remembered for Murray Walker’s commentary line “the car upside down is a Toyota”, a play on the company’s advertising slogan of the time (The car in front is a Toyota).

Despite 2 largely result-free seasons, Will was still an established star, and Renault hired him alongside Alain Menu for 1995. The early part of the season was a disaster, with many mechanical failures and crashes, although in the latter part of the season Will moved up to 4th with 3 race wins, in what was now the fastest car. Hopes of a title push for 1996 was erased by the entry of the 4-wheel drive Audi of Frank Biela. Although Menu was again championship runner-up, Will slipped back to 9th. The BTCC of this era was dominated by high-investment manufacturer teams, largely made up of overseas former single-seater drivers. Like Tim Harvey and Robb Gravett, Will was struggling to remain in a competitive car or make use of it. He went to a fading Ford team for 1997 and 1998. 1997 was somewhat disappointing but 1998 was a much better performance, with Hoy finishing in the top 10 in the championship in one of the least competitive works cars and even picked up a race win at Round 4 at Silverstone. Hoy raced independently for part of 1999, outperforming the rest of the independents in a half-season campaign in the Arena Motorsport Renault Laguna before entering semi-retirement. His last appearance came at Silverstone in 2000 in a Class B Vic Lee Racing Peugeot 306, securing pole position in class for both races, but retired from both races with mechanical failures. Hoy was a commentator for the 2002 BTCC season alongside Ben Edwards in addition to being part of the works Honda BTCC team in a managerial role alongside driver, Andy Priaulx. Tragically In late 2002, Hoy suffered a brain tumour and sadly died 19 December. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Sir Henry Royce (Rolls Royce)

Sir Henry Royce the co- founder of World Renowned Luxury Car Manufacturer Rolls-Royce was born 27th March 1863. Henry 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 was introduced to Charles Rolls at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on 4 May 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 exclusively on the new model, and all the earlier models were duly discontinued. After the First World War, Rolls-Royce successfully avoided attempts to encourage the British car manufacturers to merge. Faced with falling sales of the 40/50 (later known as Silver Ghost) 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 by 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 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 it has been bought by German Automobile Manufacturer BMW

Craig Breedlove

Five-time world land speed record holder Craig Breedlove was born March 23, 1937. He was the first to reach 400 mph (640 km/h), 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named Spirit of America. In 1962, he made his first attempt, in a freewheeling tricycle (ignoring FIA rules requiring four wheels, at least two driven; in the event, FIM happily accepted it powered by a General Electric J47 engine. On 5 August 1963, this first Spirit made her first record attempt, using just 90% of available thrust to reach 388.47 mph (625.18 km/h) over the measured mile. The return pass, on 95% power, turned up a two-way average of 407.45 mph (655.73 km/h). Spirit of America was so light on the ground, she did not even need to change tires afterward. For 1964, Breedlove faced competition from Art Arfons’ Wingfoot Express (piloted by Tom Green) as well as from brother Art Arfons in his four-wheel FIA-legal Green Monster. With more engine power, Breedlove upped the record to 468.72 mph (754.33 km/h) then to 526.28 mph (846.97 km/h). making him the first man to exceed 500 mph (800 km/h). This pass was not without incident, however, for one of his drogue parachute’s shroud lines parted, and Spirit of America ran on for 5 mi (8.0 km) before near-missing a telegraph pole and coming to rest in a lake. This record stood all of twelve days before Green Monster broke it, recording a two-run average of 536.71 mph (863.75 km/h).

