Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

Ollier's

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

AcME Moto R T R Uck CoMPANY, 406 Mitchell Street, Cadillac, Michigan

34 Ton—Worm Drive—$1790 Chassis F.O.B. Cadillac

Acme Trucks Built in 34, 1, 1%, 2, 3% and 5 ton Capacities

Trade mark registered U.S. and other countries

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

F this were a story about things happening in January or December, it would start with snowflakes and steam heat. Being a story of a different kind, it starts, you observe, with a picture of a man buying a car, which event is undoubtedly familiar to one and all, as it has already happened nine million times in America up to to-day. There are no snowflakes in the picture. The man who buys a car does not think of them. What he thinks about is the first warm breeze in March, and that first hot April day when he will drive without gloves, overcoat, and pulse warmers. And that is what automobile manufacturers are thinking about too. They have got rid of the spell of December. Now comes the season when they exhibit their new models at the automobile shows—indoors, of course, but not for indoor use. They think of their new models, not reposing in motionless ease, but hard at work on the road. For these men, for their dealers, and for their customers, three sheets have already been torn off the handsome wall calendar. Tear off these three sheets yourself, and let us see what you will find when your turn comes to do what the man in the derby hat at the top of this page is doing. You will find, this year as never before, that the automobile has become an indispensable part of our

Never mind what the calendar says, it's springtime for him

By George W. Sutton, Jr., and Leslie V. Spencer

Illustrated by Herbert M. Stoops

transportation. The automotive industry has grown up. It isn't an infant industry any, longer. Its boom days are over. It makes something now that is not a rich man's toy, or a freak racer, or a source of much profit to the comic artist. It makes a motor car—a car that eight million Americans own personally, and that the rest of the population needs as much as they need trolley cars and railroads. It was a great boom—the world's greatest. It made the automobile business look unlike any other business. We started a lot of railroads up to 1880 and 1890, and we had a great forming of big corporations about 1901, but no industry we have ever known grew as fast as did the automobile industry. Less than $600,000 was invested in it in 1899, while

now there is about $2,000,000,000. The pace was a

hot one. As in all booms, it carried along with it many men of only average ability. The president of one of the largest automobile companies says he believes that until recently no cars had been sold— they were only put where people could buy them. And all this has happened so fast that many people

