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Featured Auto Makes

These Early Survivors endured two world wars and the Great Depression. Get acquainted with their origins by reading, listening, or downloading their podcasts.

Buick   Buick

A Detroit plumber foresaw that the future lay in gas-powered autos more than in porcelain bathtubs. At the turn of the (more)

Cadillac   Cadillac

Leland’ s ideal of quality led the way to precision engineering. Henry M. Leland famous progenitor of the equally famous (more)

Chevrolet   Chevrolet

When Bill Durant hired the Chevrolet brothers to race for him, he never realized that later the success of their own car (more)

Chrysler - Maxwell   Chrysler - Maxwell

The first popular, quantity-produced car to use shaft drive instead of chains, this Chrysler forerunner challenged all (more)

Dodge   Dodge

The car that made the word “dependability” popular began as a sideline in a bicycle shop. The name of Dodge was famous in (more)

Ford   Ford

With pipe and scrap metal, Henry Ford laid the foundation of an automotive empire. On December 29, 1893, a thirty-year-old (more)

Hudson   Hudson

In a little over a year, originality and brains rocketed a $20,000 investment to millions. The Hudson car entered the (more)

Lincoln   Lincoln

Designed exclusively for the wealthy car owner, the Lincoln almost failed until Ford took over. A manufacturer of luxury (more)

Nash - Lafayette - Jeffery   Nash - Lafayette - Jeffery

Inspired by an English bicycle, the Nash began its career as a Rambler. Behind the Nash automobile lies an unusual and (more)

Oldsmobile   Oldsmobile

First to use mass-production methods... First to build a car that could do 60 miles per hour... R. E. Olds’ genius pioneered (more)

Packard   Packard

“If you’re so smart, Mr. Packard,” a car manufacturer asked, “why don’t you build a car yourself?” And a new car was born. (more)

Pontiac - Oakland   Pontiac - Oakland

The first Oakland was a sales flop because of too many novel features. But this Pontiac ancestor made a quick comeback the (more)

Studebaker   Studebaker

The world’s oldest manufacturer of highway vehicles was founded in a blacksmith shop. The Studebaker fortunes were founded (more)

Willys - Overland   Willys - Overland

Because he never liked to lose a sale, John Willys saved an auto industry. The first Overland, grandfather of the famous (more)

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Jim Hinckley
The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana
Motorbooks, Paperback, 2005-10-06
If you love cars and the American road, here’s a fun and comprehensive armchair guide to everything automotive. The Big Book of Car Culture is a photo- and memorabilia-rich look at everything that is automobilia: drive-in restaurants, gas stations, breathalyzers, tail fins, the Wienermobile, and Route 66.

John Heitmann
The Automobile and American Life
McFarland, Paperback, 2009-03-14
This is the story of how the essence of life in America changed because of the widespread adoption of the automobile, the people and institutions behind those changes, and how American car culture has been represented in film, song, poetry and literature.

Mike Mueller
Motor City Muscle: The High-Powered History of the American Musclecar
Motorbooks, Paperback, 2011-02-11

This is the high-performance tale of what was undoubtedly the fastest, loosest era in automotive history, from the 1960s into the 1970s. Muscle cars all but disappeared by 1974, with only a few anemic models soldiering through the 1980s. But by the 1990s, thanks to vastly improved engine technology, muscle cars were back with a vengeance. Motor City Muscle traces the full history right up to today’s new Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger.

James M. Flammang
Cars of the Fabulous 50’s: A Decade of High Style and Good Times
Publications International, Hardcover, 2000-03
Get ready for a beauty pageant of 1950s glamour autos: finny luxury cars, two-seated sports cars, family-friendly station wagons, and spunky compacts. All the car makes and models we know today are included, plus plenty of long-lost favorites like DeSoto, Edsel, Hudson, Nash, Packard, Studebaker, and others.

Cotten Seiler
Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America
University Of Chicago Press, Paperback, 2008-12-15
Cotten Seiler combs through a vast number of historical, social scientific, philosophical, and literary sources to illustrate the importance of driving to modern American conceptions of the self and the social and political order. He finds that as the figure of the driver blurred into the figure of the citizen, automobility became a powerful resource for women, African Americans, and others seeking entry into the public sphere.
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