Even for the most diehard gearheads and auto gurus out there, it’s impossible to truly know and retain everything there is to know about cars. Unfortunately, the human mind just isn’t advanced enough yet. Maybe someday Elon Musk will come up with a microchip that contains the complete encyclopedia of car information. Yeah, it was hard typing that with a straight face.
If you’re looking to brush up on your automotive trivia, though, we’ve got 50 fun and interesting car facts for you that will maybe get you closer to being more of an expert than you were before. How many of these do you know? Keep scrolling to find out!
50 Interesting Car Facts
1. There are currently more than a BILLION cars being used around the world. That’s billion. With a B. That’s a lot of cars.
2. Nearly 70 million cars are manufactured every year. About half of them are owned by Bill Gates. Just kidding.
3. In 1886, German inventor Karl Benz (as in the co-founder of Mercedes-Benz) built the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely considered to be the world’s first production car.
4. The first speeding ticket was issued in 1896. The speed? A whopping 8 MPH. Yeah, definitely nothing to write home about.
5. Modern cruise control was invented by Ralph Teetor in 1948. Teetor, who was blind, got the idea from his lawyer, who was apparently a terrible driver. These days, there are plenty of folks who use cruise control who are still terrible drivers.
6. If you drove an average of 60 MPH, you could make it to the moon in less than six months. Although, we wouldn’t recommended attempting that road trip. You know, because of the whole outer space thing.
7. In 1908, the Ford Model T became the first mass-produced car. By 1925, it cost as little as $250. Talk about a major steal.
8. The average car has 30,000 parts. Can you name every single one? Doubt it.
9. That new car smell you can’t get enough of? It’s actually composed of around 50 volatile organic compounds, though manufacturers have been working to eliminate the smell completely.
10. The average American commuter spends 42 hours a year stuck in traffic. Talk about a serious drag.
11. The most frequently stolen car in the United States is the Honda Accord. Lock your doors, Accord owners.
12. With a top-speed of 277.8 MPH, the Koenigsegg Agera RS is currently the fastest production car in the world. With faster cars being churned out virtually every month, who knows how long it’ll hold onto this record.
13. In Russia, it’s illegal to drive around in a dirty car. Car washes must make a KILLING out there.
14. Speaking of car washes, 16% of car owners admit to never washing their cars. Hopefully, none of these drivers live in Russia.
15. 35% of the world’s population drives on the left side of the road. The other 65% is correct.
16. The average Bugatti Veyron owner apparently owns 84 Cars, three private jets, and a yacht. Unbelievable.
17. The top speed at the first automobile race in the United States was 15 MPH. It’s a wonder folks were even able to stay awake during the race.
18. Volvo is Latin for “I roll.” Do you roll in a Volvo?
19. BMW in South Africa offers a flamethrower option, called the Blaster, to prevent car-jackings. I guess that’s one way to do it.
20. The average car spends 95% of its time parked. You wouldn’t think that after watching a movie like Fast and the Furious, but it’s true.
21. Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the world, producing a little over 13,000 cars a day.
22. Ferrari, on the other hand, churns out just 14 cars a day. Not that surprising, considering your average person doesn’t exactly have the funds to buy a Ferrari.
23. Each year, around 280 million car tires are discarded, some like the tire in the below video.
24. In 2015, Volkswagen sold more of its currywurst sausages than cars. Would you ever buy a Volkswagen sausage? I’m sure they’re fine, but I’d probably have to pass.
25. The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the world, with one being sold every 40 seconds. That means, by the time you’re done reading this article, at least two Corollas would have just been sold.
26. The 2011 Ford Crown Victoria was the last vehicle to offer a cassette player as an option. RIP, nostalgia.
27. In Switzerland, it is illegal to slam a car door after 10 p.m. So, if you’re planning on visiting Switzerland anytime soon, be sure to plan your door slamming accordingly.
28. The record for removing and replacing a car engine is 42 seconds. The team? The UK Royal Marines. The car? A Ford Escort. Not too shabby at all.
29. At only 19 inches high, the Flatmobile is the lowest street-legal car in the world. That is one sleek ride.
30. As for the longest car in the world, that title belongs to the 100-foot-long custom-built limousine made by California carmaker Jay Ohrberg. Could you imagine rolling up to a party in this bad boy?
31. This one’s for all you music fans out there: Most car horns honk in the key of F.
32. Electric cars aren’t as new as you might think. In 1900, 38% of all cars were electric. Take that, Elon Musk.
33. Leonardo da Vinci came up with the idea of the car in 1478. Guy was ahead of his time. Talk about a real Renaissance man.
34. In 1940, the United States military produced its first four-wheel vehicle. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s called the Jeep.
35. The Ferrari 458 Spider is the most car accident-prone car in the world. As if that was the thing stopping you from buying one.
36. You know the classic three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz? Well, it was initially meant to symbolize the use of Daimler engines in land, air, and sea back in the early 1900s. Today, it’s more seen as a symbol of sleekness and luxury.
37. Since we’re talking about logos, the four overlapping rings of Audi represents the four manufacturers of Auto Union: Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer.
38. Perhaps the most iconic of all car logos is the Ferrari logo. The horse emblem that we’ve all come to know and love is in honor of World War I fighter pilot Count Francesco Barraca, who painted a similar emblem on his plane.
39. Jaguar used to be called SS Cars, but changed the name after World War II. That was probably a good PR move, considering the atrocities that the Nazi SS committed during the war.
40. Have you ever been ticketed for jaywalking? It turns out that the concept was invented by the auto industry in the 1920s to shift the blame of car accidents from cars to pedestrians. At the time, “jay” was a slur synonymous with “redneck” or “hillbilly.” Can you believe that?
41. The highest vehicle mileage ever was achieved by 77-year-old Irv Gordon in his 1966 Volvo 1800S. By mid-2014, he had driven more than three million miles, averaging as much as 100,000 miles a year. We salute you, Mr. Gordon.
42. With 1,263 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, the country of San Marino has the most cars per 1,000 people in the world, followed by Monaco and the United States.
43. This one’s for the techheads. It takes more than 100 million lines of code to program the computer system in the Bentley Bentayga.
44. Around 65% of all Rolls-Royce cars that were ever built are still on the road.
45. Now this is just plain bizarre. Back in 2015, an Illinois man had a turn signal lever removed from his arm, after it had been stuck there for 51 YEARS following a car accident. There’s a “chip on his shoulder” joke in their somewhere, but I won’t make it.
46. Did you know that NASCAR was created because of prohibition? Moonshine bootleggers needed a way to transport their goods in a hurry and without raising too much suspicion. That’s when stock cars were created, which eventually paved the way for the racing that we see today.
47. In 1941, Henry Ford made a “Soybean Car.” No, it wasn’t edible.
48. The original time machine in Back to the Future was supposed to be a refrigerator, but director Robert Zemeckis was afraid that children would try imitating the film and trap themselves inside fridges. The eventual choice? A modified 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. Thank god for that.
49. Louis Chevrolet, the co-founder of Chevrolet, died a poor man. At least his last name will live on forever.
50. If a car’s remote button is pressed 256 times in a row without being in range of the car, the remote will become completely dysfunctional. The more you know.
This post was originally published on May 9, 2019.