Unique Car Sales



Australian Classic Cars


Unique Cars and Parts on Facebook

Classic Cars for Sale
RSS Feed From Unique Cars and Parts Classifieds


Founding Fathers of the Automotive Industry

Send This Page To A Friend
Honour Roll - The Founding Fathers of the Automotive Industry

APPERSON, Edgar
(1870 - 1959)
APPERSON, Elmer
(1861 - 1920)

Collaborated with Elwood Haynes to build one of America's first cars in 1894, later forming Haynes-Apperson. After they broke with Haynes, they founded the Apperson Brothers Motor Car Company.
Austin, Herbert
AUSTIN, Herbert
(1866 - 1941)

Herbert Austin started off as a designer wilh another car company before deciding to produce his own vehicles. His first Austins, built during the Edwardian era, had nothing unusual about them. They reflected somewhat the personality of their creator, solid, reliable, but a little slow. The steering was good, the brakes were not. Austin kept working and after a lot of experimenting and persevering, he produced the car that brought him true fame, the Austin Seven. Well over a quarter of a million of these small, cheap cars were sold to people who would otherwise have been unable to buy cars.

The Austin story does not end there. Later models brought more success to the growing Austin industry. After WorId War II these two great names in motoring came together. Lord Austin's group combined with the Nuffield Organisation to become the British Motor Corporation (BMC). From humble beginnings, these two determined men helped give Great Britain a flourishing and important industry that would dominate until the 1970's.

Austin also shared connections with Australia, having worked for the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company in Australiabefore returning to England to build the first Wolseley car in 1895. Austin was knighted in 1917 and became Lord Austin in 1936.
BENTLEY, Walter Owen
BENTLEY, Walter Owen
(1888 - 1971)

Trained as a railway engineer, fitted some of the first aluminium pistons to DFP cars in 1914. After building aeroengines during World War One, he launched the Bentley car in 1919. He later worked for Lagonda.
BENZ, Karl
BENZ, Karl
(1844 - 1929)

Began development of a petrol engine in 1878, founding Benz & Co. in 1883. Built his first motor car in 1885-86, the first petrol car conceived as a unity and owing nothing to horse-drawn carriages.
BIRKIGT, Mare
(1878 - 1953)

Swiss engineer who moved to Spain, and became designer of Hispano-Suiza cars and aeroengines.

BOLLEE, Amédée pére
(1844 - 1916)


French bell-founder and designer of steam carriages which pioneered independent front suspension and other technical features well ahead of their time.

BOLLEE, Amédée fils
(1867 - 1926)

Began with steam carriages, but turned to petrol cars in 1896, building a streamlined racer in 1899 with underslung chassis, rear-mounted twin carburettor, and four-cylinder engine with hemispherical combustion chambers.

BOLLEE, Léon
(1870 - 1913)

First achieved fame with the invention of a calculating machine, then, in 1895, devised a sporting tandem-scat voiturette. In contrast, from 1903 he built refined and silent quality cars of advanced design.

BRISCOE, Benjamin
(1869 - 1945)

Founded, with Jonathan Maxwell, the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company in 1903, and in 1910 organized the United States Motor Company, a combine of some 130 firms, which folded in 1912. In 1913 Briscoe began building cars under his own name. A visit to the 1912 London Motorcycle Show introduced him to cyclecars, which he built in France and America in conjunction with his brother Frank (1875-1954).
BROWN, Sir David
BROWN, Sir David
(1904 - 1993)

Industrialist, who bought Aston Martin and Lagonda in 1947. His backing, which until 1972 ensured the survival of both these famous marques and brought Aston Martin victory at Le Mans.
BUGATTI, Ettore
BUGATTI, Ettore
(1881 - 1947)

Born in Milan, he was designing for De Dietrich before he was 21, moved to Mathis, and in 1910 built the first Bugatti car at Molsheim (Alsace). 'Le Patron', rarely seen without his bowler hat, also affected digitated shoes.

