In 1905, Rolls-Royce marketed a model called the Legalimit, an auto designed not to exceed the mandated speed limit of a rollicking 20 mph.
PROMOTIONAL TOUR: In 1909, Alice Ramsey became the first woman to drive across America. In her Maxwell, the trip took a mere 53 days from New York to San Francisco.
MOVE OVER, WIENERMOBILE:A REAL RIPOFF: Chevrolet's enduring logo was designed to imitate wallpaper General Motors founder William Durant ripped off his hotel room wall in France.
THE CAR THAT MADE GOOD IN A DAY: That was the slogan Stutz hyped after the 1911 Indianapolis 500. But how good the car's performance was is relative: Stutz finished 11th in the race.
IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?:majority of purchasers were wealthy consumers, and after that, doctors (see gallery on Page S-6). That led to models marketed specifically to the physician as companies such as Maxwell created automobiles aimed at this limited segment. A Ford ad circa 1925, themed "Dependable as the doctor himself," showed a top-hatted physician alighting from a Ford with the copy: "The dependability of the family car-like that of the family physician who uses it so extensively has almost become traditional."
TALK ABOUT LONG-RUNNING:CLEAN SWEEP: After Ford acquired Lincoln in 1921, Edsel Ford decided to ship the luxury cars in dustproof paper bags and covered freight cars kept squeaky clean.
A LOGO IS BORN:PROMOTIONAL CLAMOR: In 1927, the Boston Symphony Orchestra recorded the "Flivver Ten Million," a work commemorating the 10 millionth Model T. The score, appropriately, included rattles, bangs, honks and explosions.
ONE FOR THE GIPPER: In 1931, Studebaker marketed a model named after Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. But the car had a short life and was discontinued after the coach died in a plane crash two years later.
THE NAME GAME: Datsun changed its name from Datson in 1932 to accommodate its logo, the rising sun.
OLD CARS DON'T DIE, THEY JUST COME BACK AS BEER: When Peerless halted production of cars in 1934, it became a brewery for Carling ale. But Peerless already had a history of switching production; before autos, the company made clothes wringers from 1869-1900.
WOMEN DRIVERS: Ford in 1941 was forced to allow women, previously banned, from its promotional "Good Driver's League."
Sources: "The Carguide Book of Auto Trivia," Advertising Age.