In response, Breedlove built an FIA-legal four-wheeler, Sonic 1, powered by a 15,000 lbf (67 kN) J79. 2 November 1965, Breedlove entered the FIA record book with a two-run average of 555.483 mph (893.963 km/h). This lasted even less time than before, for Green Monster came back five days later at 576.553 mph (927.872 km/h). On 15 November, Breedlove responded with a 600.601 mph (966.574 km/h) record (after turning in an amazing 608.201 mph (978.805 km/h) return pass), which held until 1970. (It would be broken by Gary Gabelich’s Blue Flame, which reached 630.388 mph (1,014.511 km/h).) To take the record back, Breedlove planned a supersonic rocket car, “complete with ejector seat!” (After winding up in a lake, this is understandable.) Also in 1965, Breedlove’s wife, Lee, took the seat in Sonic 1, making four passes and achieving 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h), making her the fastest woman alive, and making them the fastest couple, which they remain.During 1968, Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove & Associates started to package a deal that saw Utah’s Governor, Calvin Rampton provide a hangar facility for the construction of a supersonic car. Bill Lear, of Learjet fame, was to provide support, along with his friend Art Linkletter. Playboy magazine hoped to have the car painted black, with a white bunny on the rudder. TRW was supplying a lunar lander rocket motor. A change in public interest saw the concept shelved for a period of time.They also negotiated for the use of the late Donald Campbell’s wheel-driven Bluebird CN7 record-breaker. (See below)

After a lengthy break from world records and making his name as a real estate agent, Breedlove began work on a new Spirit in 1992, eventually named Spirit of America Formula Shell LSRV. The vehicle is 44 ft 10 in long, 8 ft 4 in wide, and 5 ft 10 in high (13.67 m by 2.54 m by 1.78 m) and weighs 9,000 lb (4,100 kg), construction is on a steel tube or space frame with an aluminium skin body. The engine is the same as in the second Spirit, a J79, but it is modified to burn unleaded gasoline and generates a maximum thrust of 22,650 lbf (100.75 kN).The first run of the vehicle on October 28, 1996 in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada ended in a crash at around 675 mph (1,086 km/h). Returning in 1997 the vehicle badly damaged the engine on an early run and when the British ThrustSSC managed over 700 mph (1,100 km/h), the re-engined Spirit could do no better than 676 mph (1,088 km/h). Breedlove believes the vehicle is capable of exceeding 800 mph (1,300 km/h), but has yet to demonstrate this.In late 2006 it was announced that Breedlove sold the car to Steve Fossett who was to make an attempt on the land speed record in 2007, marking the end of an era of land speed record breaking. Fossett died in a plane crash in 2007. Breedlove’s vehicle, renamed the “Sonic Arrow”, was rolled out on the Black Rock Desert for a photo opportunity on October 15, 2007. The effort to run the car continues with the team presently recruiting drivers

Donald Campbell

British World Land and Water speed record holder Donald Malcolm Campbell, CBE was born 23 March 1921. He broke eight absolute world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). Campbell began his speed record attempts using his father’s old boat Bluebird K4, but after a structural failure at 170 mph (270 km/h) on Coniston Water, Lancashire in 1951, and the death of John Cobb, who was killed in 1952 trying to break the water speed record, he decided that he would develop a new boat. Designed by Ken and Lew Norris, the Bluebird K7 was an all-metal jet-propelled 3-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engine producing 3,500 lbf (16 kN) of thrust. It was unveiled in late 1954, and taken, in January 1955, to Ullswater Westmorland in the English Lake District for its initial trials. After many, problems and a number of modifications to K7, Campbell finally succeeded on Ullswater on 23 July 1955, where he set a record of 202.15 mph (325.33 km/h), beating the previous record by some 24 mph (39 km/h) held by Stanley Sayres.The name “K7″ was derived from its Lloyd’s unlimited rating registration. It was carried in a prominent circular badge on its sponsons, underneath an infinity symbol. Campbell set a total of seven world water speed records in K7 between 1955 and 1964. The series of speed increases—216 mph (348 km/h) later in 1955, 225 mph (362 km/h) in 1956, 239 mph (385 km/h) in 1957, 248 mph (399 km/h) in 1958, 260 mph (420 km/h) in 1959—peaked on 31 December 1964 at Dumbleyung Lake, Western Australia when he reached 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h); he remains the world’s most prolific breaker of water speed records. Campbell was awarded the CBE in January 1957 for his water speed record breaking, and in particular his record at Lake Mead in the USA which earned him and Britain very positive acclaim.