BUICK, David Dunbar

BUICK, David Dunbar
(1855 - 1929)

Applied the money he made from the invention of the enamelled bathtub to the development of a car engine with OHV. He then, in 1903, organized the Buick Motor Car Company with backing from the Briscoe brothers, but was bought out by Billy Durant late in 1904. He withdrew from the car scene three years later and ended up, financially unsuccessful, as a clerk in an industrial trade school.
CHADWICK, Lee Sherman
(1875 - 1958)

Built his first car in 1899, joining Searchmont in 1900. His Chadwick company lasted from 1903 to 1911, and his racing cars pioneered the use of superchargers. His latter years were spent as the head of a stove company.

CHAPIN, Roy
(1880 - 1936)

Started with Olds, then, in 1906, helped found Thornas-Detroit (later Chalmers). In 1909 he organized, along with Howard Coffin, the Hudson Motor Car Company. He was an active crusader for better roads for America.
CHAPMAN, Colin
CHAPMAN, Colin
(1928 - 1982)

Inspired by the Coventry-Climax engine, Colin Chapman got his ideas while he was in the R.A.F. in 1948 and put them into operation when he went home on leave. On leaving the Air Force, he formed the Lotus Engineering Company, and he and his team brought a new long and low look to the sports racing car. Chapman progressed from the design of sports cars to Formula racing cars. Many drivers praised these machines, especially for their road-holding qualities.

Jack Brabham once said that, in some ways, the Lotus handled better than his beloved Cooper. But Brabham had some criticisms, too. Because the engine was placed in front of the driver, the drive leading from it to the rear wheels interfered with his seating position. The links between the steering wheel and the front wheels were also unnecessarily complicated because the engine "gets in the way".

CHARRON, Fernand
CHARRON, Fernand
(1866 - 1928)

French cycle and car racer who collaborated (with Girardot and Voigt) in the CGV car, having made a 'killing' from holding the sole agency for Panhard-Levassor at a time of great demand. Sold his share of Charron Ltd. (as CGV became) to work for his father-in-law, Adolphe CI&ment, but they split up and Charron eventually built the 'Alda' car. Though he was very bald, the fashionable M. Charron rarely wore a hat, a matter for some comment at the time.

CHEVROLET, Louis

CHEVROLET, Louis
(1878 - 1941)

Swiss racing driver who arrived in the USA in 1900 to sell a wine pump he had invented. He became a team driver for Buick and, with Etienne Planche, designed the first Chevrolet Six in 1911. He left Chevrolet to found the Frontenac Motor Company, building racing cars and 'go-faster' equipment for Model T Fords.
CHRISTIE, John Walter
(1886 - 1944)

Pioneered front-wheel drive in the USA, even competing in the French Grand Prix with huge, if not particularly reliable, FWD racers. He also produced FWD tractor units for fire appliances and built an advanced tank in the 1930s.

CHRYSLER, Walter Percy

CHRYSLER, Walter Percy
(1875 - 1940)

A locomotive engineer who joined Buick in 1911, rising to become President - as well as first Vice-President of General Motors. Moved to Willys in 1920, saving this company - and Maxwell-Chalmers - from bankruptcy. He converted Maxwell into the Chrysler Corporation, acquiring Dodge in 1928.
CITROEN, André
CITROEN, André
(1878 - 1935)

Frenchman who worked with Mors pre-World War One, and devised a "Double Chevron" gear which was used as the emblem of the carproducing company he founded in 1919. Development of a magnificent new factory and of the classic front wheel drive Citroén car that caused his death.
CLEMENT, Adolphe
CLEMENT, Adolphe
(1855 - 1928)

French cycle manufacturer who made a fortune from the French rights for the Dunlop pneumatic tyre and his exceedingly complex business dealings when he entered the motor car industry. As a result of selling the manufacturing rights to the "Clément" car, he changed his name to "Clément-Bayard". His company also pioneered aeroplanes and airships.

