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Published: 05.20.2015
Bill Stout: Engineer to Remember
Written by: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection



This is a story about the great accomplishments and contributions of the late Mr. William Bushnell Stout. Mr. Stout was a great American Aviation Engineer who liked to be called an “imaginer”. Scout, was born in 1880 in Quincy, Illinois. He attended Mechanical Arts High School in St. Paul Minnesota and later helped to develop and build one of the first model airplanes in the country. He was considered to be something like a genius.

Published: 05.12.2015
1968: The Year of Corvette
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection


1968 was a year to remember and a year of some very popular historical notes that took place in American culture. During this year, the Beatles had their popular hit song “Hey Jude”. Perhaps you were listening to the sounds of the late Otis Redding “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”. If you're a movie fan like myself, one of the most popular films of the year was “Planet of the Apes” starring the late Charlton Heston along with other talented cast members. 1968 was also the year that the Mattel toy manufacturer released their Hot Wheels line of new products for consumers which were originally intended for children and young adults.

Published: 05.05.2015
From Past to Present: American Service Stations
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection.

If you're of a certain age, like myself, you probably remember the days when the gasoline service station attendant would come out to your vehicle and ask you or your parents what type of fuel you would like for your automobile. I remember the early days of the 1960's as a young kid my mother would take her 1963 Ford Falcon into many of the local Detroit area service stations and would be greeted by a service station attendant with a great smile. The attendant would then wash the windows, check the oil, the battery, and check the tires at no additional cost. It was a time when great customer service in our country was a high priority.

Published: 04.28.2015
Remembering Ford Trucks: 1930-1934
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

The 1930’s were a time of economic down turns and also considered a sad time for many Americans who were enduring the Great Depression. For many living in this country, this was a dismal time in their lives and in our country’s history. During the model years 1930-1934, the Ford Motor Company still manufactured remarkable Ford Trucks for the consumer market. Styling changes to the 1930 and 1931 Model A cars and Model AA trucks made them look new and exciting and many business would enjoy their popularity.

Published: 04.22.2015
1950's, How Chrysler’s Style Influenced Future designs
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy The National Automotive History Collection

During the early 1950's, the Chrysler Corporation introduced an amazing line of concept cars that excited the public. They were called the “prototype cars” or, as some would call them, the “idea cars”. Mr. Tex Corbert, President of Chrysler said, “You have expected and received great things from Chrysler Corporation in the past. There is no visible limit on the things you may expect and receive from Chrysler Corporation in the future”.

Published: 04.14.2015
Remembering Semon E. Knudsen
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

Mr. Semon E Knudsen was the son the late Mr. William S. Knudsen, who served as General Motors President from 1937 to 1940. Semon Knudsen was born on October 2, 1912 in Buffalo New York. Knudsen's nickname “Bunkie” was created by his father. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Semon was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Tool Engineers.

Published: 04.08.2015
Wendell Scott, His Passion and Love for Auto Racing
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

Wendell Scott was the first African American race car driver to race and participate in the NASCAR circuit and the first African American to win a race in the Grand National series (now the Sprit Cup series). Scott was born on August 28, 1921 in Danville, Virginia. From an early age he always had a special passion for auto racing. He would later participate in the War in 1942, and during the time of war, he served in the 101st airborne division until 1945.

Published: 03.31.2015
Remembering the 1966 Pontiac GTO
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's Collection

One of the hottest designed muscle cars of the 1960’s was the 1966 Pontiac GTO produced by General Motors. The models were unique in both engineering and design and offered a great new distinction of style and performance. John Z. DeLorean, who was General Motors Vice-President and Pontiac's General Manager, was in charge at the time. In 1966, the entire Tempest line had been redesigned and expanded by the addition of five new models including a new GTO series. The new Pontiac GTO series included a sports coupe, hardtop coupe, and a convertible. The GTO was a completely new model for 1966.

Published: 03.24.2015
Remembering Steve McQueen, Auto Film Star and Car Collector
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: courtesy of various online sources

I still hold memories of being a young child in 1968 of a time when my late sister and her husband took me with them to go see the popular movie “Bullitt” that was featured at the Mercury Theater in Detroit. The movie highlighted the very talented actor Steve Mc Queen along with other great actors. I will never forget that famous chase scene featuring a 1968 Mustang Fastback in addition to a 1968 Dodge Charger model which became the highlight of the movie. I had always admired Steve McQueen as an actor and as an automotive enthusiast.

Published: 03.17.2015
When Sears Sold Vehicles: Remembering the Allstate
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive Collection

In its early days, the Sears retail chain first sold vehicles to the American market under the name “Sears Motor Buggy” between 1908 and 1912. These were horseless carriages models offered to consumers. The Sears models were designed by Alvaro S. Kortz. Previously, Kortz built an electric car under his own name in his native state of Ohio in 1903.

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