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2016, G. DAVID

Car Collector

Volume IX, Issue 10



Car Collecting Today

High RPMs

Classic Rides
Reports From the Field
Oldsmobile (1897-2004)
Cadillac (1902- )
Allant (1987-1993)

Corvair (1960-1969)

= Clickable Link

High RPMs

Who Was That


Scripps Booth

Pics to Ponder

Not that anyone is counting, but this issue of CCC is

#96, and marks the completion of 8 full years of publication.
I do not know about
where you are, but here in
SE WI it looks as though
summer has left? Our daytime highs are now in the
60s, and we have nighttime
lows in the 40s.
While out for my daily
trek today I came upon an
AMC Javelin. One simply
does not see too many of
them on the road any more.
The lines were, and are,
pleasing. Put a high power
mill under the hood and one
has a true muscle car!
October Automotive Milestones
1-1908 Ford intros Model T
1-1954 Studebaker-Packard
Corp. merged
1-1974 Last Imperial introd


site to discuss the newsletter,
the hobby and our cars.

2-1912 William S. "Bunkie"

Knudsen born
2-1959 Corvair debuts
4-1962 Buick debuts Riviera
4-1983 633 m.p.h. land
speed record set
7-1945 1st post-war Cadillac produced
7-1948 Citroen debuts 2CV
7-1960 CBS premieres
"Route 66"
8-1869 J. Frank Duryea
born, Washburn, Illinois
8-1938 Mercury production
8-1959 Ford debuts Falcon
13-1902 Ohio Automobile
Co. becomes Packard Motor
Car Co.
14-1965 Toronado debuts
15-1924 Lee Iacocca born
15-1945 Olds resumes postwar production
16-1958 El Camino debuts
21-1927 1st Model A Ford
21-1963 Honda imports 1st
car to U.S.
25-1864 John Dodge born
25-1873 John Willys born
25-1931 Geo Washington

Bridge opens to traffic

25-1954 Geo Romney named
25-1957 Last Hudson introd
28-1955 Chevrolet intros the 265
30-2010 GM kills Pontiac
31-1957 ToyotaUSA opens in
Hollywood, CA

- Autumn arrives abruptly!

GDYNets on the Web

Find GDYNets on the web:

CCC Forum

October 2016

Car Collector Chronicles

Saved 62 -Our 1962 Olds
convertible, Ransom Eli Olds
and things Oldsmobile related
web site.
The Gray Lady -1955 Cadillac
Coup de Ville web site.

SAVED 62: A website devoted

to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site

also has a lot of information on
Oldsmobile cars and the company founder, Ransom Eli Olds.

THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac

Coup de Ville, lots of Caddy
information and an extensive
repair library.

DAVES DEN: -A site devoted to a myriad of interests.

Foremost is extensive information on the Steel City of Gary,
IN. There are also offerings on
steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary
Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14
assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the
murder of Gary, IN Police Lt.
George Yaros.

Car Collector Chronicles

Page 2

Who Was That Man?

It was also
that virtually
every farmer
in America
was more
than familiar
with Plymouth
Twine from
Company .

His likeness may not be readily recognizable. That may be because during his lifetime he was not one to seek the limelight.
Rather, he was content to be permitted to do that at which he was
good at doing, and which he enjoyed.
His middle name was Washington. That may be due to the fact
that his mother was a direct descendant of the Father of Our
Country, George Washington.
He made his name in the automobile industry. At one time or another during his career he worked in various and myriad capacities for Packard, GM, Saxon, Pierce-Arrow,
Maxwell-Chalmers, Chrysler, Willys-Overland and Graham-Paige. For a short period of
time, from 1946 through 1951, a line of automobiles even bore his name.
Lets go back to the beginning. He was born in Nashville, TN. His father was a prominent lawyer and his mother a socialite. Despite having earned a sheepskin from Yale in
1911, he went to work as a mechanics helper at his older brothers Packard dealership.
In this position he was paid the munificent sum of 16 an hour; $3.82 in todays money!
The early 20s found him at GM, more specifically Chevrolet. There his marketing
skills were responsible for making automobile purchases more attainable by the
masses via manufacturer funded financing. Can you say GMAC? His ability in this
area was such that GM loaned him to Pierce-Arrow to institute a similar scheme,
thereby keeping that ailing company afloat for the time being.
An interesting tidbit is his role in naming the Plymouth. 1n 1927 he was a Chrysler
executive. Chrysler was coming out with an automobile to challenge the position of
Ford and GM in the low priced car market. During a brain storming session our mystery
man suggested the name of Plymouth. Others around the table were not particularly
impressed. The one who was, Walter P. Chrysler. What impressed him was the reasoning behind the suggestion.
Before conjuring up images of the Mayflower and
going all Pilgrim on this, let me make it clear, the suggestion had nothing to do with Plymouth Rock.
Knowing the market, it was appreciated that farmers
were in need of low cost transportation. It was also
appreciated that virtually every farmer in America was
more than familiar with Plymouth Binder Twine,
from Plymouth Cordage Company, the worlds largest
manufacturer of rope. It was a staple of farming operations. Consequently, use of the Plymouth name
yielded instant recognition within the target market.
The idea resonated with Walter P. and he ran with it.
It also must have resonated with the car buying
public. This conclusion is predicated on the fact that
by 1931 Plymouth achieved third in U.S. automobile sales, and was able to maintain
this ranking up to 1954.
One other, non-automobile related point about the Plymouth
Cordage Co. It numbered among its employees one Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Bartolomeo, along with his partner in crime
Nicola Sacco, was an early 20th century anarchist executed
by means of electrocution in 1927 for commission of murder
By the time WWII came along, our mystery man had left
Chrysler Corporation for Willys-Overland. There, he made two
significant contributions. One was development of the Americar. This low cost vehicle ($630) helped keep Willys in the game so that it was still
around and able to compete for the contract to build a military general purpose (GP)
utility vehicle. With respect to this, he was the one with the business foresight to trade-

