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WILLIAM C. DURANT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/11/1927 - HFSID 285352

WILLIAM C. DURANT Writing to fellow carmaker C. Harold Wills, he reports a successful tour by a caravan of his new Star Six autos, "passing everything on the road" while signing up new dealers. Typed Letter signed: "Wm. C. Durant". 2 pages 7¼x10¼. New York, N.Y., 1927 May 11.

Sale Price $2,550.00

Reg. $3,000.00

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WILLIAM C. DURANT
Writing to fellow carmaker C. Harold Wills, he reports a successful tour by a caravan of his new Star Six autos, "passing everything on the road" while signing up new dealers.
Typed Letter signed: "Wm. C. Durant". 2 pages 7¼x10¼. New York, N.Y., 1927 May 11. On letterhead of Durant Motors to C. Harold Wills, Marysville, Michigan. In full: "The week before last I had rather an interesting experience which I would like to have you know about. Starting from Philadelphia with five new STAR SIX cars of various models (one landau, one cabriolet, one sedan, one coupe and one sport roadster), with a party of ten exclusive of drivers (two prominent Ford dealers in the group), I traveled through the Lackawanna Valley district for four days, averaging better than 180 miles a day, visiting our dealers at the principal points. We had a most enjoyable trip, passing everything on the road regardless of size or price-to me and my guests a most astonishing experience. I wish you had been with us. As the result of this trip we have signed up better than twenty prominent dealers in that territory and the word has gone out that the new STAR SIX is a most worthy product. I have been wondering if (for comparative test pound for pound) it would not be a good idea to install your power plant in five of these cars and make substantially the same run, which offers every opportunity for speed, pulling power and economical operation. In a few words, the object of all this is to find out whether there is anything better than we now have." One of the automotive industry's pioneers, William Crapo Durant (1861-1947) had dreamed of motorcars while building buggies and wagons for his Durant-Dort Carriage Company (founded in1886, it was the country's largest carriage company by 1890). In 1904, he became the General Manager of Buick, serving as the company's President from 1904-1908. In 1908, Durant incorporated General Motors of New Jersey and GM bought Buick that year. Although GM later bought Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland, Durant lost control of the company in 1910. The next year, he and Swiss racecar driver Louis Chevrolet formed the Chevrolet Motor Company, and Durant would regain control of GM in 1915 in a merger. While serving as GM's President from 1916-1920, Durant became known as "Fantastic Bill", but he was forced out again by the DuPont interests. After founding Durant Motors the following year, Durant produced a number of cars that were targeted to different markets, including the PY, known as the "wonder car" because of its success, particularly in France. Durant recognized, as had Henry Ford, that the future of the automobile lay in the popular price field. As such, Durant confidently began to challenge Ford's all-conquering Model T by launching the Star in 1922. The new, low-priced car was initially met with enthusiasm by the Roaring '20s crowd, with stock in the newly created Star Motor Co., sold through the Durant Corp., quickly totaled $30 million. The vehicle heralded here by Durant, the Star Six-"a most worthy product"-was later renamed the Durant 55. The popularity was short-lived, however, as the Durant Motor Co. went out of business in 1932. The letter's recipient, C. Harold Wills, was an early associate of Henry Ford and one of the first employees of the Ford Motor Company. After leaving Ford, Wills started his own automobile firm, Wills Sainte Claire. Staple holes and rust at upper left margin. Normal mailing folds - not affecting signature. Toned at upper margin. Otherwise, fine condition.

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