Month: April 2020

Why Studebaker Failed: In the End, It is Always Management

Why Studebaker Failed: In the End, It is Always Management

Why did Stude­bak­er go out of busi­ness? I have your book Stude­bak­er 1946-1966, orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished as Stude­bak­er: The Post­war Years. I worked for the old com­pa­ny at the end in Hamil­ton, Ontario. Your book brought back mem­o­ries of many old Stude­bak­er hands. Styl­ists Bob Doehler and Bob Andrews were good friends about my age.

I am look­ing for­ward to the last chap­ter dis­cussing how Stude­bak­er went wrong, espe­cial­ly since I also have the­o­ries. It would fun to com­pare notes. I often quote from your book: “For many years, Ray­mond Loewy Asso­ciates would be the only thing stand­ing between Stude­bak­er and dull medi­oc­rity.”

Like you I owned a 1962 Gran Tur­is­mo Hawk, a sur­pris­ing­ly impres­sive car.…

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Churchill’s Daily Routine (Or: You Can’t Get Good Help Anymore…)

Churchill’s Daily Routine (Or: You Can’t Get Good Help Anymore…)

When help was cheap

Mov­ing right along, the 1911 Cen­sus was recent­ly released in Eng­land. No address was “ex-direc­to­ry” in those days. Win­ston Churchill is list­ed at 33 Eccle­ston Square, Lon­don (sev­en­teen rooms) with wife Clemen­tine, daugh­ter Diana and eight ser­vants. The help com­prised a cook, nurse, lady’s maid, house­maid, par­lor maid, under-par­lor maid, kitchen maid and hall boy). Can this be so? —A.J., NSW, Aus­tralia

Absolute­ly. By the 1920s and 1930s, when the Churchills were ensconced at Chartwell, the help had grown to fif­teen or more, count­ing gar­den­ers, handy­men, sec­re­taries and house­hold staff.…

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The Greatness of Alex Tremulis, Part 3: Streamlining and Speed Records

The Greatness of Alex Tremulis, Part 3: Streamlining and Speed Records

Con­clud­ed from Part 2. My Tremulis piece was pub­lished in full in The Auto­mo­bile, March 2020. 

Alex Tremulis in the 1950s

When Kaiser left Wil­low Run, Alex Tremulis decid­ed it was time to work for a com­pa­ny with a future. In Dear­born, Ford Chief of Design George Walk­er hired him with an unchanged job descrip­tion: chief of advanced styling. There he joined Bob Thomas, who wrote warm­ly of him in 2008. “Alex thought he was back in the Army Air Corps, turn­ing out scores of 3/8th scale mod­els of futur­is­tic things like fly­ing cars and nuclear-pow­ered vehi­cles.…

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