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Las Vol1 No3

Las Vol1 No3

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Published by Richard Earl
Story of HJE's LASALLE
Story of HJE's LASALLE

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Published by: Richard Earl on Apr 25, 2014
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05/05/2014

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Phone: (509) 329-6018 lasalleappreciationsociety@gmailcom
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Before the introduction of the LaSalle in 1927, the automobile was all about function, not form. Henry Ford’s odel !"# was $irtually the same throu%hout its history and there was little concern for ma&in% it aesthetically 'leasin%. (t was merely a means for %ettin% from 'oint ) to 'oint B* Stylin% sim'ly ne$er entered the 'icture, althou%h you could 'urchase the odel !"# in any color you wanted,
(as long as it was black).
 +nter Harley +arl, the !a-inci of etroit#, and e$erythin% chan%ed* ith the introduction of the LaSalle, both form )/ function became im'ortant.  )/ "H+ 0BL( 3+S04/+* So did the entire automobile industry* (n this issue, we 'ay tribute to the man most res'onsible for %i$in% us an automobile which was not only functional but was also B+)"(FL. (f that were his only accom'lishment, he would deser$e our hearty accolades on this, the 56th anni$ersary of his 'assin%, but this doesn’t e$en be%in to scratch the surface of his many accom'lishments.
arley $arl "tomotie *esign Pioneer
 )fter the turn of the century there were 126 automobile com'anies in the etroit area. otown became the e'icenter of automobile manufacturin% because of its 'reeistin% sto$e castin%, ci%ar ma&in% and food 'rocessin% industries. "he otor ity had 'roimity to the nation’s ma8or centers of coal, iron, and co''er minin%. (n addition it was easily accessible by water, rail and land. 0roduction techniues were 'erfected by immi%rants, drawn to the o''ortunities of reli%ious freedom and 'ros'erity in /orth )merica.
,he Pre4ar "tomoile &nstry in *etroit
Inside This IssueInside This IssueInside This IssueInside This Issue::::
Harley Earl, Automotive Design Pioneer
 1111
The Prewar Automobile Industry
 1111
Breakthrough on an 87!r" #ld $ontroversy
 2222
$hoosing a $ar %or &estoration, 't" III
 2222
Designing (omen) Earl*s Damsels o% Design
 2222
Ameri+an Automobile $lubs
 3333
A'ril-ay ./012olume I, Issue 3
 
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oooonnnn ppppaaaaggggeeee 3333By By By By Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! President! A"#President! A"#President! A"#President! A"# By By By By Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! Ronald E. arson! President! A"#President! A"#President! A"#President! A"#
 
SPECIAL HARLEY EARL LEGACY ISSUE
e are 'leased to ha$e as a %uest contributor in this issue
(and hopefully in succeeding issues),
 r. 3ichard +arl, who is the youn%est %randson of the %reat Harley +arl. 0lease en8oy the interestin% insi%hts he offers in this !Le%acy# issue.  )nd finally, allow me to than& you, our readers, for the way in which you continue to welcome and recei$e each issue of the L)S)LL+ )FF(()/)4. e are %rateful for the many 'ositi$e res'onses we ha$e recei$ed and continue to recei$e as well as hel'ful constructi$e criticisms. 0lease &ee' them comin%* e lo$e to hear from you* (f you ha$e a story to share about your LaSalle or 'erha's a historical or technical issue, 'lease share it. 3emember, the L)S4 is all about you* e’re listenin%*
 
By 1916, 1: out of the country’s 16 most 'o'ular car brands were in etroit. "ycoons and munici'al eecuti$es 'artnered to create a metro'olis that attracted millions from around the %lobe. )utomobile com'anies recruited s&illed craftsman and desi%ners from +uro'e, )sia and )ustralia. "he allurement of the ;6 a day labor rate dro$e the ho'eless and 'oor, whites and blac&s from sharecro''in% in the south to northern automobile 'lants. (f you were homeless, colored, an immi%rant, or a non<+n%lish s'ea&er you could find a middle class career with a 'ension and full benefits. (ncreased com'etition in the industry dro$e wa%es hi%her and car 'rices lower thus %eneratin% 'roduct im'ro$ements. om'anies were com'etin% for their share of the etra$a%ant and affluent automobile mar&et. 0resident illiam "aft declared !( am sure the automobile comin%
 
