News

F1, From Circus to Media Spectacle

James Miller at the 2022 Argetsinger Symposium

James Miller’s engagement with F1 includes chatting about race strategy with Nicki Lauda at the 1977 USGP, where Lauda won his second world championship. Now it involves at-home viewing of real-time, in-car camera images on a flat-screen TV. Has Formula One left behind its gritty, dangerous and somewhat esoteric past to become a cross between the World Cup and Disneyland (think Miami)? How much of its new global popularity can be summed up as (perhaps merely) “media spectacle?” Miller is professor emeritus of communications at Hampshire College. He has studied new media as a Fulbright researcher in Paris and a visiting professor at MIT’s Media Lab.

December 8, 2022 Gathering and Business Meeting

The Chapter end-of-year gathering will be held Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, 100 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti, MI 48198, from 4 PM to 7 PM. Light refreshments will be served before the Business Meeting at 5:30 pm. Afterwards, there will be time for members to visit with one another and tour the museum. The Business Meeting agenda includes the introduction our new Chapter President Peter Hollinshead, sharing thoughts on future events, brief remarks by Chris Lezotte on the SAH Brick and Mortar project to find a home for the SAH Board archive, and an update on chapter collaboration with the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Steven Rossi

Steven Rossi has worn an impressive number of hats of different makes and models reflecting the all-things-automotive arena in which he has both worked and played practically his whole life, including being an SAH member since 1980.

His work life as an engine development engineer at Ford began in 1976, after he’d earned his mechanical engineering degree. Two years later he moved to Saab where he would fulfill a number of roles for nearly 15 years before spending a bit of time as President of Lotus Cars USA, followed by two years at GM as head of Chevy’s Product Public Relations. Next came four years with Mercedes-Benz at the helm of its corporate public relations. When M-B became Daimler-Chrysler, Rossi was promoted to head of Global Communications. Next, he went to work for McLaren Performance Technologies. Lastly, before retirement, he spent several years at Honeywell.

Rossi’s hobby life has been every bit as varied. He describes his collection with: “The garage has about 20 cars and 30 motorcycles in it. Starting with the more common 1912 Overland and 1924 Ford Model T…to the more unique 1922 Wills Sainte Claire A-68 roadster and 1933 Pierce-Arrow…and then to the really weird stuff like my Tatra 603 and Matra Simca Bagheera. The motorcycles are mostly Italian, with a particular leaning toward Moto Guzzi.” And that doesn’t include his collections of tube-type radios or outboard motors and who knows what else.

Rossi’s been active with the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex in Detroit; has been a trustee of AACA’s Automotive Library and Research Center as well past service as a trustee for the Detroit Public Library’s NAHC. He currently is a trustee of the Historic District Commission of East Haddam, Connecticut, the community in which he resides. He’s also active with the Pierce-Arrow Museum Foundation and editor of that society’s magazine. He writes for the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club and is a regular columnist for AACA’s Antique Automobile magazine where column topics range from those proverbial soup to nuts and back again. A group of them, 48 to be exact, have been assembled in a 2021-published book from McFarland & Company Publishers titled: Gearhead At Large: A Backroad Tour of Automotive History and the Old Car Hobby.

2022 WSAH Summer Meeting

The WSAH Summer Meeting was called to order at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 8th, in the Special Exhibit Building at the Iola Car Show. Six officers and directors were in attendance, along with four members. The minutes and the treasurer’s report of the Spring Meeting were reviewed and approved.

Following up on discussions from the Spring Meeting, the formation of sustainable committees to handle the Chapter operations was further explored. Ralph Kalal made a motion that the WSAH volunteers working the Iola Car Show be thanked for their selfless dedication to the event. A lengthy discussion ensued about the WSAH commitment to the Iola Car Show, with the show staff requesting that the WSAH handle even more responsibilities next year. Ken Nimocks and Don Gullikson will meet with the show staff for a review of operations and the role of the WSAH at the event. This will be a topic of further discussion at the WSAH Fall Meeting and accentuates just how important new WSAH member recruitment is. Members will be asked for their input on recruitment methods and incentives.

The Summer Meeting was adjourned at 12:30.

 

2022 is also the 50th anniversary of the filming of the movie American Graffiti, released in 1973. Cast members from the movie were featured celebrities at the Iola Car Show this year.

WSAH Officers Ken Nimocks and Don Gullikson with (l-r) Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Cindy Williams.

2022 WSAH Spring Meeting

The WSAH Spring Meeting was held Saturday April 23, 2022 at the Dahl Auto Museum in La Crosse, Wisconsin at 1:00 PM. Twelve Officers, Directors and members were in attendance.

