This book is a real addition to anyone with an interest in the early history of Ford Motor Company. I concur with the review from Good Reads below.
No one, but no one, tells the story of the Ford Motor Company like Garet Garrett. He loved machines and technology, and the markets that create and distribute them. He loved the car and its transforming effect on society. And he lived through it all and knows what he is talking about.
Here he sees Henry Ford for the genius that he was, as an entrepreneur who saw the possibilities and seized on them. He tells of how Ford faced and overcame incredible obstacles on his way to becoming one of the great capitalists of all time.
Garrett doesn’t stop there. He chronicles Ford’s battles with the government and, in particular, the unions that ended up robbing the company and turning it to their own selfish ends. This was in the 1950s when he was writing, but he could see the future of one long slow decline. And how right he was!
This isn’t just a great business history for the regular person, one that provides a window into the making of a great company. Garrett has written a book that will interest people of all ages. It is a wonderful read for the young person who cares about cars. It shows that they are not somehow built into the fabric of society but rather came from the productive system of capitalism, a result of marvelous human ingenuity working within an atmosphere of freedom.
Garet Garrett was a talented writer, researcher, and story teller who knew how markets work. This is a book for all times – a capitalist classic
In the opinion of many, Mark Donohue’s The Unfair Advantage is one of the finest racing books ever written. MCG takes a few moments to revisit a motorsports classic
It really is remarkable, and in a strange way, affirming: After all these years, ask racing professionals, from Indy car drivers to NASCAR crew chiefs to motorsports journalists, to name their favorite book about auto racing, and the one most usually called out is the classic volume by Mark Donohue and co-writer Paul Van Valkenburgh, The Unfair Advantage.
First published in 1975, the book is far from obsolete—in fact, it grows more golden every year. When a new edition was published in 2000, MCG was honored to write the review for AutoWeek magazine. An updated, web-friendly revision of that review follows below. -mcg
The Unfair Advantage was originally published in 1975, a bit lost in the wake of Mark Donohue’s brilliant life and its sudden, shocking end.
Donohue won three Trans-Am titles, the Indy 500 in 1972, and brutalized the Can-Am series in 1973 with the 917-30 turbo Porsche, a monster he personally chained and mastered. Little left to win, Donohue retired from driving, but then just as abruptly un-retired to take one more challenge: leading Penske’s assault on F1. At Austria, just two races into the 1975 season, Donohue crashed in the morning warm-up. And he was gone. Just like that. Donohue’s fans—everyone was a Donohue fan—were left only with their memories, and the book. They weren’t enough.
Book – Car: A Drama of the American Workplace by Mary Walton
Book by Mary Walton on the behind the scenes activity behind the launch of the Ford Taurus, at the time the Taurus is reputed to have saved Ford Motor Company.
The book is an excellent read and pulls no punches…
“An enlightening peek at the inner workings of a large corporation trying to reinvent itself. . . . It’s rare to find an auto book that explains the process of creating a car with so much color and detail.”―Business Week (a Best Business Book of 1997)
Faced with the task of redesigning the Taurus, America’s best-selling car and the flagship of its fleet, Ford Motor Company assembled 700 designers, engineers, planners, and bean-counters under a tough manager who set out to retake engineering and manufacturing ground lost to the Japanese. On their shoulders rested the reputation and the profits of Ford, not to mention an investment of close to 3 billion dollars. This biting, insightful account by a seasoned journalist follows the 1996 Taurus from its conception as a clay model in Detroit to its birth in an Atlanta assembly plant to its public debut in a New Jersey dealership. Mary Walton, who was given unprecedented access to the Taurus team, chronicles brilliantly the clashes between designers and engineers, marketers and accountants, product guys and manufacturing guys to create a revealing portrait of the tension, the passions, and the pride that fuel the race to #1. “An engrossing drama . . . with fascinating insights into every aspect of the car’s creation. . . . Walton does an admirable job of making the redesign of a car into a compelling human-interest story.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review) “An engrossing, satisfying read.”―Doron Levin, Philadelphia Inquirer (a Best Book of 1997) “Vivid and informative. . . . Consistently entertaining because it is engagingly written, this is the rare business book that is a page turner.”―Keith Bradsher, New York Times Book Review 8 pages of plates, photographs
As a hot rodder, Bonneville is the ultimate destination. For the past seven decades, it’s been known to push man and machine to their limit. Legends are born out on the salt, and now the golden years of Bonneville racing have been compiled into an unbelievable two-book set.
