Fins

Fins
Author: William Knoedelseder
Publsiher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2018-09-18
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780062289094

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The New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Brew chronicles the birth and rise to greatness of the American auto industry through the remarkable life of Harley Earl, an eccentric six-foot-five, stuttering visionary who dropped out of college and went on to invent the profession of automobile styling, thereby revolutionized the way cars were made, marketed, and even imagined. Harleys Earl’s story qualifies as a bona fide American family saga. It began in the Michigan pine forest in the years after the Civil War, traveled across the Great Plains on the wooden wheels of a covered wagon, and eventually settled in a dirt road village named Hollywood, California, where young Harley took the skills he learned working in his father’s carriage shop and applied them to designing sleek, racy-looking automobile bodies for the fast crowd in the burgeoning silent movie business. As the 1920s roared with the sound of mass manufacturing, Harley returned to Michigan, where, at GM’s invitation, he introduced art into the rigid mechanics of auto-making. Over the next thirty years, he functioned as a kind of combination Steve Jobs and Tom Ford of his time, redefining the form and function of the country’s premier product. His impact was profound. When he retired as GM’s VP of Styling in 1958, Detroit reigned as the manufacturing capitol of the world and General Motors ranked as the most successful company in the history of business. Knoedelseder tells the story in ways both large and small, weaving the history of the company with the history of Detroit and the Earl family as Fins examines the effect of the automobile on America’s economy, culture, and national psyche.

General Motors

General Motors
Author: Michael W. R. Davis
Publsiher: Arcadia Publishing
Total Pages: 127
Release: 1999
Genre: Transportation
ISBN: 0738500194

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The General Motors Corporation was established in 1908 by William C. Durant, who combined the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Oakland companies and, later, Cadillac, to form GM. From the 1920s onwards, GM grew from a firm that accounted for about 10% of new car sales in the U.S. to become the largest producer of cars and trucks in the world. The peak of the company's power and market dominance came in the 1960s, which proved to be the decade of change for the U.S. auto industry. With the introduction of federal safety regulations and control tailpipe emissions, GM's position as the world's largest industrial corporation changed. Its marketing strategy was undone by competitive challenges, and the business was never to be the same again. General Motors: A Photographic History explores the growth of the company in a series of over 200 black-and-white images. From the first assembly line to post-Second World War recovery, images from the world auto shows and the consequent re-organization of GM take the reader on an intriguing visual tour of a tremendously important era in the industrialization of America.

My Years With General Motors

My Years With General Motors
Author: Alfred P Sloan
Publsiher: eNet Press
Total Pages: 669
Release: 2015-01-16
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781618863997

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Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. led the General Motors Corporation to international business success by virtue of his brilliant managerial practices and his insights into the new consumer economy he and General Motors helped to produce. Sloan's business biography, My Years With General Motors, was an instant best seller when it was first published in 1964 and is still considered indispensable reading by modern business giants.

The Cars of Harley Earl

The Cars of Harley Earl
Author: David W Temple
Publsiher: CarTech Inc
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2016-05-16
Genre: Transportation
ISBN: 9781613252345

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At 6-foot, 3-inches tall, Harley Earl was an imposing figure, but his true stature lies in his towering talent for automotive design and styling. Over his 50-year career, he created as well as collaborated on the most innovative, bold, technologically advanced cars made by General Motors. As a titan of American auto design, the cars he helped create are still celebrated today. And as an enduring legacy, he inspired a generation of engineers, designers, and stylists. Veteran automotive historian David W. Temple has researched and unearthed the complete story of Harley Earl’s cars, his notable design achievements, and many accolades. Working as a coachbuilder at his father's Earl Automotive Works in Hollywood, California, the young Earl learned his trade. After styling the 1927 LaSalle for GM president Alfred P. Sloan, Earl rose to prominence and ran the newly created department of Art and Color. Automobile design stagnated during the Depression and World War II, but the number of his contributions to the automotive world in the 1950s is staggering. When the jet age hit, he fully embraced aviation design and infused it into GM cars. The Buick Y-Job and GM Le Sabre featured many firsts in automotive design and hardware. The Y-Job's fender extensions trailing over the doors, disappearing headlamps, flush door handles, a metal cover over the convertible top were a few innovations. When General Motors needed to show off its cars and technology, Harley Earl-designed cars were the stars of the Motorama show that toured the country from 1949 to 1961. He led the team that created the 1953 Corvette, and this iconic American sports car is still going strong today. He was involved in the creation of the 1955-1957 Chevy Bel Air, otherwise known as the Tri-Five Chevy. Harley Earl's drive toward bold and innovative design spurred American car design during the mid-twentieth century. His distinctive designs defined the 1950s finned cars and set American automotive design on the path it has followed into the modern era. With this in-depth examination, you learn the inside story of these remarkable cars and the man behind them. It’s an essential addition to any automotive library.

