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Published: 10.22.2014
Sounds of the 1960's: Remembering great car music
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Billy D' s Record Collection.

The great music and the sensational singing groups of the 1960's remain as some of the most memorable moments in our American culture. These tunes often highlighted the popular Hot Rods and the car culture during that time period. Our society has always been fascinated with music and cars. Today, when I attend many car shows, you still can hear those great songs from the Beach Boys. You might even groove to the famous Rip Chords and their popular song “Hey Little Cobra”, which was one of the highest ranking hot rod songs of all time.

Published: 10.15.2014
Historical Snapshot: The Pierce-Arrow Automobiles
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

As we look back over the early days of our automotive heritage, we admire the Pierce-Arrow automo-bile as a unique and fascinating vehicle. The vehicles manufacturing dates back from 1901 through 1938 out of Buffalo, New York. Ironically, the Pierce-Arrow journey began with the production of bi-cycles in the late 1890's, followed by light cars produced and powered by Dion-Bouton engines shortly after.

Published: 10.08.2014
1964: A Great Year for Pontiac
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's Automotive Collection

The year 1964 was a great time for the Pontiac Motor Division. With the introduction of new Pontiac models, General Motors excitedly launched its state-of-the-art line of automobiles. Pontiac introduced all new styling with updated body types for its intermediate model lineup.

Published: 10.01.2014
1949 Ford: The Car, The Workers, & The Innovation
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

In automotive history, 1949 is known as the year of big change. This story is about how it all began. With just a simple idea sketched out on a piece of paper, the developments that followed from factory to finish attribute to Ford Motor Company’s successful year. The men and women who helped with design and build these remarkable automobiles made automotive history.

Published: 09.23.2014
GMC Trucks of 1957
From Durability to Style: An Era of Innovation & Design
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection

The purpose of this story is to highlight the history of GMC trucks, specifically those introduced to the public in 1957. Looking back at GMC's very rich history of manufacturing influential products, the company became extremely popular among consumers who could appreciate the trucks’ functionality, performance, and design. GMC trucks are still popular to this day, with their new 2014 line of trucks, crossovers, and vans.

Published: 09.18.2014
The Demise of Chrysler Airflow Models
By Robert Tate: Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's collection

In 1934, Mr. Carl Breer and two of his associates, Mr. Owen Skelton and Mr. Fred Zeder, created a special kind of Chrysler automobile that would later become very controversial within the automotive market. Many Americans did not like the 1934-1937 Chrysler vehicles or the De Soto Airflow automobiles. However, the vehicles offered many innovations and safety features that made the proved these models were simply ahead of their time.

Published: 09.11.2014
Remembering the Legacy of Frederick S. Duesenberg
By – Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images - Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection

Mr. Frederick Samuel Duesenberg was born in Lippe, Germany on December 6, 1876. In 1880, he was brought to the United States by his mother when he was just four years old. The family moved to Rockford, Iowa where Mr. Duesenberg began working for a farming manufacturing company at the age of seventeen. It was there he learned about the mechanics of how machinery within the industrial world worked.

Published: 09.03.2014
Ford’s Space Travel Designs of the 50’s
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection/Bob Tate's Collection

In 1957, Mr. George W. Walker was the Vice-President and Director of styling for Ford Motor Company. From an automotive perspective, it was the best of times because automotive designers could watch his or her creative dreams become reality. Exterior and Interior Designers worked side by side to create forms and new ideas for both the immediate and the distant future automotive designs. One of the most classic automobiles to come out of Ford Styling was the Lincoln Zephyr of the mid-thirties and the original Lincoln Continental models, which are all still very popular among collectors today.

Published: 08.26.2014
1950's Designing Women of Packard
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

One of the most rewarding things about being an Automotive Historian is that you can always find historical research from the past that somehow today becomes a new, relevant, yet exciting story to share in the present. As a historian, I had some knowledge of Mrs. Dorothy Draper and how she helped create new ideas and fashion trends for the 1952 Packard automobiles. However, I had no idea who Mary Ellen Green was. Hopefully, this story can take us back to a place in our automotive heritage where we can remember two very talented women who were able to express their ideas and creativity on paper and impact Packard's automotive styling.

Published: 08.19.2014
A Glimpse of Motor Coach History
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher.
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection.

When you look back at the early days of General Motors coach transportation systems, much of its initial history began with the General Motors Truck & Coach manufacturing plant located in Pontiac Michigan. This was a division of the Yellow Truck & Coach manufacturing. During the 1930's, a full operation was available to assemble motor coach transportation for American citizens who needed and were dependent upon public transportation.

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