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In the month of September, 1997, some hundred classic cars entered the Kathmandu Valley from Lhasha via Kodari Rajmarg highway in the course of 2nd Peking to Paris Motor Challenge Rally and many years later there was an exhibition of these automobiles at BICC in New Baneshwar. This event certainly aroused curiosity about automobiles and its history to many people in Kathmandu. Similarly, the 7th Peking to Paris Race took place in 7th July, 2019.
Of course, pioneers of automobiles invented the motorcar as a substitute for horse-carriages. By the mid fifteenth century, this type of automobile or self-propelled vehicle had already been introduced. Nicolas Joseph Cugnot of France was the first person to create the first original automobile, a steam power tricycle in design of artillery carriage in 1769. This first automobile has capacity of four passengers for 20 minutes at 2.25 miles. At first, pioneer motorists faced problem of proper phrase for their vehicles. They were confused about what to call their vehicles. Many terms were suggested such as horseless carriage, automobile carriage, automobain and self-propelled carriage. However, Britons decided to call “motor car” as appropriate word for their vehicle while French and Americans selected “Automobile” as the appropriate word for their vehicle. Alexander Winton, a pioneer motorist is believed to be the first person to introduce the term ‘automobile’ in American vocabulary. Similarly, the word ‘petrol’ for motor spirit or fuel was introduced by Fredrick Simms in 1890. In Britain, petrol was called motor fuel but Americans always called it ‘Gasoline’.
In Nepal, automobiles were not introduced till the period of Rana Regime. The first car brought upon this country is a T-model Ford in 1912. It was the royal order for the personal use of the king of Nepal. This model-T Ford weighing 1 ton, was carried by 40 men in 10 rows from Amlekhganj to the capital city Kathmandu as there is no pitch road by then. The first enterprise dealing about automobiles in Nepal is the ‘Nepal Motor Work’ which was established by Kul Bahadur in 1912. It was also the authorized dealer of the famous Ford Company for the first time in the Kingdom of Nepal.