Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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What do Ferrari and Rambler have in common? America!

Posted July 09, 2019 9:00 AM by dstrohl

This post originally ran on Hemmings on July 4.

Today, while we celebrate the independence of our country by blowing up a little piece of it, let’s pause to remember the various noteworthy automotive attempts to capitalize on the country’s name.

When it comes to automobiles named “America,” ya got yer America makes and America models. In the former category, we counted at least 115 different pre-war automakers that used America or American in their name in the Standard Catalog of American Cars, the vast majority of them paper companies from the first decade and a half of the 20th Century that didn’t build a single car. Many of the ones that did built licensed versions of overseas cars, which is how we got American Austin, American Berliet, American Fiat, American Mercedes, and American Pie Napier. Among these vaunted companies we’ll also find the American Chocolate, which technically sold under the name Walter, which was objectively a horrible marketing decision. After all, there’s a higher statistical likelihood of finding somebody who doesn’t like guys named Walter than there is finding somebody who doesn’t like chocolate.

As for truckmakers, maybe a dozen or so called themselves American, including, of course, fire truck builder American-LaFrance.

What's in a name? Inspired by America.

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