The history of the automobile is linked in so many ways to the history of the twentieth century that it is hard to pull the two apart. Whether it was the mechanization of warfare, the introduction of mass production in workplaces, the remaking of cities, landscapes, and leisure time, or the rise of oil politics and global warming, the automobile was at the centre.

The automobile was also at the centre of dramatic changes in how people lived the century: whether they were born at home or could get to a hospital, how they courted, got married, and got buried were changed by the car. We have taken the automobile into our lives, literally into our homes with the advent of attached garages, and into our families. Many people name their cars and many people love their cars. After our houses, cars are typically our more expensive purchases and most visible icons of our "public persona." 

Although the automobile is intimately intertwined with the daily lives of North Americans the history of our personal relationships with the automobiles, the history of human interaction with the most important technology of the century is not recorded in any systematic way that our descendants will be able to access.

This Auto-biographies website is an archive for that personal history of our own and our family's relationship with the car. It's germ was a similar assignment by Steve Koerner and it content was started by student contributions from the "Social History of the Automobile Course"at the University of Victoria but submissions of other personal or family stories about the car are welcome.


The Automobile and the Clode Family
By Jennifer Clode*
Original paper as PDF

The Auto-genealogy of Peter and Jane Drury
By Justine Drury*
Original paper as PDF

Women Drivers 1940s-60s
By Laura Gordon
Original paper as PDF

Advertising and Our Cars
By Amber Grant
Original paper as PDF

The Hagert and Kuntze Family
By Kelly Hagert
Original paper as PDF

We Are All Drivers
By Jacob Hart

From Model Ts to Motorcycles
By Steve Katchur
Original paper as PDF

The McMorran Family 1923 - 2009
By Kyle A. McMorran
Original paper as PDF

Happy Days – the Car in the 1950s and 60s
By Edward Vaughan
Original paper as PDF

The Family Automobile
By Kelsi Warawa
Original paper as PDF

Un-Conspicuous Consumption
By Kim Wilson*
Original paper as PDF

A Drive Down Lover’s Lane
By Natasha Wood*
Original paper as PDF

*Pseudonyms have been used at the request of the author.