My friend Charles Platt (author of the excellent introductory guide Make: Electronics, which was O'Reilly's best-selling title) has written a 3-part reminiscence about his father, Maurice Platt, who worked for a British GM subsidiary, and the trip that Charles made with him to Detroit in 1957 when he was 12 years old.
In 1957, I was a sickly 12-year-old English schoolboy when I went with my parents on a pilgrimage to General Motors headquarters in Detroit. My father, Maurice Platt, was Chief Engineer and a Director of GM’s British subsidiary, Vauxhall Motors. His position required him to visit Detroit annually, where he would spend three weeks discussing designs for cars that he felt would appeal to people who weren’t Americans.
I don’t recall exactly why my mother and I were invited along on this particular trip, but I suspect that a polyp in my throat had something to do with it. There had been speculation, only revealed to me later, that I might be dying of throat cancer. The polyp turned out to be benign, but by the time it was removed I had enjoyed an insider’s view of GM. At long dinners where business was often discussed, no one imagined that a 12-year-old sitting in the corner might be listening attentively.
The Corporation: The Story Of My Father, A GM Executive; Part 1 – The Visit To GM Headquarters
The Corporation: The Story Of My Father, A GM Executive Part 2 – From Churchill Tanks To Body Rot
Bloomberg Pursuits’ Hannah Elliott took a 1914 Model T for test drive. It has three pedals, but none of them are for accelerating. Starting in 1908, Henry Ford sold his novel Model T cars as the first to be really accessible to the masses. What’s more, he marketed them as easy to handle for casual […]
Here’s a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu running into a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. It’s a striking example of how safe modern cars are compared to those from decades past. [via Kottke.]
This killer 1977 “Smokey and the Bandit” Pontiac Trans Am, customized by Universal Studios to promote the classic Burt Reynolds/Jackie Gleason film at car shows and other public events, will be sold at auction on January 30! Original Smokey and the Bandit trailer below. From the auction listing at Barrett-Jackson: Burt Reynolds and McLaughlin Museum […]
You’ve heard the news: cyber security is the new and very scary frontier. Hackers are out there just waiting for you to relax for a second and let them in. But that’s not going to happen to you. With a lifetime premium subscription to ZenMate VPN, you’re completely protected from anyone out there who wants […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]