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 (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 (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 (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.
(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, Amédéefils (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 (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 (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 (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
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 (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 (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 (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
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
CHRYSLER, Walter Percy (1875
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
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 (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 (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 (1894
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 (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 (1855 -
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 (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.
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 (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 (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 (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 (1877
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 (1860
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
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
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
EDGE, Selwyn Francis (1868
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 (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
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 (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 (1867 - 1956)
Newspaper proprietor who became a pioneer of die casting,
then in 1902 put the first air-cooled Franklin car on
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. (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 (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 (1835
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" (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
ISSIGONIS, Sir Alec (1906 -
Designer of Morris Minor (1948), Mini-Minor (1959) and
other FWD British Motor Corporation family cars.
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. (1845 -
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 (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 -
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. (1876
"'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
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 (1868
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 ( - )
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 (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 (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
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
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 -
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
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 (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
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. (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 (1864 - 1950)
Claimed to have built his first steam car in 1896, and
his first petrol car in 1894. Success came with the 1901
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
American "mechanical charlatan"', who "invented"
an airship in 1885, and produced a number of eccentric
motor vehicles which defied normal mechanical laws.
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
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 (1875 -
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
Designed the classic Mercer Raceabout, as well as FRP
and Porter cars, becoming Chief Engineer of Curtiss Aircraft
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 (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 (1876 - 1938)
A high-flying Neopolitan industrialist responsible for
the transformation of the marque to major, and highly
respected sports car manufacturer.
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 (1846
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 (1858
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. (1863 -
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. (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 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 (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 -
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
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 (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 (1880 - 1973)
French aviation pioneer who went into car production between
the wars with advanced and unorthodox sleeve-valve cars.
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 (1878
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
WILLYS, John North (1873 -
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.