This Day

The Ford Foundation: A Tax Act
Business

The Ford Foundation: A Tax Act

Henry Ford II is commonly mistaken for Henry Ford’s child when in fact he is his grandson and the son of Edsel, Henry Ford’s only child. It was on this day in 1956 that Henry Ford II resigned as the chairman of the Ford Foundation, a nonprofit set up by Edsel Ford as a way to basically escape certain taxes imposed by the FDR administration.The Ford Foundation, started in 1936, quickly became the richest charity in the country. It all started thanks to particular taxes called “soak the rich” which were forced on estates worth more than $50 million. The Ford Foundation would receive the bulk of the elder Henry Ford’s estate, as well as an endowment from Edsel’s, resulting in a 95 percent (non-voting) stake in Ford Motor Company valued at nearly $493 million. This ensured $25 million of divid...
Mercedes Minivan? Nah.
Business

Mercedes Minivan? Nah.

On this day in 1998 Daimler-Benz purchases Chrysler Corporation for $36 billion. This deal is the largest acquisition of a US company by a foreign buyer. The sale proved to be quite beneficial in the short term, as stock prices rose to more than $100 on the New York Stock Exchange. The love was short lived. In 2006, following a $1.5 billion loss, Daimler sold Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management for a measly $7.4 billion. Today Chrysler falls under the Fiat umbrella. Photo: 1998 Chrysler Sebring
4 Speeds, 4 Wheels…in 1889
Business

4 Speeds, 4 Wheels…in 1889

On this day in 1889 Gottlieb Daimler debuted the first car in Paris, France at the opening of the Paris World Exhibition. This event is well known for a much bigger, in all senses of the word, attraction, as it was the opening of the Eiffel Tower. However Gottlieb did not want to be outshined so he lined his booth with 30 lightbulbs in order to attract people to his stand. Electricity and lighting was still something very new to the world, as was the automobile. This made Gottlieb’s vehicle very enticing to visitors. His vehicle featured an engineering feat, a twin cylinder V-engine that is reminiscent of the modern engines we know today. The car also featured a four speed transmission, a mechanical design in which transmissions for many makes and models followed for years and years. It sh...
The First Cannonball Run
Business

The First Cannonball Run

Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, the winner of the first race ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (a motorcycle race in which he rode an Indian), took off from San Diego on this day in 1914 in his first of many runs across America. He reached his destination, New York City, riding an Indian Motorcycle in just 11 days, smashing the old record by 9 days. After the incredibly quick run a journalist stated that Baker was faster than the Cannonball express train. The name stuck. To this day cross country races, usually unsanctioned and outlawed, are known as cannonball runs all across the world. In the 1970s Car and Driver sponsored five Cannonball Runs, none were official races, yet they gathered quite a crowd and allowed for numerous records to be set. They were conducted in protest of the 55 MP...
Rolls-Royce: Lunch to Launch
Business

Rolls-Royce: Lunch to Launch

Henry Royce was born poor and was working by age 9. Charles Rolls was born to an affluent family and had a formal education at Trinity College in Cambridge. The two made an unlikely pair of business partners, but they had two things in common; a background in engineering and a desire to build the world’s greatest car. On this day in 1904 that partnership came to be at an arranged lunch meeting in Manchester. Prior to the meeting Rolls, an accomplished motorist already, had started a car dealership selling imports from Belgium and France. However, he desired to build and sell English cars that were second to none. Royce was already building 10 hp cars, his first being produced in early 1904. The arranged lunch was set by Henry Edmunds, a friend of Rolls and a shareholder in Royce’s automobi...
A Racing Leader is Born
Business

A Racing Leader is Born

Robert Kenneth "Ken" Tyrrell, the founder of the Tyrrell Formula One constructor and a British Formula Two racing driver, was born on this day in 1924 in East Horsley, Surrey, England. In 1952 he began racing a Norton-powered Cooper in 500 cc Formula 3. In 1958, he advanced to Formula Two in a Cooper-Climax. He achieved a number of good placings and the occasional win, but upon realizing he would never reach the top as a driver he decided to focus on team management. In 1959 he stepped out of the driver seat and began to manage several teams for John Cooper, who is infamous for John Cooper Works MINI Coopers. Starting in 1970 Tyrrell Racing began building its own cars. The team experienced its greatest success in the early 1970s when it won three Drivers' Championships and one Constructors...