“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Saturday, March 1, 2008

And It's All Because People Are Too Lazy To Walk

I finally got around making a blog about one of the things that I like most. Yup! This blog is all about automobiles. I’ll be posting about latest news in the automotive world, racing events, innovative technologies, cars preferred by famous celebrities, cars that appear in movies, how-to’s for the DIY-type of people, things that you should look out for in order to extend the life service of your beloved car, basic car parts and a couple of other things. So, basically, this’ll gonna be about the whole shebang!

Cars are a must-have in this modern day and age. If you don’t have one, then you are probably stuck in the Cretaceous period. But even then, there were cars already, although they may not be as much as cars like a piece of wood tied to round boulders similar to what you see in cartoons. Anyway, since this is the first post, I think it’s highly appropriate to start off with an introduction. And there’s no better way to introduce a blog about cars than to talk about their history.

Just like any great invention, it all began with a general idea. As soon as man conceived of the wheel and axle, they began to invent contraptions that will work with wheels so they can travel faster and easier. Then inventions like the wheelbarrow, carts, horse-drawn carriages, push-carts and many other fascinating things saw the light of day. But, as expected, people weren’t satisfied. Those things still take a lot of effort, not to mention the fact that some of them were bordering on animal cruelty. So, again, they began thinking and drawing up plans.

It is said that hundreds of thousands of patents enabled the creation of the automobile into what it is today. But the theory that sparked everything is attributed to Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci. They drew up the first theoretical plans that were sane enough to be believable. A lot of people condemned them for their ideas, but not Nicolas Joseph Cugnot. In 1979, he came up with a self-propelled vehicle powered by a steam engine. Its design was crude and I would’ve laughed at his face had I been there. Luckily, I wasn’t there, otherwise I would’ve been embarrassed by the hype generated by his invention. Cugnot is not only credited for having invented the first self-propelled military tractor and tricycle, but he is also the first one to get into a motor vehicle accident (so much for being a genius). But, you know, intelligence has its consequences, like bad hair, eye bags or in the case of Cugnot, poor driving. Even so, he’s said to be the inventor of the first automobile.

A number of people followed suit and invented their own steam-powered vehicle. After half a century since the first steam-powered vehicle was conceptualized, people began taking interest in building road vehicles powered by electricity. During the mid 1830s, the first electric carriage was invented by Robert Anderson. People received the shock of their lives (figuratively speaking of course) at this new innovation, but the hype never lasted long. Again, they weren’t satisfied and asked for more practical motor vehicles.

The solution? Gas-powered vehicles like what we presently see on the streets, only the designs back then were just plain ugly. You read it right. I said ugly. If you think otherwise then you’re better off in the 1800s when people think the first designs were cool. Anyway, after reading this post, people may think that even though the design of a vehicle is very complex, it surprisingly took only a very short time to be perfected. That is far from being correct. Automobiles underwent millions, and maybe even billions of changes ever since it was first conceptualized. And you can see from the trends today that it is still undergoing changes. Cars are now fitted with turbo-chargers, high-performance chips, entertainment systems, GPS and even monster wheels which were unheard of before. Cars can even be customized according to the whims of the owner. And the 21st century is seeing the rise of environment-friendly cars or what are called green cars. And that is just a drop in the bucket. Innovations are being thought of every minute of the day all over the world. And automotive technology will continue to change until the time that we’re all driving nuclear-powered flying vehicles. And even then the changes won’t stop.