The Treasurer reported that funds are sufficient to handle current and the usual future expenses, provided income at least remains steady.

Follow up on discussions from the Fall, 2021meeting, culminated in a motion as follows: “The WSAH membership will create a special committee of members, appointed by the President, to study expanding membership through better outreach and increased activities; the committee to submit a report to the President within six months; and the President to then make recommendations for consideration by the general membership at the following regular meeting.” Questions or comments should be made directly to the committee; the committee will also solicit ideas from individual members. The motion passed without dissent. 

Don Gullikson reported on attending the Iola Car Show meeting for volunteer chairpersons. Updates include changes in volunteer parking areas, the “golf cart interstate” (separate, designated roads and parking areas for carts), show car trailer parking, special 50th Anniversary food pricing, events, special guests, etc. Few of the changes will affect our Special Exhibit area. Information for our volunteers will be included in the next Carhart Chronicle. 

Ralph Kalal made a motion, second by William Chartrand, to donate $100 to the Dahl Auto Museum along with an Honorary WSAH membership, which includes our Carhart Chronicle newsletter. A special thank you to Museum Curator Jim Dennison for his informative and interesting conversations and to his fellow curator Adrian Johnson for initially setting up our meeting area. Members found the museum to be a very worthwhile venue to visit and several commented on the extraordinary vehicle restorations and overall appeal of the collections. 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 PM.

Most of the WSAH attendees at the Dahl Auto Museum

2021 WSAH Carhart Chronicle Newsletter

We are delighted to announce that the Carhart Chronicle, the newsletter of the WSAH, has been awarded a 2021 Golden Quill Award by Old Cars in their “sub-compact chapters category.” Congratulations to the Chapter and to Carhart Chronicle editor Ralph Kalal. All past WSAH newsletters can be viewed at http://wisconsin-auto-historians.org/ under “The Spark/Carhart” toolbar tab.

Sixth Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History, November 4-5, 2022

The Sixth  Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History, scheduled for Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at Watkins Glen, NY, will be an event geared to both motor racing scholars and racing enthusiasts alike. Over the last several years the Symposium, co-hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) and the SAH, has established itself as a unique and respected forum and has gained a growing audience of scholars, students and enthusiasts. The open-to-the-public in-person Symposium sessions will be held in the Watkins Glen International Media Center. The Keynote Speaker will be renowned NASCAR historian Buz McKim. Click here for the Call for Papers (CFP). Abstracts are due August 5, 2022. (5/28/22)

Third European Conference for Automotive History, October 14th through 16th, 2022

The Third European Conference for Automotive History will be held at MAUTO, Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, in Turin from 14 to 16 October 2022. The conference is organised jointly by Thomas Ulrich of the AHG in Germany and Anders Ditlev Clausager of the SAHB in the UK. The event is supported by the SAHB and the Culture and Youth Commission of FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens). Seventeen 30-minute English language presentations are tenatively scheduled.

If you wish to attend, please complete the Booking Form and mail or email it to Thomas Ulrich (his postal and email addresses are in the Booking Form). Thomas will send you details of the bank account to use for payment. (5/28/22

April 21, 2022 Gathering, Business Meeting and Lambert Automobile Co. Presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

Twenty-two members of the Chapter gathered for a business meeting and presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan on Thursday, April 21st. The event included a presentation on 19th century American automotive pioneer John Lambert. Present were Dr. Debbie Lee and Jennifer Weed, both great-granddaughters of John Lambert, and Lambert historian and collector Jim Dickie II.

The Lambert presentation raised the question “Who really created America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine?” Research by Carol Lambert, also a great-granddaughter of John Lambert, for her 2013 book Something New Under the Sun, uncovered evidence that John Lambert may have been two years ahead of the Duryea brothers in creating America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. 

Barb Davis, who joined us by Zoom from Anderson, Indiana, presented records of first-hand accounts by individuals present at the secretive 1891 demonstration run of the first Lambert. Barb’s late husband Ed Davis had collected hundreds of documents and artifacts pertaining to the Lambert automobile and company.

Brochures were distributed at the end of the program containing a copy of the PowerPoint presentation and a timeline picturing the Lambert models produced.

For any SAH member interested in pursuing research that may further substantiate the Lambert story, please email Brian Baker and he will make the appropriate personal connections.
 
 
(l-r) Dr. Debbie Lee, Jennifer Weed and Jim Dickie II behind the Hall’s 1903 Holley.