The latest book from the always excellent Tom Cotter of the “In The Barn” series of books and the star of the Hagerty YouTube series “Barn Find Hunter” chronicles his drive across the USA with Michael Alan Ross in a hopped up 1926 Model T Roadster via the Lincoln Highway.
This newly released hardcovers spans 225 pages and is loaded with entertaining stories from the road.
“The Arsenal of Democracy” was a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1940 in reference to the collaborative efforts of American industry in supporting the allied war effort by mobilising the mass production efforts to change production from consumer and other products to plane, tanks, bombs and other item required to win the war
As with all of A J Baime’s books this one is well researched and shows a deep knowledge of Detroit industry and in particular Ford Motor Company in wartime. The intricacies of the complex Father & Son relationship between Henry I and Edsel and the rise of Henry II are well described, along with Edsel Ford’s largely unsung role. Having read extensively on the subject of the early Ford Motor Company this book is a great addition and provided many new angles and facts.
A great read!
As an interesting footnote to the story of Willow Run, there is a campaign to stop the demolition of the bomber plant.
I’ve recently read this book, and as always with Brock Yates’s work it’s a really enjoyable read.
Here’s the overview
The story of how Chrysler’s minivan team created an automobile that captured the 1995 Motor Trend Car of the Year and other major awards – and reinvented a perilously entrenched corporation in the process – is as dramatic and inspiring a story as any in business today. Brock Yates, one of the most respected writers in the auto world, was given unprecedented access to Chrysler – every planning session, presentation, budget review, test drive, assembly line start-up, and marketing launch. The result is a book that unveils the mysteries of modern car-making, revealing how cars are shaped through countless interlinked decisions ranging from size and power to door configurations, color selections, and innumerable other interconnected details. It also captures the complex process by which the thousands of separate pieces that make up a car are designed, tested, manufactured, and marshaled into place at the exact moment they are needed. For any reader who cares about cars, this is the most intriguing look inside the mysteries of their creation ever written. At the same time, The Critical Path recounts an extraordinary drama of all-too-human managers attempting to make something new, in a new way, inside a corporate culture that resists them at every turn. The story of how Chrysler’s minivan platform team kept their commitment to quality, schedule, and budget – with a $3 billion investment and the company’s fate palpably in the balance – is as encouraging a tale as has emerged from American business in years. The unprecedented triumph and Chrysler’s resultant comeback is a lesson in successful management that will be savored by any reader interested in how great companies make breakthroughproducts
The book was originally published in 1996 and is available here
It’s every car lover’s fantasy: the perfectly preserved classic automobile discovered under a blanket in some great-granny’s garage. And as author Tom Cotter has discovered time and again, it’s a fantasy that can come true. The Hemi in the Barn offers more than forty stories of amazing finds and automotive resurrections. Avid collectors big and small recall the thrills of the hunt, the tips and hunches followed, clues pursued, the heart-stopping payoff. There’s the forgotten Duesenberg—probably one of the last unrestored ones around—that Jay Leno found in a Burbank garage. Unbelievably, Leno found another Duesenberg in a parking garage in New York City—a car that was parked in 1933 and never moved. There’s a Plymouth Superbird found buried in a hedge in Alabama. There’s the rescue of the first 1955 Corvette ever built. As entertaining as these tales, are they’re also full of tantalizing hints and suggestions for readers setting off on their own adventures in automotive archaeology.
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