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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.

Published: 03.11.2015
The Early Days of Ford Design
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: courtesy of Robert Tate’s collection

As we take a look back at the automotive heritage of Ford Motor Company’s early design department in the 1930's, we find that the journey began with the late Edsel Ford. Mr. Ford established the Ford Design department in March of 1935. It was at that time, the late Mr. Eugene Bob Gregorie was selected as its department manager.

Published: 03.03.2015
General Motors: The Year of 1956
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

The year 1956 was a very good period for the General Motors Corporation. The late Mr. Harlow Curtice was President and the late Mr. Harley Earl responsible for styling and design of GM vehicles. On a historical note, at this same time, a young man by the name of Elvis Presley was making his way up the music charts and the movie ‘Giant’ featuring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean became a box office favorite.

Published: 02.24.2015
Diego Rivera, Famous Muralist of Detroit's Auto Industry
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's collection

One of the most influential painters and muralists of the twentieth century was the late Mr. Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Born on December 8, 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico, Diego Rivera’s artistic journey started at the age of ten with the beginning of his extraordinary talent and interest in painting. He studied art at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City

Published: 02.18.2015
Remembering the American Rambler 1956 – 57’
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate’s Collection

The American Motor Company was located at 14250 Plymouth Rd. in Detroit, Michigan. During that time, George Romney was President and Chairmen of the Board for corporation. In 1956, American Motors introduced a newly designed Rambler model along with a very popular Cross Country station wagon.

Published: 02.10.2015
Spotlight on Women of the Maxwell Motor Car Company
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

In the early years of 1903-1912, the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Car Company was the starting point for the production and manufacturing of Maxwell Automobiles. On July 4, 1903, with a $3000 backing investment from C. W. Althouse, Briscoe entered into a contract with Maxwell to build and produce a prototype automobile that would compete with other vehicles in the automotive industry. Benjamin Briscoe was born in Detroit on May 24, 1867; he was the son of Joseph A and Sarah Smith Briscoe. Jonathan Maxwell was born on September 3, 1894, in Peru, Indiana. He was a machinist by trade who had worked his way up from many apprentice assignments from his adolescence to journeyman foreman position in 1892, and later became a Master Mechanic in a roundhouse of a western railroad.

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