Category: Automotive

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.”…

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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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The Greatness of Alex Tremulis, Part 2: From Tucker to Kaiser-Frazer

The Greatness of Alex Tremulis, Part 2: From Tucker to Kaiser-Frazer

Con­tin­ued from Part 1. My Alex Tremulis piece was pub­lished in full in The Auto­mo­bile, March 2020. 

Alex and Tucker

Like Bob Bourke’s famous 1953 Stude­bak­er “Loewy coupe,” the 1948 Tuck­er was almost entire­ly the work of one design­er. Of course many helped, and both Bourke and Tremulis gave them cred­it. But as near as one comes to design­ing a car by one­self, they did.

Alex set to work in a stu­dio at Tucker’s large, ex-Dodge plant in Chica­go. As chief design­er he had to inject prac­ti­cal­i­ty into Pre­ston Tuck­er’s enthu­si­asm.…

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