fail to realize that skillful production in quantity and consequently lowering prices have made a necessity out of a luxury. Who buys these cars? In 1920, according to a survey made by the United States Rubber Company, 331-3 per cent of all the cars were bought in towns of less than 1,000 people and 55 per cent in towns of less than 5,000 people. Two-thirds of all the cars sold in 1920 went to the agricultural districts; the States with the greatest number of cars in proportion to the population are "all farming States—California, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Minnesota, and Wyoming. The first thing you will notice, when you go to buy a car, is a better disposition on the part of the seller to serve you. You will find more salesmanship on display, at the show or at your local dealer's garage, than you found a few months ago. Gone forever are the days when you were told, in a bored way, that by the payment of a deposit or a premium you might possibly be lucky enough to get on a waiting list—or words to that general effect. The industry is reorganizing its sales skill. Sales skill is not a matter of words; it does not consist in clutching a prospective buyer by the necktie and pouring words into his ear. It starts with the manufacture of the car, continues through the adapting of the style and price to the actual need of the consumer, and ends with seeing that the consumer gets the most for his money afterward when the car is in use. The companies are extending their own service stations and hoping to put repairs on the same specialization basis as production. They recognize that a sale is not completed until the purchaser comes back to buy again. And dealers, like manufacturers, are waking up to the fact that more intensive and better sales methods are necessary from now on. Better systems are in order. Alert retailers will sell many more cars from year to year than they did before, but they will do it by better methods and more carefully thought-out plans. The day of intensive competition has arrived—the survival of the fittest. At the recent Automobile Salon in New York a well-dressed but unostentatious man, unaccompanied, walked around from one exhibit to another. He stopped at one car, made some inquiries, smiled, thanked the half-interested attendant for the information, and strolled on. After he had passed we asked the salesman if he knew to whom he had been talking. He said he did not. When we told him it was one of the biggest men in finance in the world, a man whose features are known to every newspaper reader, the salesman nearly fainted. What a prospect he had overlooked! Selling a car which lists at about $10,000, this salesman should have made it his business to know something about the big men of the town. He should have known who this man was. The day of the mere order taker is over, whether the car represents a big outlay or a smaller one; and the good salesman knows that any car represents a serious investment to the man or woman who buys it. As a whole, the dealer organization back of the automobile makers of this country is a high-grade one. Perhaps in no line of business are more real business executives to be found. They are, for the most part, using aggressive and forceful ways of marketing cars. They are sound merchandisers who know how to buckle down and retrench when retrenchment is necessary; they know how to make the most of times of prosperity. Last spring, for instance, when a certain Chicago distributor of a prominent car found that he could get no more cars for the season he realized that other means would have to o be resorted to in order to keep the overhead from overbalanc- ( ing the income. With plenty of orders for cars, but none available to make deliveries, he could do no business. He couldn’t convert paper profits into cash. He might as well have had no orders. So he went to the owners of his cars, explained conditions, and told them that now he could give them better overhauling service than at times when sales were occupying the attention of his organization. His repair shop was not so busy tuning up new cars, and hence more careful attention could be paid to repair work than at any other time. The car owners saw the point, and the result was that he kept his organization intact, maintained the balance on the right side of the ledger until cars began to come in. This man is an executive, typical of the kind that is now growing increasingly common in all branches of the automobile business. Will cars be any cheaper than they are? Will it pay to wait? No. Will there be a profusion of cars, at cheaper prices, when March and April arrive? The answer here is a decided “No.” Those with a taste for statistics have only to consult the figures of car production, elimination, and registration to know that more than 1,000,000 cars will be bought in 1921 to replace new cars worn out in service—cars for owners who must have them just as surely as they must have the telephone, the telegraph, and the railroad in order to do business. Without giving anyone a headache, through columns of figures, it can be stated that the average car wears out in five years and the cars which wore out

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

and were scrapped in 1920 (as not worth relicensing) amount in round figures to 1,500,000 cars. These cars must be replaced, or else their owners will go back to Shanks' mare, or stay home. And the beginning of the replacements is at hand: more and

more new cars for old will be sold as this winter

melts into spring. Make a note that a car is mostly labor, and if labor costs go down to any extent they will bring car prices down. But most of the manufacturers who have not yet reduced prices will guarantee the buyer against further reductions by promising to return to him the difference between what he pays and the possible lower price of the future. Therefore there is no object in waiting: and the shortage of cars that is bound to come is a very decided reason for buying at once. The man who waits to take his pick, and save a few dollars as well, is likely to keep right on waiting. There will be a shortage of cars in 1921. The man who wants one is going to put in his order now.

The Cars We Shall See

UST for fun, go into any automobile salesroom and tell the manager you want to buy a car with automatic chassis lubrication, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, automatic gear shifting, pneumatic spring suspension, with a weight not exceeding 2,500 pounds, and an engine of small bore and stroke, but capable of giving sixty-five miles an hour and forty miles to the gallon of gasoline. He may consider you crazy, yet that is exactly the kind of a car the future is going to produce. We are on the threshold of a new period in motor-car design. This year's shows reveal less change of a radical nature in cars than almost any other year's since the beginning of motoring. Bodies may not be radically different in the next few years, but we believe chassis are in for interesting revisions, as the development of the engine

[merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors]

