Tag: Brooks Stevens

Bill Tilden 1935-2013: Tribute to a Friend

Bill Tilden 1935-2013: Tribute to a Friend

Writ­ten for the Soci­ety of Auto­mo­tive His­to­ri­ans Jour­nal

The great styl­ist Dutch Dar­rin, Richard Lang­worth and Bill Tilden, Alame­da, 1972.

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.…

Read More Read More

Purple Prose: Brooks Stevens

Purple Prose: Brooks Stevens

"Kip" Stevens with his 1951 Excal­ibur J

The blogsite of Hem­mings Motor News sees fit to post my  1982 arti­cle on Brooks Stevens, along with a gra­tu­itous opin­ion: “Per­haps Richard Langworth’s ten­den­cy toward pur­ple prose in this pro­file of Brooks Stevens in Spe­cial Inter­est Autos #71, Octo­ber 1982, is appro­pri­ate, giv­en the pic­ture he paints of the leg­endary design­er.” Aside from the fact that Hem­mings paid only for first rights and is there­fore in copy­right vio­la­tion, it’s nice to be remem­bered.

Reac­tions: A one­time edi­tor of SIA wrote: “I see noth­ing purple—it reads like an essay in The New York­er.” (Ah, if only Hem­mings paid New York­er rates!)  A Packard Club col­league wrote: “Naah, not pur­ple, maybe faint mauve.” A blog read­er wrote: “Ugh, I can’t read it.…

Read More Read More

Why Studebaker Failed

Why Studebaker Failed

Why did Stude­bak­er go out of busi­ness? I have your book Stude­bak­er 1946-1966 orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished as Stude­bak­er: The Post­war Years. As an employ­ee of the old com­pa­ny at the end in Hamil­ton, Ontario,  it 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 am on a pan­el in Phoenix/Glendale next June and made a Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tion to the Avan­ti Club in 2006.…

Read More Read More