Page 3

Car Collector Chronicles

Who Was That Man?Contd.

mark the name Jeep.
We have yet to exhaust the lasting contributions of our mystery
man. Another that we are all familiar with today is the hatch
back. Americas first hatchappeared in 1949. The automaker
that introduced it was KaiserFrazer on their respective Traveler and Vagabond models.
I draw your attention to the
spare tire. One would think it
would be accessible from the left
rear door. It was not. You had to
gain access to, and remove the
spare tire from, the right rear
door. This is because the left rear
door was not functional. It was
designed not to be able to be
opened! I have to assume that
this design feature led to more
that a few choice words being uttered during the process of changing a flat tire.
I am not clear whether this door non-functionality carried over in the Kaiser line. My limited research indicates Kaiser stored the spare under the wood decking, instead of hanging
it on the door. If that is accurate, then perhaps the left rear door on the Kaiser was functional?
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that our mystery man was the first to create a
formal school for the training of automobile mechanics. Can you say GM Institute?
So, just who was the guy we have been discussing? By now I suspect you have an idea
as to his identity. He was none other than Joseph W. Frazer. Yes, the Frazer of KaiserFrazer Corporation. This automobile company came into being in 1945, in part due to the
efforts of Bank of America President, Amadeo P. Giannini. It was he who introduced the two
to one another.
They decided the Kaiser would be their
entry level car and the Frazer their top-ofthe-line product. K-F achieved a modicum
of success as the only new automobile in
the early post-war years. In fact, Frazer
outsold Cadillac, Packard and Lincoln in
1947. However, this business marriage of
convenience did not last. Frazier bailed
from the company over marketing strategy
decisions. When he left, in 1949, so did
corporate profitability.
The Frazer crest/insignia contains the motto Je Suis Pret. That
translates to I am ready. It is apropos, in that Joseph W. Frazers life
proved that he was indeed ready to both take on a myriad of tasks and
to be successful in his efforts. While we may not particularly remember him or his cars today, we do continue to benefit from his endeavors.

appeared in

Car Collector Chronicles

Page 4;;

Scripps Booth Bi-Autogo

Is it a car? Is it a motorcycle? What is it?

You are looking at the Scripps Booth Bi-Autogo. It was built
in the year 1913 by a member of the Scripps Publishing empire family. A member with too much time on his hands, and
too much money!
James Scripps Booth quit school in the 10th grade. He was
self-taught when it came to automotive mechanics/
engineering. He acquired his initial skills from an exercise in
which he disassembled (reversed engineered) a Winton automobile owned by his family. And yes, he did successfully put it back together!
This vehicle does have the distinction of being the first V8 engine built in Detroit, MI. The engine is connected to a 4-speed transmission and a fully enclosed chain drive. The 6.3L V8 produced all of 45 b.h.p.;
which actually was quite a lot in 1913. Supposedly the machine would do 75 m.p.h.? To cool this monster
down 450 feet of half-inch copper tubing is formed into a heat exchanger.
The creation weighs in at a mere 3,200 lbs. and measures 20 feet in length! While it does have 37 x 5
1/2 wheels, at over 1 1/2 tons it would take quite a balancing act to keep the craft upright. Hence the stabilizing (training) wheels. They could be lowered via a lever in the cockpit when the machine slowed to 20
A steering wheel, versus handle bars, was used to guide the vehicle. In the absence of power steering
turning corners was not a particularly easy task.
In addition to the driver, the cockpit permitted two passengers. They had to sit behind the operator.
Other features incorporated by young James (age twenty-five in 1913), unique at the time, were hidden
door hinges, folding armrests and a horn located in of all places, smack-dab in the middle of the steering
wheel! Needless to say, the Bi-Autogo is a one-off creation.
In partnership with his uncle, James Scripps Booth manufactured luxury cars which were received well.
Some purchasers were the King of Spain, the Queen of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Churchill and tenor
John McCormick. Ultimately the Scripps-Booth company was acquired by Chevrolet and eventually absorbed by General Motors. 1922 was the last year of automobile production for Scripps-Booth.

Page 5;;

Car Collector Chronicles

Pics to Ponder
That would be me!
This one caught my eye, as it
also is me -

Now, here is one to think about?

Ready for takeoff

Ok, Ive had my say for the month. Now its your turn! I invite/encourage submission
of your comments, opinions and article contributions. I also ask that you please help
spread the word about our publication. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by
me. Submissions should be sent to CCC at

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