In 1956, Campbell began planning a car to break the land speed record, which then stood at 394 mph (634 km/h). The Norris brothers designed Bluebird-Proteus CN7 with 500 mph (800 km/h) in mind. The CN7 was completed by the spring of 1960, and was powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus free-turbine engine of 4,450 shp (3,320 kW). Following low-speed tests conducted at the Goodwood circuit in Sussex, England, the CN7 was taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, scene of his father’s last LSR triumph in 1935. The attempt was unsuccessful and CN7 was written off following a high-speed crash in September at Bonneville. Campbell was seriously hurt, suffering a fracture to his lower skull, and was by 1961 on the road to recovery and planning the rebuild of CN7. The rebuilt car was completed, with minor modifications, in 1962 and, by the end of the year, was shipped to Australia for a new attempt at Lake Eyre in 1963. The Lake Eyre location was chosen as it offered 450 square miles (1,170 km2) of dried salt lake, where rain had not fallen in the previous 20 years, and the surface of the 20-mile (32 km) track was as hard as concrete. As Campbell arrived in late March, with a view to a May attempt, the first light rain fell. Campbell and Bluebird were running by early May but once again more rain fell, and low-speed test runs could not progress into the higher speed ranges. By late May, the rain became torrential, and the lake was flooded. Campbell had to move the CN7 off the lake to save the car from being submerged by the rising flood waters.

Campbell and his team returned to Lake Eyre in 1964, but the surface never returned to the promise it had held in 1962 and Campbell had to battle with CN7 to reach record speeds (over 400 mph (640 km/h)). After more light rain in June, the lake finally began to dry enough for an attempt to be made. On 17 July 1964, Campbell set a record of 403.10 mph (648.73 km/h) for a four-wheeled vehicle (Class A). Campbell was disappointed with the record as the vehicle had been designed for much higher speeds. CN7 covered the final third of the measured mile at an average of 429 mph (690 km/h), peaking as it left the measured distance at over 440 mph (710 km/h). In 1969, after Campbell’s fatal accident, his widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell negotiated a deal with Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove and Associates, that would see Craig Breedlove run Bluebird on Bonneville’s Salt Flats. This concept was cancelled when the parallel Spirit of America supersonic car project failed to find support.Campbell now reverted to Bluebird K7 for a further attempt on the water speed record. After more delays, he finally achieved his seventh WSR at Lake Dumbleyung near Perth, Western Australia, on the last day of 1964, at a speed of 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h). He had become the first, and so far only, person to set both land and water speed records in the same year. Campbell’s land record was short-lived, because rule changes meant that Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America, a pure jet car, would begin setting records later in 1964 and 1965. Campbell’s 429 mph (690 km/h) speed on his final Lake Eyre run remained the highest speed achieved by a wheel-driven car until 2001; Bluebird CN7 is now on display at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire, England, her potential only partly realised.

Donald Campbell decided a massive jump in speed was called for following his successful 1964 LSR attempt in Bluebird CN7. His vision was of a supersonic rocket car with a potential maximum speed of 840 mph (1,350 km/h). Norris Brothers were requested to undertake a design study Bluebird Mach 1.1 (CMN-8) was a design for a rocket-powered supersonic land speed record car. Bluebird Mach 1.1 was to be rocket-powered. Ken Norris had calculated using rocket motors would result in a vehicle with very low frontal area, greater density, and lighter weight than if he went down the jet engine route. Bluebird Mach 1.1 would also be a relatively compact and simple design. Norris specified two off-the-shelf Bristol Siddeley BS.605 rocket engines. The 605 had been developed as a take-off assist rocket engine for military aircraft and was fuelled with kerosene, using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer. Each engine was rated at 8,000 lbf (36 kN) thrust. In Bluebird Mach 1.1 application. In order to increase publicity for his rocket car venture, in the spring of 1966, Campbell decided to try once more for a water speed record. This time the target was 300 mph (480 km/h). Bluebird K7 was fitted with a lighter and more powerful Bristol Orpheus engine, taken from a Folland Gnat jet aircraft, which developed 4,500 pounds-force (20,000 N) of thrust. The modified boat was taken back to Coniston in the first week of November 1966. The trials did not go well. The weather was appalling, and K7 suffered an engine failure when her air intakes collapsed and debris was drawn into the engine. By the middle of December, some high-speed runs were made, in excess of 250 mph (400 km/h) but still well below Campbell’s existing record.

