Tag: Bob Robillard

Kaiser-Frazer and the Making of Automotive History, Part 2

Kaiser-Frazer and the Making of Automotive History, Part 2

Transcript of a speech to the Kaiser-Frazer Owners Club, 30 July 2015. Continued from Part 1. Delving in

While I received no extra pay for writ­ing the Kaiser-Fraz­er book, I did have the use of an expense account for trav­el. That was where Bill Tilden came through again. He helped me track down and inter­view many of peo­ple respon­si­ble for the cars Kaiser-Fraz­er built. Oth­ers were locat­ed through the deep ten­ta­cles of Auto­mo­bile Quar­ter­ly, its many con­tacts in the indus­try. We also searched for archives, large and small.

Our great­est archival find was at Kaiser Indus­tries in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia: the Kaiser-Fraz­er pho­to files, placed on loan for AQ’s use.…

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Bill Tilden 1935-2013: Tribute to a Friend

Bill Tilden 1935-2013: Tribute to a Friend

Writ­ten for the Soci­ety of Auto­mo­tive His­to­ri­ans Jour­nal

U.S. Coast Guard Base, Glouces­ter City, New Jer­sey, July 1965: A call from the Ops office—“Sir, there’s a civil­ian here ask­ing for you. He’s dri­ving the weird­est car I’ve ever seen.”

It was Bill, of course. We clicked from the start. With­in a week he hied me off to north Philadel­phia to help strip the odd­ly attrac­tive, faux lizard skin uphol­stery out of a rusty old car. It turned out a bad mistake—we’d junked an ultra-rare 1951 Kaiser Emer­ald Drag­on. They built maybe six….

Bill’s auto­mo­tive tastes were catholic, rang­ing from the E-type Jaguar he bought new and raced—probably the old­est in the hands of its orig­i­nal owner—to a 1941 Cadil­lac Six­ty-Spe­cial, sev­er­al Con­ti­nen­tals and late-mod­el Mopars, which he acquired as “future col­lectibles” from Chrysler, where he then worked, build­ing deal­er­ships.…

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