Tag: Willys-Overland

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 1

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 1

In 2011, Joseph Wash­ing­ton Fraz­er (1892-1971) was induct­ed, belat­ed­ly, into the Auto­mo­tive Hall of Fame, with his erst­while part­ner, Hen­ry J. Kaiser, co-founders of the world’s fourth-largest auto man­u­fac­tur­er dur­ing 1946-48. This arti­cle is updat­ed from the remem­brance I wrote of JWF fol­low­ing his death. For more on Fraz­er, see my book, Kaiser-Fraz­er: Last Onslaught on Detroit.

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On August 7th, 1971,  the auto indus­try lost a cher­ished son. Joe Frazer—mechanic, instruc­tor, financier, sales­man, pres­i­dent and board chair­man in a half dozen com­pa­nies, one of the few remain­ing giants of the clas­sic era of Amer­i­can car-build­ing, passed away from can­cer at his home, “High Tide,” in New­port, Rhode Island, aged 79.…

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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.…

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