On 4 January 1967, weather conditions were finally suitable for an attempt. Campbell commenced the first run of his last record attempt at just after 8.45 am. Bluebird moved slowly out towards the middle of the lake, where she paused for a brief second as Donald lined her up. With a deafening blast of power, Campbell now applied full throttle and Bluebird began to surge forward. Clouds of spray issued from the jet-pipe, water poured over the rear spar and after a few hundred yards, at 70 mph, Bluebird unstuck from the surface and rocketed off towards the southern end of the lake, producing her characteristic comet’s tail of spray. She entered the measured kilometre at 8.46. Leo Villa witnessed her passing the first marker buoy at about 285 mph (459 km/h) in perfect steady planing trim, her nose slightly down, still accelerating. 7.525 seconds later, Keith Harrison saw her leave the measured kilometre at a speed of over 310 mph (500 km/h). The average speed for the first run was 297.6 mph (478.9 km/h). Campbell lifted his foot from the throttle about 3/10 of a second before passing the southern kilometre marker. As Bluebird left the measured kilometre, Keith Harrison and Eric Shaw in a course boat at the southern end of the measured kilo both noticed that she was very light around the bows, riding on her front stabilising fins. Her planing trim was no worse than she had exhibited when equipped with the Beryl engine, but it was markedly different to that observed by Leo Villa at the northern end of the kilometre, when she was under full acceleration.

Instead of refuelling and waiting for the wash of this run to subside, Campbell decided to make the return run immediately. This was not an unprecedented diversion from normal practice, as Campbell had used the advantage presented i.e. no encroachment of water disturbances on the measured kilometre by the quick turn-a-round, in many previous runs. The second run was even faster once severe tramping subsided on the run-up from Peel Island (caused by the water-brake disturbance). Once smooth water was reached some 700 metres or so from the start of the kilometre, K7 demonstrated cycles of ‘ground’ effect hovering before accelerating hard at 0.63g to a peak speed of 328 mph (530 km/h) some 200 metres or so from the southern marker buoy. 

However Bluebird began experiencing bouncing episodes of the starboard sponson with increasing ferocity. At the peak speed, the most intense and long-lasting bounce caused severe deceleration (328 mph – 296 mph, -1.86g) as K7 dropped back onto the water. Engine flame-out then occurred and, without thrust nose-down momentum, K7 experienced a gliding episode in strong ground effect with increasing angle-of-attack (AoA), before completely leaving the water at her static stability pitch-up limit of 5.2°. Bluebird then executed an almost complete somersault (~ 320° and slightly off-axis) before plunging into the water (port sponson marginally in advance of the starboard), approximately 230 metres from the end of the measured kilometre.

The boat then cartwheeled across the water before coming to rest. The impact broke K7 forward of the air intakes (where Donald was sitting) and the main hull sank shortly afterwards. Campbell was tragically killed instantly. Mr Whoppit, Campbell’s teddy bear mascot, was found among the floating debris and the pilot’s helmet was recovered. Royal Navy divers made efforts to find and recover the body but, although the wreck of K7 was found, they called off the search, after two weeks, without locating his body.

Ayrton Senna🏎🏁

Generally regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers to have raced, the Brazilian driver & three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was born in Santana near Sao Paulo on 21st March 1960. Ayrton Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983.

