Introduction (History of Cars)
Motor car, road vehicle which first appeared in the 19th Century. The first cars were propelled by the steam, but such vehicles were not a success and the age of the motor car really dates from the introduction of the petrol-driven horseless carriages of Gottfrield Daimler and Karl Benz (1885-86). The internal combustion engine for these cars had been developed earlier by several engineers, most notably by the German, Nickolaus Otto, in 1876. The main components of a motor car, from then till now, are a body or chassis to which are attached all other parts - including the engine or power plant, the transmission system for transferring the drive to the wheels, and the steering, braking and suspension mechanisms for guiding, stopping and supporting the car. A few experts assembled the first cars, but Henry Ford and R. E. Olds in the USA began modern mass-production in the early 1900s. By this means, the cost of a car was drastically reduced, and more people could afford done. In most modern car factories component parts are put together on assembly lines - slow-moving conveyor belts. Each worker usually has a specific task, example fitting doors or crankshafts. Bodies and engines are constructed on separate assembly lines which converge when the engine is installed. Overhead rail conveyors move heavy components to and along the assembly lines, and lower them into position. At a later stage on the assembly line such items as lamps are fitted, and electrical, braking and control systems are tested. The fully assembled car is road tested before sale.