A new interesting book “Earning the American Dream,” is about the introduction of foreign made automobiles into North America, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and the great success’ foreign cars enjoy to this day. During that same period, the U.S. totally dominated the world’s production of cars / trucks, tires, steel, locomotives, and aircraft. Unfortunately that domination is no longer the case.
Whitby’s unique experiences and well documented book reflects the rise of Britain’s and Europe’s largest automobile company, when Austin Motor took over the Nuffield auto group in 1952, forming British Motor Corporation (BMC) making it the fourth largest auto company in the world. Whitby goes into great detail on how BMC sports cars; the Austin Healey and MG, were so successful in America through the 1960’s yet BMC, old design, poor quality control sedans, failed miserably.
Whitby was invited to join BMC record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956, 1957, and 1959, during which he became a good friend of Syd Enever, Chief Engineer and designer for the MG Car Co. Ltd. His direct communications with Enever, helped to improve the quality of the MG and Austin Healey cars. Many interesting copies of their correspondence spanning ten years are reproduced.
Car lovers will enjoy the great road racing photos, many in color especially those covering BMC Bonneville Salt Flats of 1956, 1957, and 1959 and will be amazed at the very successful endurance and speed records established by Syd Enever’s outstanding MG and Austin Healey sports car designed streamliners, all of which are well documented.
The book should also appeal to those that are interested in economics, especially as it relates to trade, manufacturing, and transportation, and in the demise, of so many British and American auto companies, over the years. Throughout the 338 page book, Whitby and BMC American dealers’ recommendation to have new modern designed sedans, quality control, more powerful overhead camshaft engines, and full synchomesh transmission, were totally ignored by BMC top management. This allowed progressive Japanese companies like Nissan and Toyota and later Korean companies to take over from the pioneering British with better designed and higher quality cars.
Whitby devoted 16 years with the British Motor Corporation in the US, 17 years as a sales executive of Nissan Motor Corporation in USA. and he finally completed his successful career as Vice President of Business and Finance for years where he guided a debt ridden and badly managed private university in Southern California to one of fiscal responsibility and success. There is a wealth of knowledge in this remarkable book that would be very difficult to find elsewhere. In addition it is a book well worth owning as an profits wiIl be donated to cancer research.
Author: Gordon Whitby
Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″