Year: 2011

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 2

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 2

con­tin­ued from part 1

See­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty to run his own com­pa­ny, Fraz­er took con­trol of mori­bund Gra­ham-Paige in 1944, and two years lat­er merged its auto­mo­tive inter­ests with a new cor­po­ra­tion he and Hen­ry Kaiser had formed, leas­ing and then buy­ing the gigan­tic ex-bomber fac­to­ry at Wil­low Run, Michi­gan. Dur­ing Frazer’s 1946-48 pres­i­den­cy, Kaiser-Fraz­er was the fourth largest car pro­duc­er in the world, and ranked eighth in pro­duc­tion by make, ahead of all oth­er inde­pen­dents. He stepped down as an active offi­cer in 1949. The com­pa­ny nev­er again record­ed a profit.…

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Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 1

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 1

In 2011, Joseph Wash­ing­ton Fraz­er (1892-1971) was induct­ed, belat­ed­ly, into the Auto­mo­tive Hall of Fame, with his erst­while part­ner, Hen­ry J. Kaiser, co-founders of the world’s fourth-largest auto man­u­fac­tur­er dur­ing 1946-48. This arti­cle is updat­ed from the remem­brance I wrote of JWF, cre­ator of the Jeep. For more on Fraz­er, see my book, Kaiser-Fraz­er: Last Onslaught on Detroit.

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On August 7th, 1971,  the auto indus­try lost a cher­ished son. Joe Frazer—mechanic, instruc­tor, financier, sales­man, pres­i­dent and board chair­man in a half dozen com­pa­nies, one of the few remain­ing giants of the clas­sic era of Amer­i­can car-build­ing, passed away from can­cer at his home, “High Tide,” in New­port, Rhode Island, aged 79.…

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Lady Soames Diaries

Lady Soames Diaries

The diaries of Churchill’s youngest and only liv­ing daugh­ter, Mary Soames, are to be pub­lished on her 89th birth­day, Sep­tem­ber 15th, by Dou­ble­day UK, and is avail­able for ship­ment world­wide from Ama­zon UK. An e-book will also be avail­able. Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion will be in May 2012 by Ran­dom House in New York. The Ama­zon UK price is £16.50 ($26.50) and air­mail ship­ment to the USA costs about £7 ($11).

Much younger than her sib­lings, Mary had an idyl­lic youth, grow­ing up at Chartwell, her father’s beloved Ken­tish home, but always in the back­ground was his pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with the grow­ing threat of Hitler, and in 1939 the war arrived, and with it Mary’s life was dra­mat­i­cal­ly altered.…

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