4 Century-Old Auto Companies that Have Stood the Test of Time
January 9, 2015
We’re all too familiar with stalwart automobile manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Rolls Royce. But while we’re busy admiring everything about their creations from the sexy frames to their stainless steel tubes, we shouldn’t forget their lesser-known counterparts that also endured the tests of time.
In fact, some of the greatest breakthroughs in the automobile industry were achieved by these highly respectable juggernauts, so better give them the salute they deserve! Here are four veterans in the auto industry that show no signs of slowing down:
Adam Opel AG
Who would have thought that a sewing machine manufacturer founded by Adam Opel in January 21, 1862 would evolve into one of the oldest German automobile companies in the world? Very few we suspect, but Opel did exactly that – and more!
Their first models were shown during the 1902 Hamburg Motor Show and they have continued to produce some of the most popular vehicles of its era. Today, Opel has 10 factories located in 7 countries maintained by a European work force of 35,000 strong. Combine this with the fact that Opel has alliances with other renowned car manufacturers like General Motors and Vauxhall and you’d agree that this company is here to stay. The current Opel vehicles available as of 2014 include the hatchback Corsa, the SUV Antara, and the MPV Meriva, among others.
Founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1913, this British car company has been producing some of the best vehicles in the world for more than a century. This success eventually resulted in a technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG to produce a new generation of sweet rides that would incorporate V8 engines and other recent innovations.
The very first car they made was raced at Aston Hill in 1914, which resulted to the change of the company name from Bamford and Martin to Aston Martin. One of their most notable vehicles was born in 1964 when the Silver Birch DB5 model became the ride of James Bond in “Goldfinger” (which was sold for $4.4 million in 2010).
By 2011, Renault became Europe’s third biggest automobile manufacturer and the world’s ninth in terms of production. It was established in February 25 1899 by brothers Louis, Marcel, and Fernand Renault. Louis was in charge with design and production while his brothers handled business and management. Their first car, the Renault Voiturette 1CV, which appeared even before the company’s inception, was sold to and impressed a family friend. Legends say that the Renault brothers promote their cars by racing. If this is true, then there would be irony in Marcel’s death since he crashed his ride during a race in 1903.
Though starting as a coffee mill company back in 1810, Peugeot started producing bicycles decades later and then proceeded to create automobiles not long after that. Today, it officially one of the oldest – and most revered – car manufacturers around. All their vehicles are made to possess the highest quality possible, making their products extremely popular in various racing circuits throughout Europe and the rest of the globe.
These car brands might not seem as lustrous in terms of reputation as others, but you can bet that each of these manufacturers has given us some of the snazziest and sweetest cars that we’ll ever get the privilege of riding.