General Motors - September 16, 2014

On this day in 1908, man named William Crapo “Billy” Durant founded General Motors. More precisely, General Motors purchased the REO Motor Car Company (formerly the Olds Motor Vehicle Company) and GM was born. Even more precisely, Durant had a partner in Frederic Smith, a professional football player and cousin of Ransom E. Olds (founder of the Olds Motor Vehicle Company), with whom Smith frequently butted heads. Smith left Olds, joined up with Durant, and bought his cousin’s business. Whew! Must have made for some tense Thanksgivings!   

Billy Durant

Billy Durant

Frederic Smith

Frederic Smith

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Durant lost his fortune with the failure of Durant Motors, which he established in 1921, and in the stock market crash of 1929. By 1936, he was bankrupt. How did Durant make a living for the rest of his life?

a) He managed a bowling alley.

b) He grew and sold vegetables.

c) He became a bartender.

d) He wrote his memoirs and lived off the sales.

Answer below!

PICS OF THE DAY

The American Treasure Tour is proud to house so many classic vehicles in our collection. Check out just a few from the General Motors family.

Our gorgeous 1924 Cadillac Sedan

Our gorgeous 1924 Cadillac Sedan

One of our Chevrolet pick ups

One of our Chevrolet pick ups

Our beautiful 1935 Buick Sedan

Our beautiful 1935 Buick Sedan

Our 1967 Oldsmobile

Our 1967 Oldsmobile

DID YOU KNOW…

In addition to General Motors, Durant was in charge of Buick and co-founded Chevrolet. And he founded Frigidaire, too!

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) He managed a bowling alley in Flint, Michigan. He also received a pension of $10,000 a year on behalf of General Motors.