The farmer is the great automobile owner. In 1920 two-thirds of all the cars bought went to the agricultural districts

might call them the “engine cycle” and the “body cycle.” Having brought the power plant to a point where there is a wonderful piece of machinery, and having standardized body design until most of the stock cars look amazingly alike, it would appear that the engineers are about to inaugurate a “chassis cycle” to bring that part of the car step by step up to the standard of the motor. From now on there will probably be more of a tendency to individuality in mechanical motor-car design. American cars are overstandardized—for the last few years every designer has tried to standardize his product as much as possible so as to cut costs. But there will be a reaction from this tendency. Already you will see evidences of it. Here and there a new type of construction is appearing. Every now and then a prominent maker strikes out along some entirely new line in some respect, and this will become more and more evident as time goes on. Witness the new “eight in line” engine which one manufacturer has just introduced. When you look at this engine you think it is a small six until you count the cylinders, then the radical nature of this application impresses you. Witness also the hydraulic four

wheel brake on this same car. Other proofs of the trend of the time are the various systems for lubricating cars which are equipped with grease cups; the development of the batometer and similar instruments for bringing to the dashboard all information about the operation of the storage battery, and one or two other striking examples of progressive thought in automobile construction. I

Standardization in such matters as tire sizes, spark-plug requirements, and so on are, of course, highly desirable.

much of a tendency to follow the leader. If a wellknown maker puts on an apparatus to heat the incoming gas in a certain way, for instance, there is no reason why a number of others should resort to the same scheme whether they are thoroughly convinced of its advantages or not. The point is that where one maker uses a good deal of gray matter in the working out of some new thing eminently suited to his particular type of design, it is not necessarily true that the same idea will work satisfactorily if tacked on to some other design. . What will follow is more independence of engineering thought and less blind copying and imitation. Cars are growing lighter. That is not a new assertion. We have been hearing it for years, and it is probably true that each year some weight is cut out. The use of better steels pares down bulky parts, and the reducing process is proceeding slowly but surely toward the goal of extreme lightness. But the cutting down of the weight will not mean that the cars will be possessed of any less stamina and service than our present models. Witness the past year's great automobile races in which small cars of a size which a few years ago would have been laughed at as racing machines did better than any of their predecessors of much larger size and greater power. That is, cars with engines limited to the same piston displacement as the Ford were sent around the tracks at Indianapolis and Elgin at consistent speeds equal to any heretofore obtained with any size engines on those tracks. In the Elgin road race, where normal country roads are encountered, there was not a single tire failure by any car during the entire contest, and all of the cars finished. The smaller cars showed themselves to be just as fast as the larger types; their tire economy was in striking contrast to the constant stopping at the pits for new shoes in the races of former years where large engines and heavy chassis were used. Incidentally, the ardent friends of automobile racing can find in this a convincing proof of the value of this particular sport. It is the great testing laboratory from which scientific car developments emanate. Racing has doomed the brute car and sanctioned lighter weight. Car makers are bending every effort to give the public vehicles which will be economical to run, serviceable, light in weight, quiet, and more simple to control. This is a large order. The builders of automobiles have done great things in ten years. But no doubt the coming changes will not be less important, although less spectacular. As to bodies, we shall probably always have periodic changes in styles. The public demands something new from time to time, and this will always spur the body designers on to create new lines, new motifs. Just now the European tendency to flaring lines seems about ready to take us by storm. The work the European designers have done since the war has been surprisingly original, and will shortly challenge those who have adopted the very American thought that our designers lead the world. The se

But in other matters touching the , fundamentals of design there may have been too

[ocr errors]

verely straight lines which have held sway for a year .

are being softened somewhat by slight curves where transitions are made from one plane into another.

The Flare Body Is Coming

HE narrow, low-hung body, with a slight hint of a flare following out in much modified form the graceful contour of the trim yacht, is the essence of modernity. It seems to be taking hold, and perhaps in a few months some of the quantity producers will follow the styles set by the custom builders in this respect. The type of body with rounded out or bulging sides seems to have been put into the discard. Such a shape suggests bulkiness, which is probably borne out by fact, and has no place in a machine whose power is derived from a motor and whose appearance is supposed to embody the characteristic of speed. The fuel problem is still uppermost in the minds of the motor-car builders and owners alike. While every effort is being made (Continued on page 41)

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

Come Out of The Cave

Don't Den Up: It's All Right for Bears, but Bad for Men!

