I've written before about Paul Schilperood's remarkable book that makes the case that the VW Beetle was largely developed based on the ideas of the Jewish auto journalist Josef Ganz and not Ferdinand Porsche, as has been commonly thought. Today, I want to look in detail at a key component of this idea: The Standard Superior. For some reason, tracing the earliest origins of the Volkswagen Beetle has proven a continual source of fascination. As a kid, I remember reading so many retellings of the same basic story in every book about the Beetle I could get my little, simian hands on. These stories all had the same basic cast and plot: Hitler wanted a "people's car" for (mostly) propaganda reasons, and Ferdinand Porsche happened to share the dream of an everyman's cheap, useful car. Porsche had been developing prototypes since the early 30s through companies like NSU and Zündapp before finally joining forces with the Nazis, who bankrolled the final development of the car. Only … [Read more...] about Meet The Car That’s The VW Beetle’s Oldest And Most Direct Ancestor
My mother the car
Phoebe Wall Howard Detroit Free Press Published 10:00 p.m. UTC Aug 14, 2018 Tom and Gail Wise disagreed about whether a broken-down car should be stored in a family garage for 27 years or sold for junk. He insisted they keep it because, he promised, one day he would find the time to fix the vehicle himself. It was her skylight blue convertible Ford Mustang, purchased at age 22 in 1964, that their family of six drove for 15 years. One day, it just stopped running. And there it sat until Tom retired. When he started hunting for car parts on the internet, he discovered a story about someone with a similar car who claimed to be the very first Mustang owner, with a purchase date of April 16, 1964. They called Hagerty Classic Insurance, experts on collector cars, and learned a paper trail was essential. “We had everything,” Gail Wise said. “We didn’t know it was anything special. But we kept the new car invoice, the registered owners manual. … [Read more...] about The first Ford Mustang owner kept the car. It’s now worth $350,000
Jamie L. LaReau Detroit Free Press Published 4:38 p.m. UTC Jun 21, 2018 The car business is male turf, with women composing only about a quarter of the workforce. That figure won't be changing anytime soon judging by the reaction to a recent Free Press story I reported about sexism in the car business. The responses, mostly from men, to the story, "Strip Clubs, stupidity: Boys club lingers in the car business," ranged from insulting dismissal to downright rage. Read more: The negative reaction isn't surprising. I've been reporting business news for more than 20 years. When I started covering the futures markets in Chicago in 1998, open outcry still reigned on the trading floors. I went daily to the trading floor in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to write a market report. It was nearly all men there, and while I met some of the best and most professional men of my career, I also met some of the worst. It … [Read more...] about Hate mail reinforces the gender divide in the car business
When Chad came down from the tower on Friday night at the Throwdown at T-Town, he walked up to one very irate human being, and it had nothing to do with being in the lift, or being on the camera, or being hungry or thirsty. Nope, Throwdown in T-Town was a pleasure for me this year. Here’s what had transpired: the lift was parked next to bleachers, a little closer to the starting line than I have worked from in the past. I didn’t want the Angry Grandpa Chrysler to be in the way of the photographers or videographers, so I had parked it behind the set of bleachers that the lift was next to. During the evening’s events, those bleachers had plenty of fans in them. And a few of the more…um…uncouth ones had been spitting tobacco juice and snot balls behind the bleachers. Right onto an unsuspecting Chrysler’s hood and windshield. I was livid. And I had to live with that Saturday, too, because there isn’t time for a car washing when we’re on the … [Read more...] about Unhinged: Since When Did Washing The Car Leave Me Hungry For A Dessert?
It happens unexpectedly. I'll be driving one of my sons to basketball camp, a baseball game or soccer practice, trying to navigate traffic and the clock, and a nugget of insight will slip from their lips. It could be something trivial about their school day or their new favorite song. Or it could be something a little deeper — a moment of self-reflection that gives this mom of a teen and tween hope that these boys are learning the life lessons that my husband and I harp on. Related: This Mother's Day, Clean Mom's Car It doesn't happen often, but it almost always seems to happen in the car. There's something about these magical machines that elicits these conversations. As Mother's Day approaches, my wish for moms (and dads) is that they also experience these moments with a greater frequency — and have enough space in their day to savor it. Maybe the free flow of information happens because we're not facing each other. My youngest sits in the backseat and my oldest … [Read more...] about 4-Wheel Confessional: Quiet Moments in the Car Make This Mom’s Mother’s Day