COATALEN, Louis

COATALEN, Louis
(1879 - 1962)

Breton engineer who came to England in 1900 working for Crowden, Humber and Hillman: His greatest designs were for Sunbeam, where he became Managing Director and built the first V-12 racing car in 1913.

CORD, Errett Lobban

CORD, Errett Lobban
(1894 - 1974)

Dynamic entrepreneur who created the Auburn-Duesenberg-Cord empire, and also owned Lycoming engines, American Airlines, Stinson Aircraft and New York Shipbuilding - all before he turned 35.
DAIMLER, Gottlieb
DAIMLER, Gottlieb
(1834 - 1900)

Born in Württemberg and trained as an engineer; becoming interested in gas engines in the 1860s, he helped develop the Otto gas engine. During the 1880s he set up on his own to develop a 'universal power source' in the shape of a light petrol engine, in collaboration with Wilhelm Maybach. This engine was fitted into a carriage in 1886, creating the first Daimler car.

DARRACQ, Alexandre

DARRACQ, Alexandre
(1855 - 1931)

Born in Bordeaux, Darracq entered the cycle industry in 1891, building 'Gladiator' cycles; selling out in 1896, he moved first into components, then into motor vehicles. Darracq voiturettes were particularly famous. He retired in 1912 to take a financial interest in the Deauville casino. Though Darracq built many thousands of cars, he never drove and disliked riding in them.

DE DION, Albert

DE DION, Albert
(1856 - 1946)

Famous as a duellist and gambler, Corrite De Dion sponsored two brothers-in-law, Bouton and Tr6pardoux, in the construction of steam carriages. The first practicable De Dion Bouton petrol engines appeared in 1894 and were fitted to tricycles, voiturettes (for which the marque became renowned) appearing in 1899. De Dion alsofounded the motoring daily LAuto. He became a Marquis in 1901.

DELAGE, Louis

DELAGE, Louis
(1877 - 1947)

French builder who supplied components to marques such as Helbe, then made complete Delage light cars from 1906. After 1919, Delage also built luxury cars.
DeLOREAN, John
DeLOREAN, John
(1925 - 2005)

Dashing former General Motors executive whose flamboyant lifestyle faded into obscurity after charges that he tried to use drug money to salvage his own fledgling car company. Best known for developing the Pontiac GTO muscle car and gull-winged DMC-12 time-traveling vehicle used in the "Back to the Future" films of the 1980s.
DOBLE, Abner
DOBLE, Abner
(1890 - 1961)

Built his first steam car in 1906, and drove a prototype to Detroit in 1914 to seek backing. Began production in San Francisco in 1920. Output was always limited, but he gained great acclaim. He later acted as a steam power consultant for overseas firms, including Sentinel steam waggons in England.

DODGE, John (right) and DODGE, Horace

DODGE, John
(1864 - 1920)
DODGE, Horace
(1868 - 1920)

Machinists and cycle makers, the Dodges built transmissions for Olds (1901-02), then made chassis and engines for Henry Ford in return for a tenth of his company. They sold their Ford shares for $25,000,000 and founded the Dodge Brothers company, coining the word 'dependable' to describe their products.

DUESENBERG, Frederick

DUESENBERG, Frederick
(1877 - 1932)

Designed his first car in 1904, and by 1913 had organized the Duesenberg Motor Company to build engines. During the 1930s Fred and his brother August built the Duesenberg luxury cars, though E. L. Cord took control of the company in 1927. Fred Duesenberg died in a car crash.

DURANT, William Crapo

DURANT, William Crapo
(1860 - 1947)

Having become a major force in the carriage industry, Billy Durant took over Buick in 1904, then, in 1908, founded the General Motors group. Ousted in 19 10, by 1915 he was ready to take over again via his Chevrolet company. However, a share crash in 1920 put him out of GM again, so he established a 'Second Empire' which survived until the Depression.

DURYEA, Charles

DURYEA, Charles
(1861 - 1939)
DURYEA, Frank
(1870 - 1967)

In 1893 built the first practicable American car to lead to a production company, the Duryea Motor Power Wagon Company (1896).
EARL, Harley
EARL, Harley
(1893 - 1969)

In the early 1920s was a director of Don Lee Corporation, which built custom coachwork for the wealthy. Became director of 'art and color' at GM in 1927, and is recognized as the first mass-production stylist. Among his styling innovations were tailfins.

EDGE, Selwyn Francis

EDGE, Selwyn Francis
(1868 - 1940)

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, came to England and became known as a racing cyclist. Promoted the Napier car and achieved several notable racing victories, including the only British victory in the Gordon Bennett Cup series (1902). In the 1920s, backed AC and Cubitt cars.
FERRARI, Enzo
FERRARI, Enzo
(1898 - 1988)

Became infatuated with automobiles at the age of 10 after his father took him to a car race in Bologna. Started out working for a small carmaker converting war surplus, then took up racing, finishing 9th at the Targa Florio. Landed a job with Alfa Romeo and drove a modified production car in the 1920 Targa Florio, finishing 2nd. Got his big break after meeting Count Enrico and Countess Paolina Baracca.
FLANDERS, Walter
FLANDERS, Walter
(1871 - 1923)

One of the US car industry's first massproduction experts. He was hired by Ford as production manager in 1908, but left in 1909 to found EMF. Later, he founded the United States Motor Company group.

Ford, Henry

FORD, Henry
(1863 - 1947)

Son of an immigrant Irish farmer, Henry Ford wanted to lift the drudgery off farm life, and became an engineer in Detroit. In 1896 he built his first car. After two unsuccessful attempts to found manufacturing companies, he established the Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903. He successfully defied the ALAM monopoly group.

The following year (1904) he held the World Speed Record, reaching 91 mph in his own car. Ford was forever experimenting. At first he tried horizontal twin engines, placed right in the middle of the car. Later he developed an air-cooled vertical engine which he used in his magnificent 6-cylinder luxury model of 1906. But it was not a luxury car that brought Henry Ford his greatest success.

The mass-produced Model T was his real triumph. Ford's aim had been to produce a car combining strength, lightness, power and speed with endurance and economy. No small order! He succeeded, and the public liked the result. Naturally, Ford himself was pleased and remarked with controlled modesty: "There are excellent features in other cars, but better features or as high-grade materials as are used in the Model T Ford cannot be found in any other car at any price. A better car is not and cannot be made".

This popular car was in production with very little changes for nearly 20 years. Fifteen million of them were sold. Later, his V8 engine became nearly as famous.

FRANKLIN, Herbert
FRANKLIN, Herbert
(1867 - 1956)

Newspaper proprietor who became a pioneer of die casting, then in 1902 put the first air-cooled Franklin car on the market.

FRAZER, Joseph W.

FRAZER, Joseph W.
(1894 - 1973)

Having worked for Packard, GM and PierceArrow, Frazer became President of Willys Overland in 1939 and, with Henry Kaiser, founded Kaiser-Frazer in 1946 in an attempt to break the monopoly of the "Big Three" in the popular car market.

HAYNES, Elwood G.

