Wheels Across the Pacific: transnational histories of the automotive industry, September 18th, 2022

The Automotive Historians Australia (AHA) and the SAH will co-convene a one-day online symposium for their members on 9/18/22 in North America and 9/19/22 in Australia. The symposium seeks papers that look at transnational histories of the automotive industry – that is, shared histories that extend or go beyond national boundaries. We recognise that the auto industry has, from the late 19th century, been a global enterprise, although that aspect of its history is often submerged in a national story. Hence, we are looking for papers that explore ways in which the Australian and American auto industries shared expertise, skills, design and studio practices, engineering, staff, business structures and management structures, advertising, parts and components, and trade practices. The symposium will take into account the time differences between the two countries. Ten presentations, fifteen to twenty minutes each, are planned for the main session, and then three presentations and a round-table discussion for the second session. Start time is tentatively scheduled for 5:00 PM EDT on Sunday, 9/18/22 in North America, concluding around 1:00 AM EDT on Monday the 19th, for all thirteen sessions and the round-table discussion. Click here for the Call for Papers (CFP). Abstracts are due June 30, 2022. (4/21/22)

Meet Our Member: Don Capps

Don Capps has been a member of the SAH Board of Directors since 2014 and is now the immediate past president of the Society. He is a member of the Historian’s Council of the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, New York and is the co-chair of the Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium for International Motor Racing History. He co-chaired event planning for the 2018 and 2019 Historic Vehicle Association International Drive History Conferences in Allentown, Pennsylvania and recruited SAH presenters for the two conferences.

Don began following motor sports at an early age while attending races with his father at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta.  His racing interests and fascination broadened throughout his time growing up in Europe and after returning to the US. In addition to motor racing, military and civil aviation and military history have also been lifelong interests that formed early on. Don has owned a 1956 Porsche Speedster, an MG TF and an MGA Twin Cam, and has an affinity for Corvairs due to his father’s interest and restoration work.

Don has written book reviews for the SAH Journal. More of his book reviews and commentaries, including those that relate to his military and aviation history interests, as well as motor sports, can be found at: https://speedreaders.info/author/donald-capps/.

Don was drafted into the Army where he served in a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol in Vietnam and then became one of the original members of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Military life and service suited him, thus he ended up spending 33 years in the Army, one of the few going from draftee to Colonel. His service included tours of duty in infantry, armor, medical, field artillery, and aviation units, as well as assignments at the Pentagon as a member of the Army Staff, the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and assignments at other major Army headquarters including command of the Army’s Training and Training Technology Battle Laboratory.

Don holds graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and George Mason University and has taught history at both the high school and college levels, the latter being The Citadel. He was a faculty member of the Defense Model & Simulation University and spent over three years in Southwest Asia with the Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation.

Don is currently engaged in research surrounding American national auto racing championships from the begining of the AAA to today’s IndyCar series.