Profiles

Profiles, Louis Renault
July 16, 2018

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Profiles, Louis Renault</br>July 16, 2018

Born in February of 1877 to a wealthy family of Paris merchants, Renault was the last of five children but the first one interested in all things mechanical. He was intuitive and practical. It was obvious he was different.  Renault failed his school entrance exam but by the age of 20 he had converted his De Dion-Bouton tricycle into a small, four-wheeled vehicle.

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Profiles, W. Edwards Deming
June 25, 2018

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Profiles, W. Edwards Deming</br>June 25, 2018

In the late 1930s, Deming, a professor of statistics at New York University, developed the so-called “statistical process control,” a philosophy that would revolutionize car production using statistics as a tool to achieve better quality control. Essentially, his idea was to record the number of product defects, analyze why they happened, institute changes and then record how much quality improved. The essence was refining the process until it was done right.

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Profiles, Flaminio Bertoni
April 2, 2018

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Profiles, Flaminio Bertoni</br>April 2, 2018

One of the 20th century’s most gifted automobile designers, Flaminio Bertoni was responsible for creating the bodywork of classic and stylistically diverse vehicles as elegant as the industry has ever seen.  A designer primarily for the French automaker Citroen, Bertoni left a remarkable stamp, one that was fresh, vibrant and beautiful. His vehicles drew adoring crowds. He was admired, respected and copied and never duplicated. Not that it was easy getting there.

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Profiles, Cale Yarborough
March 19, 2018

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Profiles, Cale Yarborough</br>March 19, 2018

Born March 27, 1939, Yarborough used to say it was in his blood. But it was even better than that.  His four wins at NASCAR’s famed Daytona 500 track in Daytona Beach, Fla., are backed up by his 83 overall wins and his 70 starts from the pole position. For 40 years his career was a colorful one, on and off the track. Yarborough was a daredevil.

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Profiles, Phil Hill
March 12, 2018

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Profiles, Phil Hill</br>March 12, 2018

More than five decades ago he was the first American to win the open-wheel F1 World Drivers Championship. For 17 years his record was unchallenged and today is only shared with one other American . . . named Mario Andretti. But Hill is still the only American-born F1 champion. It wasn’t easy. There was plenty of tragedy. But Hill stood out as one of racing’s best. What made him unique? What made him special?

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Profiles, Tom McCahill
February 26, 2018

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Profiles, Tom McCahill</br>February 26, 2018

Thomas Jay McCahill III never planned on being the first and foremost authority on rolling metal and glass.
His interests were simpler: An evening sail, an afternoon drink of scotch, or the morning snore of an idling V-8 on the winding driveway of his 80-acre ranch located off State Road 628, just outside 1,600-person Glen Gardner, N.J.  “A good sports car,” said McCahill before his death in May of 1975, “(is) like any other piece of good sporting equipment.”

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Profiles, “Bunkie” Knudsen
February 5, 2018

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Profiles, “Bunkie” Knudsen</br>February 5, 2018

Simply, Knudsen was a visionary, someone who would be remembered by one-word nameplates such as GTO, as in Pontiac, and Boss, as in Ford Mustang.  Some might say Knudsen was born to create dynamic vehicles and exhilarating rides. He came by his work naturally.  Born in 1913, he was the son of William S. Knudsen, an emigrant from Denmark who rose through the ranks to become president of General Motors in the late 1930s.

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Profiles, Frank Williams
October 30, 2017

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Profiles, Frank Williams</br>October 30, 2017

Auto racing is so dangerous that there is perhaps a sense of irony, or disbelief, when someone involved in the sport (even a team owner) is injured or killed doing something that’s considered normal, like driving down the road. On March 6, 1986, Frank Williams, who had become a formidable player in Formula One, the world’s premier auto racing series, was at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.

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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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