By Walter Camp

Illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull

Mr. Camp's "Daily Dozen,” printed in

Collier's dated June 5, 1920, is reprinted

for your convenience in this issue on page 21

T wasn't easy to think of it in such a way at the time, but the series of snowstorms that crippled New York so severely last winter was a blessing, no matter how, greatly it was disguised. If you happen to live in that city, or if you had to go there, during that time, on business, you need no reminder of what happened. The snow clogged the trolley slots; almost from the first the street cars stopped running. For several days even the Fifth Avenue busses were out of commission; you could see them, and street cars as well, standing where their crews had abandoned them. Taxicabs were scarce, and inordinately dear. Their drivers made no pretense at all of charging what the meter called for; they made their own rates, based on the eternal laws of supply and demand and the public necessity. And so a great part of New York walked unaccustomed miles—which was good for it, body and soul, heart and brain, lungs and nerves! I used to go over to New York from New Haven, and the men I went to see would talk of nothing but the scandalous condition of the streets. They couldn't take out their own cars; they were afraid the springs would be broken. And the streets were so rough that the jolting made riding uncomfortable, anyway. They had to walk. They had to get up early. If they went out to lunch, except in the immediate neighborhood of their offices, they had to walk. Going to the theatre, going out to play cards in the evening—anything a man wanted to do—involved walking. Terrible! Well, they either thought I was unsympathetic, or a provincial unused to the ordinary comforts of life in a great city, I suppose. Because I wasn't properly impressed with their sufferings. I wasn't —and the reason was that I knew that some of those men were going to live through the winter just because of the hardships they were bewailing, and that I was going to be spared, for a time at least, from seeing the name of some friend, taken off in comparative youth, staring at me from the obituary column in my morning paper. Have you noticed—but of course you have—that it is in the winter, in the main, that so many men who are still young, or, rather, who ought to be still young, die untimely deaths? They go under when influenza assails them, or pneumonia. And why? Because their hearts cannot stand the extra strain those diseases impose. Pneumonia, which takes so terrible a toll of the lives of such men, won’t, as a rule, kill the man who is in good condition. It may, and usually will, give him a bad time; it will demand the putting forth of all his reserve power. But, if he is properly equipped, if his heart is strong, and hasn't been required to do extra work right along, he can get through even a severe attack of double pneumonia. But your ordinary office man, who doesn't give himself a chance, who has let himself become soft

[merged small][ocr errors]

and flabby, who has subjected his heart regularly to an unfair strain, has a much smaller chance of recovery. It sounds brutal to say so, I know, but the plain truth is that a great many of the men who die in the early years of middle life, in the decade from forty to fifty, are only committing suicide more slowly than the poor devils who shoot themselves or slip into the water to drown. Not intentionally—of course not. They simply don’t know; they don't see the truth for themselves, and they often don’t see doctors with the good sense and the courage to tell them what they ought to hear.

Keeping Well in Winter

T is not winter itself that is to blame. No season of the year is inherently unhealthy. And if any season has a balance in its favor it is winter, probably. What is wrong is the adjustment of life to the season of cold weather and to the cessation of vacations and outdoor sport. People call me an alarmist sometimes. They say I am trying to frighten them. I admit it. Too many men need to be scared, into a realization that they are not being fair to themselves and to those who

love them and need them. It isn't pleasant to sit down, when you have come to the middle years, and think of the friends of your youth who have already died. It is the sort of thing no man wants to do— partly because it is a painful thought, and partly because he can scarcely help wondering whether, perhaps, he may not follow those friends. Precisely . He may. But the decision is much more largely in his own hands than he thinks. It is, of course, the great group of sedentary workers of whom I write, principally. No matter how varied their pursuits, how different their positions, the same things are true of most men who work in offices or shops—generally speaking, at desks. Clerks, bookkeepers, executives—their routine is essentially and fundamentally similar. They run the same risks, and they have open to them, equally, regardless of earnings, the same simple and effective means of insuring their health. Now, consider this past summer. How did you spend it? You had a vacation, unquestionably. You may have had two weeks at seashore or in the mountains; you may have spent two or three months in the open. But it is routine that affects your health, principally, and your (Continued on page 21)

[graphic]
[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »