Profiles

Profiles, Roger Smith
October 9, 2017

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Profiles, Roger Smith</br>October 9, 2017

It was the early 1980s and General Motors was on top, sitting comfortably with a 46 percent share of the North American market. (Today, it’s less than 20 percent.)  The question: could the Asian and European automakers really compete with GM using low-cost cars?  What Smith said spoke volumes about his tenure as GM’s chief executive officer (CEO).  “Why, our answer to that is a two-year-old Buick.” And that was all you really needed to know about Smith, a man who died in 2007 at age 82.

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Profiles, Steven McQueen
August 14, 2017

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Profiles, Steven McQueen</br>August 14, 2017

More than 35 years after his death in 1980 at age 50 of mesothelioma, a rare and painful form of lung cancer, the Rolex-watch wearing, fast-car driving McQueen is still larger than life mainly because so few lived one as fast and furious as he did. His impact on the movie and automotive scene can be counted in the number of vehicles he owned (265 before his estate was auctioned off in 1984) and the influence he left on both worlds.

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Profiles, Peter Revson
February 27, 2017

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Profiles, Peter Revson</br>February 27, 2017

Peter Revson was heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune, but he was much happier hanging it out on a hairpin than creating new and different ways to use one.
He could have been content to stay with that life in his native New York, but he instead died pushing the edge of the envelope. There haven’t been many Americans who have made an impact in Formula One racing, what many view as the ultimate series. Revson was one of the best.

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Profiles, Bill France Sr.
February 6, 2017

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Profiles, Bill France Sr.</br>February 6, 2017

From his gas station on Main Street in Daytona Beach, Fla., the sunny city off highway A1A where he moved his family and began his new life, William Henry Getty France was a large man with grand plans.
He dreamt of fast cars, a quick buck and afternoons of velocity without the moonshine. He couldn’t have known the dream would be so real.

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Profiles, Alain Prost
January 30, 2017

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Profiles, Alain Prost</br>January 30, 2017

On the days when Alain Prost couldn’t outdrive Ayrton Senna (who was his Formula One teammate for a stint) he still had a way of finding his way to the podium. They called him ‘Le Professeur’ for that very reason. But more more than 20 years ago, before he walked away from a top racing league, it was not uncommon for Prost to more than occasionally become cornered in the smallest restaurant in the smallest town in the tiniest corner of a country.

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Profiles, Karl Benz
November 7, 2016

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Profiles, Karl Benz</br>November 7, 2016

It was a big day when Karl Benz was granted a patent for his moving vehicle, but a day 14 years earlier is the one to remember most. Benz thought he saw something in Bertha Ringer, a quiet but determined German woman. What he couldn’t have imagined on that afternoon in 1872 when the two were married, was a partnership that helped plant the seeds for an empire. What’s the real secret behind Karl Friedrich Benz, a man often credited as the inventor of the motorcar? Bertha Benz.

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Profiles, Colin Chapman
October 17, 2016

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Profiles, Colin Chapman</br>October 17, 2016

Colin Chapman had a term for making life as easy as possible. To not overdo it. He said that if you don’t ‘simplicate’ that you’ll only end up complicating things.Chapman, generally considered once of the most brilliant minds in auto industry, was the the master of keeping it simple.
He came from a simple existence. His father was a hotel manager and the family lived a relatively frugal existence in England during the 1920s.

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Profiles, Carl Hahn
October 10, 2016

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Profiles, Carl Hahn</br>October 10, 2016

Take a cruise through this sleepy industrial city of 125,000 souls and there are Volkswagen Golfs everywhere. There are so many that Wolfsburg is affectionately known as Golf Town.
It’s no secret the little car helped build Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s central headquarters in northern Germany, and vice versa. The Golf made the brown smokestacks that still rise out of nothing in the German countryside churn and burn. Carl Hahn made them burn hotter.

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Profiles, Ken Tyrrell
October 3, 2016

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Profiles, Ken Tyrrell</br>October 3, 2016

If you have never heard of Ken Tyrrell, it’s a good bet you have heard of the drivers he helped make famous.
He was the team owner who launched the racing career of three-time Formula One champion Jackie Stewart. He made Italian F1 driver Michele Alboreto. He found Martin Brundle and countless others. You could say that Tyrrell had an eye for talent. He was to racing what the unrecognized, hard-working, drive-through-the-night scout is for the best teams in major-league baseball.

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Profiles, Roy Warshawsky
September 26, 2016

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Profiles, Roy Warshawsky</br>September 26, 2016

Roy Warshawsky, a gritty, bespectacled business-savvy kid from the south side of Chicago, Ill., couldn’t have imagined it at the time, but his innocent call to an advertising department of a national magazine turned the family’s small scrap-metal yard into an automotive powerhouse.
The year was 1937 and the 22-year-old Warshawsky had a concept.

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