DriveShare celebrates July automotive history

July is ripe with automotive history from the founding of Plymouth to the Millionth Corvette sold. Join us on a joyride back to jubilant July automotive milestones! 

July first 1,000,000

July 2nd, 1992 – The one-millionth Corvette 

By 1992, the Corvette grew up quite a bit from its humble sedan-based suspension and Blue Flame Six beginnings. In its 39th year of production the vehicle count reached one-million units produced. Just like the original Corvettes of 1953, the millionth ‘Vette featured a white exterior complimented by a red interior. Under the hood, the ‘92 Corvette featured the all-new LT-1 V-8 with a respectable 300 horsepower. This special Corvette has not had the standard pampered existence as many milestone production cars are accustomed too. On February 12, 2014, the one-millionth Corvette and seven other priceless ‘Vettes were swallowed whole by a sinkhole lurking under the National Corvette Museum. After a painstaking 19-month restoration by Chevrolet, this special Corvette is back to its former glory.  

July 3rd, 1985 – Release of Back to the Future 

Great Scott! Few films have had such a substantial impact in pop culture than Back to the Future. Doc and Marty’s misadventures through time elevated John Delorean’s DMC-12 to hero car status. In a time of econoboxes and big barge cars, the gullwing doors and sleek stainless-steel body of the DMC-12 stuck out like a sore thumb. Delorean owners have been pressured into pushing their cars to 88 miles per hour since 1985. 

July First Plymouth

July 7th, 1928 – Chrysler releases the Plymouth Model Q 

On this day in history, the Chrysler Corporation created a line of low-cost vehicles to directly compete with Chevrolet and Ford’s entry- level car market. Plymouth made its debut at New York City’s Madison Square Garden with Amelia Earhart at the wheel of the new Plymouth Model Q. The Model Q was born from a re-badged Maxwell motor car that Walter Chrysler had acquired in a company takeover years prior. This vehicle offered many features seen in high-end cars of the era, such as four-wheel hydraulic brakes and full-pressure engine lubrication. 

July First Honda Civic

July 11th, 1972 – The first Honda Civic 

The Honda Civic was Honda’s first genuine market success for the brand in the car world. A vehicle born at the right place and the right time, it debuted in 1973 just in time for the oil crisis. Standard features included power front disc brakes, vinyl upholstery and reclining front bucket seats. The Honda’s inline-four packed a whopping 50 horsepower and featured Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion technology (CVCC). This technology gave the Civic a passing grade for U.S. and Japanese emission standards by enabling less Co2 emissions without the need for an expensive and restrictive catalytic converter.  

This great technological innovation was not without controversy, as the CEO of General Motors Richard Gerstenberg stated, the CVCC technology may work for a little toy motorcycle engine but had no potential in GM car engines. When Mr. Honda caught wind of Mr. Grestenberg’s commentary, he purchased and air freighted a Chevrolet Impala to Japan and tasked his engineers with re-working the cylinder heads with CVCC technology. The Environmental Protection Agency then determined that the Impala’s modified 350 small-block passed emissions testing, proving Honda’s technological innovation worked for a large American V-8. Do your Civic duty and experience Honda CVCC technology today

July First Karman Ghia

July 15th, 1955 – Karmann Ghia introduced 

Born in Germany with distinct Ghia coachwork, the Karmann Ghia is known for its beautiful Italian lines, unique “mustache” grill, and rear engine layout. By the mid-1950s, the standard of living for the U.S. and German markets had increased to a degree that Volkswagen was proactively planning to add a sports car to their lineup. Like the Beetle, the Karmann Ghia was offered with two doors and a hard or soft top. Unlike the Beetle, the Karmann Ghia lacked bolt-on body panels, instead the body was carefully welded together giving the Ghia clean, almost seamless bodylines. Volkswagen produced the Karmann Ghia for 19 years, finally ending Germany’s production in 1974 with Volkswagen Brazil following in 1975. 

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