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Car Crazy: The Battle for Supremacy between Ford and Olds by G. Wayne Miller

By G. Wayne Miller

In motor vehicle Wars, G. Wayne Miller, writer of Toy Wars: The Epic fight among G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the corporations That lead them to and males and pace: A Wild journey via NASCAR's Breakout Season, takes readers again to the wild and wooly years of the early motor vehicle era—from 1893, whilst the 1st U.S.-built car used to be brought, via 1908, while normal cars used to be based and Ford's version T went out there. The motorized vehicle was once new, paved roads few, and devotees of this intriguing and unregulated know-how battled with voters who concept the automobile a deadly scourge of the rich which was once shattering a extra peaceable lifestyle. because the computer reworked American tradition for larger and worse, early company battles for survival and industry proportion remodel the commercial panorama. one of the pioneering opponents are: Ransom E. Olds, founding father of Olds Motor Works, inventor of the meeting line (Henry Ford copied him), and author of a brand new corporation referred to as REO; Frederic L Smith, cutthroat businessman who turned CEO of Olds Motor Works after Olds was once ousted in a company energy play; William C. “Billy" Durant of Buick Motor corporation (who might quickly create common Motors), and genius inventor Henry Ford.
The fiercest struggle pits Henry Ford opposed to Frederic Smith of Olds. Olds was once the early winner within the race for dominance, yet now the Olds empire is in hassle, its once-industry major industry proportion shrinking, its funds dwindling. Ford is simply revving up. yet this is often Ford's 3rd test at a winning automobile company—and if this one fails, relatively most likely his final. So Smith fights Ford with the guns he is aware top: attorneys, blackmail, intimidation, and a vicious ads smear crusade that eventually backfires.
Increasingly determined, wanting impressive PR that might support entice consumers to his showrooms, Smith levels the main outrageous stunt of the period: the 1st automobile race around the continental usa, with of his Olds vehicles. The race pits the speeding author Percy Megargel, a prosperous New Yorker, opposed to Everyman mechanic Dwight B. Huss, a strong Midwesterner—men who percentage a fondness for experience and the recent computer. coated breathlessly via the clicking and witnessed by means of hundreds of thousands within the groups they go through, Megargel and Huss stumble upon surprise, mishap, clash, and possibility on their wild 3,500-mile race from long island to Portland, Oregon, so much of it via areas missing paved roads—or any roads at all...Meanwhile, the Ford/Smith conflict develops within the newspapers and court docket dramas. Its final result will form the yank automobile for a century to come.
Car Wars is a page-turning tale of pop culture, company, and activity on the sunrise of the 20 th century, full of compelling, larger-than-life characters, every one an American unique

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Additional info for Car Crazy: The Battle for Supremacy between Ford and Olds and the Dawn of the Automobile Age

Sample text

Louise and Panhard were soon more than business partners: they married on May 17, 1890. Panhard et Levassor began commercial production, which it supported with clever marketing, including a catalog of 24 CAR CRAZY its vehicles published in January 1892 and a leaflet with customer testimonials published that October. Benz also discovered opportunity in France when, in early 1888, French engineer Émile Roger visited him at his Mannheim factory. Roger bought a Patent-Motorwagen and secured the rights to sell it outside Germany— in France, under the name Roger-Benz, which, he had decided, would not turn off potential customers who might be offended by a purely German name.

French roads were suited for speed, and the Parisian daily newspaper Le Petit Journal took advantage on July 19, 1894, when it sponsored the world’s first automobile competition, a race from Paris to Rouen. More than one hundred vehicles were entered, but only twenty-one started. A steam-powered French De Dion-Bouton placed first, covering the nearly eighty miles in six hours and forty-eight minutes, an average speed of about 12 miles per hour. Two Panhards and two Peugeots rounded out the top five.

Smith’s worry that Olds was minimizing customer complaints about the Curved Dash further worsened the bad feelings between the men. Dealers were reporting defects, but Olds was slow to correct them. “The repair items are a fright and the black eye our runabout will get from breakage complaints will grow worse the deeper we get in,” Smith had told Olds in 1902. ” 46 CAR CRAZY Ransom Olds believed his car had proved itself worthy—in competitions and the daily experiences of thousands of owners.

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