HAYNES, Elwood G.
(1857 - 1925)

Built his first car in 1894 with the help of the Apperson Brothers, and started the Haynes Automobile Company in 1898. He was also a pioneering metallurgist.
HEALEY, Donald
HEALEY, Donald
(1898 - 1988)

Served his apprenticeship at Sopwith Aviation, earning his "wings" in 1916. After the war, opened a garage where his interest grew in rally competition. From the mid-'20s through the early '50s was a European rally driver of great distinction, finishing first in the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally. Following WWII began to build his own cars. Chairman of Jensen Motors in 1972, made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.
HOLDEN, James Alexander
HOLDEN, James Alexander
(1835 - 1887)

British migrant that arrives in Adelaide in 1852, where he sets up shop as a leather worker and saddle-maker. In 1872 set up a partnership with Birks, only to have it disolved 3 years later. Took his son into the business in 1879, then allowed Henry Frost to join as Junior Partner in 1885. This latter pair would take the company from saddle-makers to coach builders.
HULME, Denis Clive "Denny"
HULME, Denis Clive "Denny"
(1936 - 1992)

1967 Formula One World Champion, driving for the Brabham team. Hulme later went on to race for McLaren in Formula One, before retiring from top-level single seater racing to become a hero in CanAm and subsequently Australian Touring Cars. Hulme's untimely death, caused by a heart attack whilst driving a BMW M3 during the Bathurst 1000, made him the first Formula One Champion to die of natural causes.
ISSIGONIS, Sir Alec
ISSIGONIS, Sir Alec
(1906 - 1988)

Designer of Morris Minor (1948), Mini-Minor (1959) and other FWD British Motor Corporation family cars.
JANO, Vittorio
JANO, Vittorio
(1891 - 1965)

Italian designer for Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia, for whom he created some of the finest sports and racing cars of all time.

JEFFERY, Thomas B.

JEFFERY, Thomas B.
(1845 - 1910)

An Englishman who emigrated to the USA in 1863, and in 1879 began manufacturing 'Rambler' bicycles. He invented a 'clincher' tyre in 1891, and built his first successful car in 1900. Production of Rambler cars started in 1902.

JOHNSON, Claude

JOHNSON, Claude
(1864 - 1926)

First Secretary of the ACG131 (later the Royal Automobile Club). Introduced Rolls to Royce, and was first Managing Director of Rolls-Royce.

JORDAN, Edward
(1882 - 1958)

A journalist who became Advertising Manager of the Thomas B. Jeffery Company, leaving to found the Jordan Motor Car Company in 1916. He became better known for his evocative advertising copy than for his cars.
KELSEY, Cadwallader
(1880 - 1970)

Having built an experimental car in 1897, began production of Auto-Tri three-wheelers. Worked for Maxwell as Sales Manager 1905 - 1909, then produced the Motorette car (1910 - 1912) and the Kelsey car (1921 - 1924).

KETTERING, Charles F.

KETTERING, Charles F.
(1876 - 1958)

"'Boss Ket" organized Delco laboratories to develop an electrical ignition system, and subsequently perfected the electric self-starter for the 1911 Cadillac. In 1920 he became head of GM research laboratories.
KIMBER, Cecil
KING, Charles Brady
KING, Charles Brady
(1868 - 1957)

Built Detroit's first motor vehicle in 1896, and later designed the "Silent Northern" and "'King 8" cars, turning to aeroengines in 1916.

LANCHESTER, Frederick

LANCHESTER, Frederick
(1868 - 1946)

British pioneer who built an advanced car in 1895. Apart from. his contributions to automobile engineering, was one of the great pioneers of aeronautics.
LANCIA, Vincenzo
LANCIA, Vincenzo
( - )

LAWSON, Harry J.

LAWSON, Harry J.
(1852 - 1925)

Company promotor, nicknamed "Father of the British Motor Industry". Attempted, from 1896, to form a patent monopoly to control the industry, and floated a number of overcapitalized companies, notably Daimler of Coventry (which survived the collapse of his empire in the early 1900s).
LEDWINKA, Hans
LEDWINKA, Hans
(1878 - 1967)

Austrian designer who worked for Nesselsdorf, Steyr and Tatra, where he devised backbone chassis, all-independent suspension and aircooled engines latterly rear-mounted.
LORD, Sir Leonard
LORD, Sir Leonard
(1896 - 1967)

Chairman of BMC (1952 - 1961), Lord was a brilliant production engineer, who resigned in anger over Morris to join Austin in 1936. His bitterness created damaging internal rivalries within BMC.
LYONS, Sir William
LYONS, Sir William
(1901 -1985)

Founder in 1922 of Swallow Sidecars, which evolved into Jaguar. A brilliantly innovative stylist, he had an unrivalled instinct for designing hardsome, keenly-priced cars for sporty drivers.

