Tag: Automobile Quarterly

Don Vorderman 1930-2018: The Best Editor I Ever Had

Don Vorderman 1930-2018: The Best Editor I Ever Had

A remem­brance first pub­lished in The Auto­mo­bile, Decem­ber 2019. This ver­sion con­tains two addi­tion­al illus­tra­tions and a glos­sary of Vor­der­man bon mots on auto­mo­biles.

“His­to­ry with its flick­er­ing lamp stum­bles along the trail of the past, try­ing to recon­struct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kin­dle with pale gleams the pas­sion of for­mer days.” —Win­ston S. Churchill, 12 Novem­ber 1940

“Writ­ers rarely talk about writ­ing among each oth­er. It’s a very per­son­al thing, and it’s almost always hard to do well, none of which is too con­ducive to cheery cock­tail chitchat. Most of us would rather vis­it a den­tist than face up to the task of begin­ning the next piece, though it’s not quite so awful once the com­mit­ment is made and the thing is under way.”

My dear friend Don Vor­der­man wrote that about the Eng­lish motor­ing writer Den­nis May, but he was also describ­ing him­self.…

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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. 

Postwar Kaiser and Frazer

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. Kaiser. His basic lines were accept­ed, but mod­i­fied on the way to pro­duc­tion.…

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The Browning of Detroit

The Browning of Detroit

Detroit, 2013— A cor­re­spon­dent sends “25 Facts about the Fall of Detroit That Will Leave You Shak­ing Your Head,” by Michael Sny­der of the Eco­nom­ic Col­lapse Blog:

Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teem­ing metrop­o­lis of 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple and it had the high­est per capi­ta income in the Unit­ed States.  Now it is a rot­ting, decay­ing hell­hole of about 700,000 peo­ple that the rest of the world makes jokes about.

When in July 2013 Detroit announced that it would  file for Chap­ter 9 bank­rupt­cy, the move was stopped at least tem­porar­i­ly by an Ing­ham Coun­ty judge:

She ruled that Detroit’s bank­rupt­cy fil­ing vio­lates the Michi­gan Con­sti­tu­tion because it would result in reduced pen­sion pay­ments for retired work­ers [and that] bank­rupt­cy fil­ing was “also not hon­or­ing the pres­i­dent, who took [Detroit’s auto com­pa­nies] out of bankruptcy”….How “hon­or­ing the pres­i­dent” has any­thing to do with the bank­rupt­cy of Detroit is a bit of a mys­tery….…

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