Billy Alfred and General Motors

Billy  Alfred  and General Motors
Author: William PELFREY
Publsiher: AMACOM
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2006-03-27
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780814429617

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One industry has had more impact on life in America than any other before or since. Here is the story of two men and one company at the start of it all. You couldn’t find two more different men. Billy Durant was the consummate salesman, a brilliant wheeler-dealer with grand plans, unflappable energy, and a fondness for the high life. Alfred Sloan was the intellectual, an expert in business strategy and management, master of all things organizational. Together, this odd couple built perhaps the most successful enterprise in U.S. history, General Motors, and with it an industry that has come to define modern life throughout the world. Their story is full of timeless lessons, cautionary tales, and inspiration for business leaders and history buffs alike. Billy, Alfred, and General Motors is the tale not just of the two extraordinary men of its title but also of the formative decades of twentieth-century America, through two world wars and sea changes in business, industry, politics, and culture. The book includes vivid, warts-and-all portraits of the legends of the golden age of the automobile, from “Crazy” Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, and Charles Nash to the brilliant but uncredited David Dunbar Buick and Cadillac founder Henry Leland. The impact of Durant and Sloan on their contemporaries and their industry is matched only by the powerful legacy of their improbable and incredible partnership. Characters, events, and context -- all are brought skillfully and passionately to life in this meticulously researched and supremely readable book.

Lost Car Companies of Detroit

Lost Car Companies of Detroit
Author: Alan Naldrett
Publsiher: Arcadia Publishing
Total Pages: 144
Release: 2016-01-25
Genre: Transportation
ISBN: 9781625856494

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Among more than two hundred auto companies that tried their luck in the Motor City, just three remain: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But many of those lost to history have colorful stories worth telling. For instance, J.J. Cole forgot to put brakes in his new auto, so on the first test run, he had to drive it in circles until it ran out of gas. Brothers John and Horace Dodge often trashed saloons during wild evenings but used their great personal wealth to pay for the damage the next day (if they could remember where they had been). David D. Buick went from being the founder of his own leading auto company to working the information desk at the Detroit Board of Trade. Author Alan Naldrett explores these and more tales of automakers who ultimately failed but shaped the industry and designs putting wheels on the road today.

Car Crazy

Car Crazy
Author: G. Wayne Miller
Publsiher: PublicAffairs
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2015-11-03
Genre: Transportation
ISBN: 9781610395526

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Before the "Big Three," even before the Model T, the race for dominance in the American car market was fierce, fast, and sometimes farcical. Car Crazy takes readers back to the passionate and reckless years of the early automobile era, from 1893, when the first US-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford's Model T went on the market. The motorcar was new, paved roads few, and devotees of this exciting and unregulated technology battled with citizens who considered the car a dangerous scourge, wrought by the wealthy, that was shattering a more peaceful way of life. Among the pioneering competitors were Ransom E. Olds, founder of Olds Motor Works and creator of a new company called REO; Olds' cutthroat new CEO Frederic L. Smith; William C. "Billy" Durant of Buick Motor Company (and soon General Motors); and inventor Henry Ford. They shared a passion for innovation, both mechanical and entrepreneurial, but their maniacal pursuit of market share would also involve legal manipulation, vicious smear campaigns, and zany publicity stunts -- including a wild transcontinental car race that transfixed the public. Their war on wheels ultimately culminated in a courtroom battle that would shape the American car industry forever. Based on extensive original research, Car Crazy is a page-turning story of popular culture, business, and sport at the dawn of the twentieth century, filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, each an American original.

Engines of Change

Engines of Change
Author: Paul Ingrassia
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2012-05-01
Genre: Transportation
ISBN: 9781451640656

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A narrative like no other: a cultural history that explores how cars have both propelled and reflected the American experience— from the Model T to the Prius. From the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod, America’s history is a vehicular history—an idea brought brilliantly to life in this major work by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Paul Ingrassia. Ingrassia offers a wondrous epic in fifteen automobiles, including the Corvette, the Beetle, and the Chevy Corvair, as well as the personalities and tales behind them: Robert McNamara’s unlikely role in Lee Iacocca’s Mustang, John Z. DeLorean’s Pontiac GTO , Henry Ford’s Model T, as well as Honda’s Accord, the BMW 3 Series, and the Jeep, among others. Through these cars and these characters, Ingrassia shows how the car has expressed the particularly American tension between the lure of freedom and the obligations of utility. He also takes us through the rise of American manufacturing, the suburbanization of the country, the birth of the hippie and the yuppie, the emancipation of women, and many more fateful episodes and eras, including the car’s unintended consequences: trial lawyers, energy crises, and urban sprawl. Narrative history of the highest caliber, Engines of Change is an entirely edifying new way to look at the American story.