LELAND, Henry M.

LELAND, Henry M.
(1843 - 1932)

"'The Master of Precision" learned his art in the arms industry. He also invented the mechanical hair-clipper and began building engines. He reorganized the Henry Ford Company as Cadillac after Ford resigned in 1902, later founding Lincoln.
LENOIR, J-J Etienne
(1822 - 1900)

A Belgian, he invented a successful method of enamelling clock faces in 1847, and in the late 1850s devised a gas engine. He built his first horseless carriage in Paris in 1862, later selling it to the Czar of Russia.
LEVASSOR, Emile
(1844 - 1897)

Co-founder of Panhard-Levassor and inventor of the Systéme Panhard, in which the engine was at the front, under a bonnet, driving the rear wheels via a sliding-pinion gearbox. Died as a delayed effect of a racing accident.

MARKUS, Seigfried
(1831 - 1898)

Austrian inventor who built a number of experimental internal combustion-engined test-benches from 1868. His first true car, long claimed to have been built in 1875, is now known to date from the late 1880's.
MAXWELL, Jonathan Dixon
(1864 - 1968)

Starting in the cycle industry with Elmer Apperson, he worked on the 1894 Haynes-Apperson. In 1903, he joined Ben Briscoe to found the Maxwell-Briscoe company.
METZ, Charles
METZ, Charles
(1864 - 1937)

Famed for his Orient cycles, Metz began production of the crude Orient Buckboard. In 1909 he introduced the low-priced friction-drive Metz 22, sold initially for home assembly.
MORRIS, William
MORRIS, William
(1877 -1963)

William R. Morris started out in a small garage at Oxford, at first acting as an Oxford cycle agent. When he built his first car he called it, appropriately, the Morris Oxford. From that busy shed came all his early cars. They may have been better cars on the market, but the Morris' sold well because they were cheap. William Morris was an excellent organiser and he built up a small but efficient step-by-step assembly line that kept production costs low.

He also turned to sports cars and evolved the now legendary M.G. The name M.G., incidentally, stands for Morris Garage. The M.G.'s proved just as popular as his sedans, but it was as much William Morris' forceful personality and drive as his cars that took him right to the top. Late in his career, as Lord Nuffield, he headed the famous Nuffield Organisation which produced such famous marques as Wolseley, M.G., Riley and, of course, Morris cars. Today he is also remembered for his philanthropy.

NASH, Charles W.

NASH, Charles W.
(1864 - 1948)

An itinerant farm worker, Charles Nash joined the Durant-Dort carriage company, then moved to Buick with Billy Durant, becoming President of that company in 1910 and of the whole GM group in 1912. He left to take over Jetlery and transform it into the Nash Motor Company.

OLDS, Ransom Eli

OLDS, Ransom Eli
(1864 - 1950)

Claimed to have built his first steam car in 1896, and his first petrol car in 1894. Success came with the 1901 Curved-Dash Oldsmobile. He then went on to develop the Reo, taking the name from his initials. He also produced a light 5 h.p. runabout car with tiller steering, called the Olds­mobile. But like David Dunbar Buick, Olds too faded early from the motor car scene as a personality, but bequeathed his name to a line of cars.

