This Week in Automotive History: Sept. 24-Sept. 30

Sept. 24, 1909


Virgil Exner, Sr. is born: Exner is best known for his time at Chrysler, where he was behind the clean look of the big 1955s and the spectacular fins of the 1957 line that caught GM off-guard. He was also heavily involved in the Chrysler collaboration with Ghia that yielded some wonderful concepts.

Sept. 25, 1926


Ford implements eight-hour day: Henry Ford shakes up the American auto industry when he announces the eight-hour day and five-day work-week.

Sept. 26, 1909


Billy Durant loses GM for the first time: Many men built great companies and many of those high fliers lost control of their firms and dreams. William. C. Durant was unique in that he built GM, lost it, regained it and then lost it again. 

September 27, 1967


“My Mother the Car”: One of the worst TV shows ever, “My Mother the Car,” failed in the U.S. after its single 1965-1966 season, but on this day it was exported to France. The extraordinarily thin premise is that attorney David Crabtree’s mother is reincarnated as a 1928 “Porter” automobile.   

Sept. 28, 1960


Nissan Motor Corporation USA formed: Gardena, Calif., becomes home to Nissan’s American arm as the unknown Japanese company attempts to sell small, low-powered Datsun cars to American consumers.

Sept. 29, 1987


Hank the Duece dies: Although he had retired from formal office at Ford in 1982, as the senior family member and a member of the board, Henry Ford II still wielded considerable clout until his death. 

Sept. 30, 1901


France gets Mandatory Vehicle Registration: All vehicles capable of traveling at more than 18 miles an hour must be registered as of this date in 1901.

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