Category: Automotive

Should this have been the “Step-down” Hudson?

Should this have been the “Step-down” Hudson?

Read­er Brent Hinde writes about my Hud­son book, The Clas­sic Post­war Years (1977, reprint­ed 1993). Very kind of him, since it’s the first men­tion of that book in decades.

Recent­ly at an estate sale I picked up the book and found it an excel­lent read. On page 38 is a ter­rif­ic sketch of a car that should have been built, rather than the design man­age­ment chose. My ques­tion is: Who drew that sketch? Are there more draw­ings like that in exis­tence? It would make a great guide for a project car.

1948 Hud­son: dra­mat­ic low­ness was achieved by sink­ing the floor with­in the frame rails.…

Read More Read More

Kaiser Capers: Memories of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 3

Kaiser Capers: Memories of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 3

Kaiser-Fraz­er, the post­war won­der com­pa­ny, pre­sent­ed Dutch with many opportunities—and as many frus­tra­tions. Con­clud­ed from Part 2

Part 3

Excerpt: For the com­plete arti­cle and illus­tra­tions, refer to The Auto­mo­bile, May 2017. To order, click here.

Postwar Kaiser and Frazer 1947 Fraz­er: a stretched sales illus­tra­tion; if it actu­al­ly had those pro­por­tions, it would have been sen­sa­tion­al.

Dutch had an earthy vocab­u­lary, and his meth­ods of work were forth­right with a touch of reck­less­ness. He need­ed these qual­i­ties when, after the war, he pre­sent­ed him­self to his old friend Joe Fraz­er, father of the wartime Jeep, to offer designs for the all-new cars Fraz­er was plan­ning, in part­ner­ship with Hen­ry J.…

Read More Read More

The Packard Adventures of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 2

The Packard Adventures of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 2

A chance met­ing with Dar­ryl Zanuck brought Dar­rin back to America—at exact­ly the right time. The cus­tom coach­build­ing busi­ness was wan­ing, semi-cus­toms were in, and Packard need­ed a new body style. Con­tin­ued from Part 1…

Part 2

Excerpt: For full text and illus­tra­tions and a ros­ter of Packard Dar­rins, see The Auto­mo­bile, May 2017. To order, click here.

Dar­rin fre­quent­ly hob­nobbed with the Good and the Great. One day in 1934, at the Paris Polo Club, a club direc­tor approached: “There’s an Amer­i­can out on the play­ground with a horse and polo mal­let; please see if you can help him.” Dutch went out and met film pro­duc­er Dar­ryl Zanuck—who invit­ed him to Hol­ly­wood.…

Read More Read More