As early as 1335, a wind-powered vehicle was designed using a windmill to turn the gears and – in turn – the wheels. Reportedly, a Catholic Priest invented a steam-powered vehicle for the emperor of China in 1678 but there’s no substantive proof of this.
The invention of the steam-powered engine in 1712 by Thomas Newcomen proved to be an essential step in the progress toward the invention of the automobile. A number of other steam engines were invented throughout the eighteenth century, bringing us closer to the invention of the combustion engine.
The first self-propelled vehicle for which there is a definitive record was built in Paris in 1769. The vehicle was steam-powered, moved two miles per hour, and would tip over unless it was counterweighted by a cannon in the back. For that reason, the vehicle’s only function was to haul cannons around town.
The immense weight of steam-powered vehicles meant they could only travel on perfectly flat surfaces as strong as steel, hence the invention of railroads and the steam train. Some of the first automobiles were essentially just trains without tracks.
Fuel became the next major obstacle in the development of the car. Developers used gunpowder with poor results until Etienne Lenoir created the first coal-gas powered vehicle. Alphons Bear de Rochas designed a car which used gasoline and included an electrical spark ignition.
In 1893, the first American gasoline-powered car was invented. The first motorcycle was invented by Gottlieb Daimler and his son took the first long motorcycle ride in 1885. Development continued at a rapid pace until the invention of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, which essentially marked the end of the invention of the automobile.
If your car is in tough shape, you don’t need to know the whole history of the car to fix it. You just need to call a Utah auto body shop!