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First car with rain-sensing wipers 1970 Citroën SM

Even before the application of windscreen wipers on automobiles, the need for a means to clear precipitation and muck from the windows of streetcars saw some interesting developments come to the fore. In 1903, Irish-born inventor JH Apjohn gained a UK patent for a mechanism that moved two brushes top to bottom to clear the windshield. Across the pond, US inventor Mary Anderson had to leave the front window down or stop to clear the snow from the panes on a streetcar ride during inclement weather. She came up with the idea of a swinging arm fitted with a rubber blade slotted through the window frame.

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Understanding the Jaguar XJ-S design

When I joined Jaguar in the mid-Seventies I was surprised to discover it was Malcolm Sayer who had initiated the XJ-S’s design since as a large grand tourer, it was a very different car from his most famous, the E-type.

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​Corona fizzy pop

Corona fizzy pop. Until 2019, the name of this Welsh carbonated drink evoked only childhood innocence.

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1961 Renault Dauphine Gordini

France’s rallying cry. Diminutive competition giant killer delivered a tail-happy ending

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Porsche 911 S 127 corners of the 1966 Freiburg to Schauinsland hill climb

A 911, clearly being driven with commitment, tackles one of the 127 corners of the Freiburg to Schauinsland hill climb. But this isn’t just any one of the many 911s that contested the Schauinsland climb until competitive events stopped after 1972. The driver is the Swabian, Eberhard Mahle, and in this 1966 photograph he’s well on the way to winning the European GT Hill Climb Championship and also the 911’s first international triumph. The irony is that if Huschke von Hanstein had prevailed, Eberhard wouldn’t have had a 911 to compete in.

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1999 Chrysler Howler

You’ve heard of the Plymouth Prowler – now meet the Howler, the Mopar factory hot rod and successor to the Prowler that never was…

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The oldest surviving Jaguar - 1936 SS 2.5 Litre Saloon

Even in dirty, pale-yellow primer and shorn of wings, bonnet, grille and glass, you can admire the elegant lines of this sports saloon. The low roofline, the elliptical slot of a rear window and the hint of a gracefully long bonnet implied by the distance between the front door and front axle suggest a car whose lines would have been a cut above those of most cars on the roads back in 1936.

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Jaguar XJR-5 finishes third on its debut, Road America, August 1982

Only a handful of endurance racing cars are strong enough to finish their debut race and fewer still finish on the podium.

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1966 Jaguar FT by Bertone

Bertone Jaguar FT — Marcello Gandini’s vision of a mid-1960s Jaguar.

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Fiat X1/9 at 50

As the world’s most affordable mid-engined car, the Fiat X1/9 was a true revelation 50 years ago. Karl Ludvigsen – who went on the 1972 launch – tells the golden story of an ingenious icon.

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Citroen DS - Divine inspiration - or from another planet?

Whether the Citroen DS took celestial inspiration or landed from another planet, it is one of the car world's greatest aesthetic achievements — and more. Car designer Peter Stevens, aesthete and commentator Stephen Bayley and Octane's own Glen Waddington discuss.

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Storyline - All steel bodies

September 1937: SS Jaguar production is ‘in difficulties,’ i.e. at a halt. It seemed simple enough to make cars with all-steel bodies. At least, the leading shareholders thought so…

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MG 1100/1300 at 60

MG’s first small saloon car celebrates a major milestone – we track down a stunning example to mark the occasion

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1998 Buick Signia Concept

This Buick concept hinted at a future SUV/station wagon offering from GM’s Flint-based division; sadly what was rolled out a few years later had none of the bold vision of the concept…

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