THE AUTOMOBILE MAKERS by Robert & Paul Sarnoff Sobol


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How the various makes and models have made out from themerry Olds to the Mustang in what amounts to a Wall Streetjournal of competitive standings. As such it is even morelimited than Leonard Fannings's Men, Money and Automobiles(110, J-46) which at least explains the reason for ""thebrilliant success of Chrysler Six,"" to mention only one ofmany unsupported items here; the occasional technical termsare similarly unexplained (""this car [the 1905 Olds] alsofeatured a planetary transmission instead of the popularsprocket drive""). In the later years, when success depended toa great extent upon design and the text dwells upon it, thebook suffers from a paucity of illustration: there are nopictures of the celebrated Cord or Lincoln Continental orLoewy Studebaker, of the infamous but influential Cadillacfins or the reactive Rambler; indeed, the last model picturedas such is a 1931 Buick. Considerable attention is devoted tosuch transient matters as the operation of the black carmarket in World War II and the minutiae of mergers; though thegiants figure, their roles are more fully and preciselyprojected by Fanning. Both the design and the workmanship ofthis one are deficient.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1969
Publisher: Putnam