PENNINGTON, Edmund Joel
(1858 - 1911)

American "mechanical charlatan"', who "invented" an airship in 1885, and produced a number of eccentric motor vehicles which defied normal mechanical laws.
PEUGEOT, Armand
PEUGEOT, Armand
(1849 - 1915)

Son of one of France's leading ironmongers, Peugeot translated his firm's expertise in making steel rods to replace whalebone in crinoline skirts into the manufacture of cycles. In 1889 the Peugeot company built a steam car designed by Serpollet, but then constructed tubular-framed Daimler-engined cars, France's first production cars.
POPE, Albert Augustus
(1843 - 1909)

Colonel Pope founded a successful cycle manufacturing group in 1879, and moved into the motor industry via electric vehicles as early as 1896. Pope's motor group was dragged down by the decline of the cycle business.
PORSCHE, Ferdinand
PORSCHE, Ferdinand
(1875 - 1952)

Austrian designer for Steyr, Austro-Daimler, Mercedes, Auto-Union, Cisitalia and Porsche, he created the original Volkswagen in the 1930s. His son Ferry would ensure the continuation of the Porsche marque during his fathers incarceration after World War II.
PORTER, Finley Robertson
(1872 - 1964)

Designed the classic Mercer Raceabout, as well as FRP and Porter cars, becoming Chief Engineer of Curtiss Aircraft in 1919.
RENAULT, Louis
RENAULT, Louis
(1877 - 1944)

Son of a rich Parisian button maker, Louis Renault rebuilt his De Dion tricycle into a shaftdriven voiturette in 1898, and received so many orders that he began production of similar vehicles. By 1900, Renault was building 350 cars a year and was established as one of France's leading makes. Louis Renault died in prison during World War Two, having been accused of collaborating with the Germans during the Occupation of France.
RIKER, Andrew L.
(1868 - 1930)

Built his first electric tricycle in 1884, but did not begin production until 1899. In 1902 joined Locomobile to design their first petrol cars.


ROESCH, Georges
(1891 - 1969)

Brilliant Swiss engineer who became Chief Engineer of Clement Talbot of London at 25, designing high speed tourers of great refinement.
ROLLS, The Hon. Charles Stuart
ROLLS, The Hon. Charles Stuart
(1877 - 1910)

Interested in machinery from an early age, Lord Llangottock's youngest son was a pioneer motorist and racing driver who entered the motor trade. Anxious to sell a car bearing his own name, he joined with the engineer Royce. Rolls died in a flying accident at Bournemouth, having been the first man to fly the English Channel both ways.
Romeo, Nicola
ROMEO, Nicola
(1876 - 1938)

A high-flying Neopolitan industrialist responsible for the transformation of the marque to major, and highly respected sports car manufacturer.
ROYCE, Henry
ROYCE, Henry
(1863 - 1933)

Electrical engineer who built a twin-cylinder car in 1903, and went on to construct the 'best car in the world' as well as some remarkable aeroengines.

SELDEN, George Baldwin

SELDEN, George Baldwin
(1846 - 1932)

A patent attorney who experimented with engines from 1873 to 1875, and designed a selfpropelled vehicle on which he filed a patent in 1879, the patent being granted in 1895. He sold the patent to Columbia Electric on a royalty basis in 1899, when it was used to try and create a monopoly group (Association of Licenced Automobile Manufacturers).

SERPOLLET, Léon

SERPOLLET, Léon
(1858 - 1907)

Frenchman who devised the flash boiler for rapid production of steam, and built a steam tricycle in 1887. He built a number of steam three-wheelers in the 1890s, but did not seriously begin car production until the turn of the century. His sprint racers broke many speed records. His aim was to build a steamer that was as simple to control as a petrol vehicle, but his death from consumption ended the Serpollet company.
SIMMS, Frederick R.
SIMMS, Frederick R.
(1863 - 1944)

Brought the first Daimler engines into Britain in 1891, and fitted these power units into motor launches on the Thames. Formed the Daimler Motor Syndicate in 1893, which was taken over by Lawson interests in 1896. He invented the name 'motor-car', and helped to found the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland (later the Royal Automobile Club) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. He also built Simms cars.
SLOAN, Alfred P.
SLOAN, Alfred P.
(1875 - 1966)

