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Reference Desk: History of Braking and the Australian Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Reference Desk: History of Braking and the Australian Grand Prix

Bill Crittenden
February 11, 2014

The History of Braking

Hannah from the UK writes:

I’m doing a really cool automotive project for Beaulieu Motor Museum on the ‘history of braking’. The project is for TMD Friction who own Mintex, Textar and Pagid.

I’ve got a pretty comprehensive timeline already but any info you have on the following would be greatly appreciated:

1. Braking history points in general e.g. introduction of brakes by Lanchester, intro of disc from drums on major EU cars, intro of ABS, intro of stopping distances etc.

2. Mintex/Pagid/Textar racing and major turning points on cars/trucks etc.

3. Any other info you have on braking.

I responded with:

I don't have anything on the companies you mentioned, and because my sources are probably a lot different from yours I don't have a lot on European-specific cars. A few brands are referenced in passing, and Textar pads were on a Mazda 2 used in a NHTSA braking test, but that's pretty boring material: http://www.carsandracingstuff.com/library/reports/5745.pdf

I do remember entering in this article a few months back: http://www.carsandracingstuff.com/library/articles/16087.php I always find it interesting when we see evidence that the problems we have with drivers today go back to the early days of the automobile. For a little background that makes it especially interesting (to me, anyway), Oakland was a brand of General Motors, and in 1926 GM created "Companion Marques" to fill in the price gaps between their existing brands. Cadillac had LaSalle, Oldsmobile had Viking, and Oakland had Pontiac. Pontiac was the only companion marque to last more than a couple years, eventually superseding its original brand, causing the death of Oakland!

Have you tried looking through Google Patents? I've been working on getting a few patents in the Library, but I'm just one guy with limited time on my hands. Not only can you find a bit more information, but also all the engineering patents will have illustrations with them. Especially helpful if the companies you're working with can give you a list of their patents! https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts

Hannah was one step ahead of me, writing back that, "I have had a look at quite a few patents on Google which has been really, really helpful!"  But if anyone has any more information, just e-mail me at admin@carsandracingstuff.com and I'll pass it along to Hannah.  The exhibit opens in April!

The Australian Grand Prix

Just to shake things up a bit, I have a question for anyone who might know the answer: why is the Australian Grand Prix not run at Bathurst/on Mount Panorama?  After watching the Bathurst 12 Hours, it would be an epic backdrop for Formula 1.  Is it just not capable of handling all the people and support vehicles that come along with an F1 weekend?  I've asked around and haven't gotten an answer yet that's beyond armchair speculation.

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