He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year and Senna his first World Championship. Prostfive races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994. Senna was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions.

He was especially quick in wet conditions, as shown by his performances in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He also holds the record for most victories at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix – six – and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna also courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. Both the 1989 Championship won by Prost and the 1990 Championship won by Senna were decided by collisions between them at those years’ Japanese Grands Prix. Unfortunately Senna was tragically killed 1st May 1994 in a crash at Tamburello corner while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

John DeLorean

Best known for producing the ill-fated Delorean DMC 12 Sports car, American Car Manufacturer John DeLorean sadly passed away on 19th March 2005. Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland in 1981. The DeLorean DMC-12 was manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981-82. Featuring gull-wing doors with a fiberglass underbody, to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed, the car became iconic for the appearance of a modified version as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy.

The first prototype appeared in October 1976, and production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland. During its production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior. In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean DMC-12 was completed by William T. Collins, chief engineer and designer (formerly chief engineer at Pontiac). The body design of the DMC-12 was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and the car was Originally, intended to have a centrally-mounted Citroën/NSU Comotor Wankel rotary engine. The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended, and the favored engine became Ford’s “Clogne V6.” Eventually the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel injected V6, was selected. Also the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car.

The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as Elastic Reservoir Moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs. However This new technology, for which DeLorean had purchased patent rights, was eventually found to be unsuitable. So Engineering was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder and owner of Lotus. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus. The backbone chassis is very similar to that of the Lotus Esprit. The original Giorgetto Giugiaro body design was left mostly intact, as were the distinctive stainless steel outer skin panels and gull-wing doors. DeLorean required $175 million to develop and build the motor company. DeLorean eventually built the DMC-12 in a factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, a neighborhood a few miles from Belfast city center. Construction on the factory began in October 1978, and although production of the DMC-12 was scheduled to start in 1979, engineering problems and budget overruns delayed production until early 1981.

Hollywood celebrities such as Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr also invested in the firm and The DMC-12 also appears in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The PRV engines of the cars were dubbed over with recorded V8 sounds. Six DeLorean chassis were used during the production, along with one manufactured out of fiberglass for scenes where a full-size DeLorean was needed to “fly” on-screen; only three of the cars still exist, with one having been destroyed at the end of Back to the Future Part III. Universal Studios owns two of the remaining cars, and the last resides in a private collection after having been extensively restored.

Sadly though all this endorsement was not enough to save the company and The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982 following John DeLorean’s arrest in October of that year on drug trafficking charges. He was later found not guilty, but it was too late for the DMC-12 to remain in production. and the company went into liquidation. Approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in late 1982 and about 100 partially assembled DMCs on the production line were completed by Consolidated International (now known as Big Lots). Overall just 9,200 DMC-12s were produced between January 1981 and December 1982 Almost a fifth of these were produced in October 1981. As of 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed to still exist. In 1995 Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne started a separate company using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the trademark on the stylized “DMC” logo as well as the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company.

Rudolf Diesel

Famous for inventing the Diesel engine, the German inventor and mechanical engineer Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel was born 18 March 1858 in Paris, France. Only few weeks after his birth, Diesel was given away to a Vincennes farmer family, where he spent his first nine months. When he was returned to his family, they moved into the flat 49 in the Rue Fontaineau-Roi. When he wad young Rudolf Diesel worked in his father’s workshop delivering leather goods to customers using a barrow. He attended a Protestant-French school and soon became interested in social questions and technology. When he was 12-year-old Diesel received the Société l’Instruction Elémentaire bronze medal and had plans to enter Ecole Primaire Supérieure in 1870.

