Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 24th April 2018

In the car industry, numbers represent important milestones and trends. For example, 37435 represents the patent for the first ever car built in 1885 by Karl Benz. After making the vehicle, Benz was awarded the patent number by German authorities. We’re looking into six other significant numbers and how they are applied to the car industry.

15 at the first documented car race

It’s said that the first car race took place in France in 1895. The 752-mile route went from Paris to Bordeaux and the race was won by Emile Levassor. It took him around 49 hours and he drove a Panhard et Levassor that came with a two-cylinder Daimler engine. He achieved a speed of 15 mph, which became a significant number to document the first official car race.

1327 at the first 24 Hours of Le Mans

In 1923, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest organised the first 24 Hours of Le Mans race. This kind of race was unheard of at the time because it wasn’t easy to drive a car for 24 hours straight. The winners were Andre Legache and Rene Leonard in a 3-litre Chenard & Walcker and they logged 1372 miles at a speed of 57 mph. The car carried a tool box so the drivers could mend their vehicle when necessary.

44 for the 1936 Berlin Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the world’s first production diesel truck, so they looked into applying the same technology to a car. The result was a 2.6-litre four-cylinder engine that made 44 hp at 3000 rpm. It was used in the Mercedes-Benz 260D, which became the first production passenger car with a diesel engine. The 260D debuted at the 1936 Berlin Auto Show.

80,000 orders at 1955 Paris Auto Show

At the 1955 Paris Auto Show, Citroen introduced the DS. Designed by aeronautical engineer Andre Lefebvre and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni, the DS was unlike anything that had been seen before. It had a futuristic appearance and innovative technology, such as a self-levelling system. After it had been unveiled, Citroen received 12,000 orders during the first day of the show and 80,000 over the entire event.

6.5 camera

In 1972, Volvo started experimenting with a rear-view camera to help improve car safety. The first of these cameras was a 6.5 mm Cosmicar lens installed on the dashboard of the Experimental Safety Car prototype. Although the camera worked, Volvo chose not to build it because it was too expensive for a production model. The 6.5 camera inspired future variations, with today’s cameras being a lot more compact.

3,309,122 for the highest mileage car

The car with the highest mileage in the world is Irvin Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800. In September 2013, the car passed the three million mark and went on to reach 3,039,122 miles soon after. Gordon no longer drives the car regularly, but the mileage remains an important number for the car industry.

Image Credit: Telegraph