Missing Dies

  • balinwire
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28 Jan 2006 17:30 #4302 by balinwire
balinwire created the topic: Missing Dies
There is an interesting car for sale.

Here is a description of e-bay item, 6594846909, a 1937 Datsun.

http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/ws/eBa ... 6594846909

It raised a few questions.

I remember hearing the missing cord fender and and body dies were sold to the Japanese {was it by Graham?} during or after WWII?

41 graham with red wheels, http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... AMEWA%3AIT

And that a U.S. serviceman on docks saw the Auburn die boxes being loaded on a ship during the war?

Did Graham remain on good terms with the axis after Roosevelt scolded them for providing Japan aid in the form of machinery?

Is there a remote connection with the Cord dies being shipped to Japan?

Might the dies turn up in a dusty Japanese factory?

Below is the listing story,

One of the most unusual items we have ever offered - a paragon of automotive and economic history. A 1937 Datsun, believed made the very month of the inception of "modern mass production" by any Japanese automaker. No earlier such automobile has been located by us anywhere.
Datsun/Nissan was the first Japanese automaker to use "mass production." (They also termed this new manufacturing process "mass assembly" or "synchronized assembly.") In the Summer of 1936, Datsun purchased from Graham-Paige, the American automaker, the machinery that would enable them to truly mass produce motor vehicles. The equipment, from Graham's Lafayette, Indiana plant, began its ocean voyage in November, arriving in December, with Graham engineers standing by in Yokohama to assist in its unpacking and setup. By January 1937, it is believed that the first "mass produced" car had been made in Japan, in Yokohama. This example is dated Yokohama, "1-37" (January 1937) on its dataplate and chassis, respectively! In the model year 1937-38, the total output of all Japanese models, of all manufacturers, was just 1,819 cars. Prior to Datsun's mass production, worker output was as low as one car every six months.
The Japanese took great pride in this model, informally called the "Baby Car." It was the first automobile of any make to be designed by Japanese, manufactured by Japanese - using Japanese materials, assembled by Japanese, and sold by Japanese. In fact, it was a very sturdily constructed car with a robust - albeit tiny - engine. By the end of 1937, Japan would be on full military footing, and motor vehicle production shifted heavily to trucks. (And following the Japanese attack in December of that year on the U.S. gunboat Panay, Roosevelt would cancel military contracts with Graham, furious that they had provided Datsun with such modern mass-production equipment.) The first Japanese company to mass produce automobiles, Datsun/Nissan was the first Japanese company to produce parts and finished automobiles on a "machine-paced assembly line." "Nissan thus led the Japanese automobile industry in importing American technology and equipment: specialized machine tools and time and motion studies during the 1930s, transfer machinery and new production-management techniques during the 1950s, computerized production and inventory control systems as well as industrial robots during the 1960s and 1970s...."* Japanese cars remained obscure curiosities to the West until the late 1950's, and indeed, their production was unthreatening until the following decade. Today, Nissan appears poised to take over Ford, in some observers' predictions.
"Japan's rise from the destruction and bitter defeat of World War II, to its present eminence in world business and industry is perhaps the most striking development in recent world history...." * "The Japanese Automobile Industry - Technology & Management at Nissan & Toyota," Michael A. Cusumano, Council on East Asia Studies, Harvard East Asian Monographs 122, Harvard University, first published 1985.
This is the earliest located Japanese car of any make or model from their inception of "modern mass production." One would be hard pressed to identify a more significant artifact in the modern history of business - and automobiles.

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28 Jan 2006 22:15 #4304 by Slate
Slate replied the topic:
The approx. 1,800 Graham Hollywoods, using the Cord dies, were supposedly made through early September 1940 - A relatively tight timeline between the WWII buildup/contracts, the Pearl Harbor attack Dec 1941 and shipping the dies after the last 1941 model year Hollywoods.


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  • balinwire
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25 Mar 2006 20:57 #4589 by balinwire
balinwire replied the topic: What Goes Around...

{interesting 2001 first hand story in relation to Graham image with mention of cord dies}

I ALWAYS wanted a Cord, ever since I was 10 and my cousin had a 1937 Cord convertible. But when I got married and we had five children, a Cord was out of the question.
Years later, I was able to buy a Graham Hollywood. But I sold it when we retired to Florida because I didn't think I'd have room to work on a car.
It turns out I did have the room and eventually bought this 1940 Hupmobile Skylark (above). It looks like the Graham I owned, and like a Cord, because Cord was out of business by 1940, and Graham was using Cord dies to build the Skylark for Hupmobile.
The 1940 Hupmobile was the last.
Although there was a 1941 Graham, the
company was essentially out of business
in 1940.
?Thomas Essley
Fort Myers, Florida

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  • Josh Malks
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27 Mar 2006 06:19 #4594 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
Newsletter #3 will carry comments by historian Jeff Godshall on the supposed "facts" in the above article.

Josh B. Malks
810 2087A
ACD Club Life Member
ACD Newsletter editor
Past president

Check out CORD COMPLETE at www.cordcomplete.com

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