 
" 7reathrogh on an 8-ear l 'ontroersy
(t’s es'ecially si%nificant that the name of adillac’s chief en%ineer, +rnest . Seaholm, accom'anies the moni&er of Harley =. +arl, H=+, on the first La Salle automobile 'atent. Because, contrary to 'o'ular belief these days
(most savvy auto aficionados believe HJE was just a "tylist"),
 it 'ro$es r. +arl was a %ifted en%ineer. "he followin% story of the LaSalle starts off with Harley mo$in% to etroit from Hollywood, alifornia. "he moment this man arri$ed in )merica>s auto ca'ital in 1927 to be%in remodelin% and 're<en%ineerin% ?eneral otors car lines, tensions were hi%h* "his es'ecially held  ) few final thou%hts on choosin% that $inta%e collector $ehicle@ 4f 'rime im'ortance, if you e'ect your $ehicle to ha$e any resale $alue is to ensure that you are 'urchasin% a
“numbers matching” car.
 Aour car’s -ehicle (dentification /umber or -(/C, is used by the automoti$e industry and the insurance industryC as a uniue serial number to identify your and distin%uish your car from all the others. (t can be decoded to 'ro$ide your insurer an accurate descri'tion of your $ehicle often includin% many o'tions with which it was eui''ed at the
'hoosing a 'ar or +estoration part &&&
*esigning ;omen: $arl<s *amsels o *esign
Bein% the only female on the L)S4 staff, and a female LaSalle lo$er in a male<dominated hobby, ( thou%ht that an article on Harley +arl’s !amsels of esi%n# would be an a''ro'riate way to honor r. +arl’s le%acy. "here is, howe$er, 'recious little information readily a$ailable on these 'ioneerin% women in what is still a male dominated 'rofession today. r. +arl was not 8ust ahead of his time in brin%in% stylin% to etroit, but was one of the first to boldly solicit the !feminine touch# when desi%nin% automobiles, choosin% color combinations both interior fabric and eterior 'aintC, !female friendly# features, and e$en the namin% many of ?’s automobiles. r. +arl brou%ht the first woman desi%ner on board in 195:* ith the ad$ent of 'ower steerin%, 'ower bra&es, and automatic transmissions, more and more women were dri$in%, and becomin% more influential in family
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true with the myriad of hi%h le$el en%ineers inside this com'any for they could sniff chan%e was in the wind when H=+ recei$ed s'ecial treatment from the Fisher family and es'ecially Lawrence 0. L0C Fisher, and ri%ht from the %et %o it was e$ident Harley had fied thin%s ahead of time to ha$e some one<of<a<&ind mandate with many of ?>s to' leaders and lar%est shareholders. ithout it, H=+ would ha$e ne$er %i$en u' his successful customiDin% business for mo$ie stars and millionaires stars in sunny southern alifornia to mo$e to etroit, ichi%an with its lon% winters. (t was on account of this arran%ement with L0 Fisher, the %eneral mana%er of ?’s elite adillac brand, that was the ultimate deal ma&in% ace<in<the<hole for Harley. (t enabled him to %ain a foothold ed%e o$er the le%ions of traditional cor'orate en%ineers within ? when they’d come at him for a fi%ht re%ardin% the body style, and they always did. But o$er the years that followed headin% into the 19:Es, each en%ineer who fou%ht him, always ended u' re%rettin% it. For ob$ious reasons, r. +arl ne$er chose to 'ublicly tal& about all the delicious 'ressure %oin% on around ?>s new and more modern en%ineerin% desi%ns he was doin% inside ?’s newly formed )rt  olour Section that was an all new de'artment dedicated to Harley’s dream of what a ? car should be. Harley won this
'27 LaSalle patent above. The filing date on this seminal patent above was ov. 15, 1926. t this time,  !". #a"l was still an o$tside", living in %oll&wood, alifo"nia and a(ting as a )(ons$lting enginee") to adilla(. The patent is of adilla(*s othe"+b"othe", the new *27 L SLL#. This was the fi"st  p"ofessionall& designed a$tomobile b& and a"tistenginee" to eve" "oll off an assembl& line in -et"oit.  fte" the deb$t, it be(ame an instant sales s$((ess selling ove" 27, $nits its fi"st &ea"/.
 
