As the first automotive century comes to a close, there is no shortage of retrospective lists commemorating the occasion. But Dallas/Fort Worth radio station 570 KLIF deserves kudos for devoting considerable resources to a 10-hour chronicle of the auto industry's top 100 stories, complete with celebrity narrators.

The station notes that although Americans have had an enduring love affair with the automobile, few realize . . .

* The five-day work week was the result of lagging sales for the Model T.

* A woman was at the wheel of the first "long distance" automobile drive.

* The "drive-in" movie was the result of a local gas station's attempt to sell more fuel at night.

* The Volkswagen Beetle was the result of a stolen design.

* Louis Chevrolet quit his own car company because he refused to give up smoking.

* The Japanese automobile industry survived because of "too many communists and not enough gas."

* Once worth millions, the inventor of hydraulic brakes died on welfare while panning for gold in the 1950s in Northern California.

* Ford blamed its Edsel failure on the launch of Sputnik.