At Durant's behest, formed the United Motors Corporation of accessory manufacturers, which was later absorbed by GM. An administrative genius, Sloan reorganized the corporate structure of GM, becoming its President from 1923 - 1936.
STANLEY, Francis and Freelan
STANLEY, Francis E.
(1849 - 1918)
STANLEY, Freelan 0.
(1849 - 1940)

The Stanley twins used the proceeds from the sale of their photographic dry-plate business to develop a steam car, the rights to which were bought for $250,000 to create Locomobile. The Stanleys came up with an improved design, Stanley steamers being built into the 1920s.
STUTZ, Harry
STUTZ, Harry
(1871 - 1930)

Designed an improved rear axle, then became Sales Manager for Schebler carburettors, engineer for Marion and designer of the American Underslung. Manufacture of Stutz cars began in 1911; Harry Stutz resigned in 1919, later founding HCS. He was also a talented saxophonist.
THOMAS, Edwin Ross
(1850 - 1936)

Though he founded the E. R. Thomas Motor Company in ButTalo, NY, in 1900 (it built the Thomas Flyer which won the round-the-world New York-Paris Race of 1908), Edwin Thomas never learned to drive.
TOYODA, Kirchiro

TOYODA, Kirchiro
(1894 - 1952)

Established an automobile division within an already successful Japanese company - Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. Introduced the Model AA, Japan's first passenger car and a revolutionary example of Japanese engineering ingenuity (predominantly by reverse-engineering Chevrolet engines). Overcoming many challenges, grew the fledgling automobile division into the giant Toyota Motor Corporation.

VALLETTA, Vittorio

VALLETTA, Vittorio
(1883 - 1967)

Honorary President of Fiat and Managing President before being thrown out by the workers' union on the grounds of having sympathized with the fascist regime during World War 2. He was called back and nominated president in 1946. Valletta's masterpiece, however, can be considered the contract with the Russian Government made in 1966 where Fiat committed itself to build in Russia an automobile factory capable of producing 600,000 cars per year. (see: Farewells - Vittorio Valletta)

VOISIN, Gabriel

VOISIN, Gabriel
(1880 - 1973)

French aviation pioneer who went into car production between the wars with advanced and unorthodox sleeve-valve cars.
WHITE, Windsor
(1866 - 1958)
WHITE, Rollin
(1872 - 1968)
WHITE, Walter
(1876 - 1929)

Rollin and Windsor built the first White Steamer in 1900, and Walter was sent to London the next year to develop the European market. Rollin left the White Company (Windsor was its President) in 1914 to build Cleveland tractors, and launched the Rollin car in 1923.
WILLS, Childe Harold
WILLS, Childe Harold
(1878 - 1940)

A brilliant metallurgist who helped Henry Ford develop his first cars (and also designed the famous 'Ford' script logo) and became Chief Engineer of the Ford Motor Company. He developed vanadium and molybdenum steel alloys for the motor industry. With his severance pay from Ford he founded Wills Ste Claire. In 1933 he became Chrysler's chief metallurgist.
WILLYS, John North
WILLYS, John North
(1873 - 1933)

In 1906 undertook to sell the entire output of Overland, then mounted an effort to save the company when it got into difficulties in 1907, moving production to Toledo. He built Overland production up to 95,000 units - second only to Ford - in 1915.
WINTON, Alexander
(1860 - 1932)

Scots marine engineer who jumped ship in America in 1880, starting bicycle production in 1896. Built his first car in 1896, founding the Winton Motor Carriage Company next year. In 1903, he launched an eight-cylinder 'Bullet' racer. His designs featured pneumatic controls. When car production was suspended in 1924, he began manufacture of diesel engines.
WOLSELEY, Fredrick
WOLSELEY, Fredrick
( - )
Latest Classic Car Classifieds

back
Unique Cars and Parts - The Ultimate Classic Car Resource
next