However At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian in 1870 his family was forced to leave, as were many other Germans. They settled in London, England, where Diesel attended an English school. Then Diesel’s mother sent 12-year-old Rudolf to Augsburg to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel, to become fluent in German and to visit the Königliche Kreis-Gewerbeschule (Royal County Vocational College), where his uncle taught mathematics. At the age of 14, Diesel wrote a letter to his parents saying that he wanted to become an engineer. After finishing his basic education at the top of his class in 1873, he enrolled at the newly founded Industrial School of Augsburg. Two years later, he accepted a merit scholarship from the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich.

One of Diesel’s professors in Munich was Carl von Linde. Diesel was unable to graduate with his class in July 1879 because he fell ill with typhoid fever. While waiting for the next examination date, he gained practical engineering experience at the Gebrüder Sulzer Maschinenfabrik (Sulzer Brothers Machine Works) in Winterthur, Switzerland. Diesel graduated in January 1880 with highest academic honours and returned to Paris, where he assisted his former Munich professor, Carl von Linde, with the design and construction of a modern refrigeration and ice plant. Diesel became the director of the plant one year later. In 1883, Diesel married Martha Flasche, and continued to work for Linde, gaining numerous patents in both Germany and France.

In early 1890, Diesel moved to Berlin with his wife and children, Rudolf Jr, Heddy, and Eugen, to assume management of Linde’s corporate research and development department and to join several other corporate boards there. Diesel diversified beyond the field of refrigeration, and began working with steam, researching thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency leading him to build a steam engine using ammonia vapour. Sadly this exploded hospitalising him and causing long-term health problems

So Benz began designing a safer and more efficient engine based on the Carnot cycle, and in 1893, soon after Karl Benz was granted a patent for his invention of the motor car in 1886, Diesel published a treatise entitled Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Wärmemotors zum Ersatz der Dampfmaschine und der heute bekannten Verbrennungsmotoren [Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and The Combustion Engines Known Today] which formed the basis for his invention of the Diesel engine.

Diesel understood thermodynamics and the theoretical and practical constraints on fuel efficiency. He knew that as much as 90% of the energy available in the fuel is wasted in a steam engine. His work in engine design was driven by the goal of much higher efficiency ratios. Following his experiments with a Carnot cycle engine, he developed it further and obtained a patent for his design for a compression-ignition engine. In his engine, fuel was injected at the end of compression and the fuel was ignited by the high temperature resulting from compression. The Diesel engine has the benefit of running more fuel-efficiently than gasoline engines due to much higher compression ratios and longer duration of combustion. Diesel was interested in using coal dust or vegetable oil as fuel, and his engine was run on peanut oil. Between 1893 and 1897, Heinrich von Buz, director of MAN AG in Augsburg, gave Rudolf Diesel the opportunity to test and develop his ideas.

On the evening of 29 September 1913, Diesel boarded the GER steamer SS Dresden in Antwerp on his way to a meeting of the Consolidated Diesel Manufacturing company in London, England. He took dinner on board the ship and then retired to his cabin and was never seen alive again. Then Ten days later, the crew of the Dutch boat Coertzen came upon the corpse of a man floating in the North Sea near Norway. the crew retrieved personal items (pill case, wallet, I.D. card, pocketknife, eyeglass case) from the corpse and On 13 October, these items were identified by Rudolf’s son, Eugen Diesel, as belonging to his father. Then On 14 October 1913 it was reported that Diesel’s body was found at the mouth of the Scheldt by a boatman. Shortly after Diesel’s disappearance, his wife Martha opened a bag that her husband had given to her just before his ill-fated voyage, with directions that it should not be opened until the following week. She discovered 200,000 German marks in cash (US$1.2 million today). There are many theories concerning Diesels disappearance including suicide or murder, however evidence is limited and his disappearance and death remain unsolved.

Following Diesel’s tragic and unexplained death, his engine underwent much development and became a very important replacement for the steam piston engine in many applications. Because the Diesel engine required a heavier, more robust construction than a gasoline engine, it saw limited use in aviation. However the Diesel engine was widely used in stationary engines, agricultural machines, submarines, ships, locomotives, trucks, and in modern automobiles and thanks to his pioneering work He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1978.