Innovation in Detroit

October 12, 2015

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By: Matt Wolfe

The auto industry has always been driven by innovation, something Detroit has been doing for over 100 years

Since the birth of the automobile, Detroit has been at the forefront of automotive innovation. Groundbreaking products, radical designs, and revolutionary features have all been made in Detroit and are still being made today. Below is a list of some of the most significant cars and innovations Detroit has contributed in a century of putting the world on wheels.

1901: The Curved Dash Olds was the first mass produced automobile.

1913: Henry Ford’s launch of the moving assembly line helped him build more cars at a lower cost.

1924: The first Chrysler boasted a high-compression six-cylinder engine and four wheel hydraulic brakes.

1927: LaSalle, the first American production car styled by a professional designer, was created by Harley Earl (seated)

1932: Ford Motor Company was the first automaker in history to cast a V-8 engine block in one piece (pictured at left; Henry Ford).

1939: Oldsmobile introduced the Hydra-Matic, the first fully automatic transmission, for passenger cars.

1948: The most notorious of the postwar attempts to break into the automotive business was the stunning Tucker Torpedo.

1950: Chrysler introduces the Firepower V8, precursor to the legendary Hemi engines

1963: For one year only, the Corvette Stingray would feature a distinctive split rear window

1964: After its introduction at the World’s Fair, Ford sold a half a million Mustangs in less than eighteen months (pictured at center; Henry Ford II)

1964: The Pontiac GTO was the first “muscle” car. It was so popular Pontiac became the third largest selling brand.

1974: Jeep Cherokee was one of the vehicles that jump-started the SUV phenomenon.

1983: The introduction of the Chrysler minivan had a sensational and lasting effect on the American market.

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