 
(n 19E2, there were an estimated 2:,EEE motoriDed $ehicles com'ared to 17 million horsesG$arious ma&es with $aried desi%ns and styles. )rchi$es indicate at least E motor clubs were %enerated by the collecti$e interests of car lo$ers. For a number of reasons ( would wa%er that )LL of the members loo&ed li&e meGwhite male. )utomobile clubs were a 'lace for members to study, socialiDe, and $enerate the brand. 3ecent statistics indicate that traditional car clubs are at a crossroads. )ttrition and the annual uietus rate is a''roimately 1EI. "oday the hobby member color continues to mirror my ima%e. "his 'ath will lead to etinction. For eam'le, there are more non<L adillac and LaSalle car owners in other clubs than L members by a ratio of ten to one. ?enerally s'ea&in% today>s auction buyers are not students of automobiles 8ust turn<&ey s'ecialists or tro'hy room builders. Aummies youn% urban malesC are buyin% electronic toys instead of cars for fun. 4ur ob8ecti$e should not be to ")3?+" women and minorities. "he )( should be to in$ite and retain automobile enthusiasts %lobally that H)00+/ to be women and minorities. hether we li&e it or not, this is the demo%ra'hic with funds to fuel the automobile club hobby. 4nce firmly im'lanted we can en%ineer their dri$e to be club leaders. "he %rowth of our hobby is more im'ortant than our anima. e want this crossroad to be a freeway to a successful car club in the future. (f you are 'onderin% why you should 8oin the L)S4 the answer is elementary. e do not ha$e directors or eecuti$es. Aou 8ust need a desire to ha$e fun and an affinity for the Harley +arl LaSalle brand. "his or%aniDation is free and im'lemented by you the team member. e eist to assist e$ery LaSalle owner family with all of their needs. 4ur %oal is a friendshi' with the 'erson first, then your LaSalle. +n%a%e "hat ?ear
 John Agamon
"merican "tomoile 'ls
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in as a toy of the wealthier class is %oin% to 'ro$e the most useful tool of them all, to all classes, rich and 'oor.# For the common man, ? and u0ont introduced the conce't of 'urchasin% a $ehicle on credit with the establishment of the ?eneral otors )cce'tance or'oration in 1919. ?) by'assed financin% throu%h ban&s, and sales lea'ed for ?. (n 192, 76I of all automoti$e acuisitions were transacted by credit. (n 1926, the nited States a$era%e for annual consumer %asoline consum'tion eceeded 57: %allons. )utomobiles were both a necessity for tra$el and a status symbol for those with e%os. 0rohibition created a meltin% 'ot for carousin% in a s'ea&easy, but the Blueblood wanted his carria%e to distin%uish his ele$ated status. "he orld lass ri$er wanted style and o'ulence from his 'iece of trans'ortation. "he )ristocrat wanted to differentiate himself from the !
hoi polloi! 
 by the barouche he steered. "he horse became his 'et instead of his tra$el com'anion.  )fter the crash of 1927, a wa$e of automobile com'anies san& amid 'oor mana%ement, increased com'etition and the decline of the u''er class. any firms were mer%in% with more 'rofitable com'anies to stay afloat. "he streets were lined with families newly destitute searchin% for a daily meal. Schools were $acant due to the abandonment of the 're$ious luury of learnin%. ri$in% throu%h urban streets in a beautiful chariot was seen as %asconadin% and 'om'ous. ost u''er and middle class owners of hi%her end $ehicles also needed a re%ular car to na$i%ate safely in 'ublic.  )lfred Sloan %a$e a youn% desi%ner, Harley +arl, the o''ortunity to sol$e this conundrum with the launch of his LaSalle. (n the 19:E’s ? became the mar&et leader with Ford sli''in% to second and hrysler third. Statistics re$eal the B(? : were res'onsible for 9EI of total car sales. Ford wanted to continue the hi%h 'rofit use of mass 'roduction, mandatory o$ertime, unfair 'romotion 'ractices, and unsafe wor&in% conditions. He re8ected the 19:6 a%ner )ct establishin% trade union ri%hts. He refused to 8oin hrysler and ? in their 'ost stri&e a%reements with the nited )utomobile or&ers nion
(#$).
 (nstead, he used com'any enforcers and s'ies to a$oid unioniDation. "he 19:7 !Battle of the 4$er'ass,# in which the enforcers attac&ed and se$erely in8ured can$assin% union re'resentati$es, mar&ed an historic moment in labor union e$olution. Ford was censured by the /ational Labor 3elations Board. He finaliDed a contract with the ) in 1951.

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