Car Manufacturer Profiles

You know the names, but you may not the history behind some of the biggest automobile makers out there. Learn about the good, the bad and the ugly on car manufacturers.


Prosperity seemed endless in 1928, when the fast-rising new Chrysler Corporation purchased Dodge and issued its first DeSoto. These good times were short-lived, but the DeSoto would be one of the few pre-Depression "expansion" models to survive.

Terraplane cars which grew out of the successful Essex Terraplane made by Hudson were built from 1934 to 1938. They were a tremendous boost to parent company Hudson's bottom line. Learn all about Terraplane cars.

Checker is best known for specially designing taxicabs and airport limousines. They later built cars like the Superba and Marathon for the public. Find out more about Checker cars.

Preston Tucker's plan for a wholly new car was too ambitious to succeed. The 1948 Tucker Torpedo was remarkably innovative, but only 50 cars were ever produced. Learn about the brief heyday of the Tucker Torpedo.

Avanti splintered off from the Studebaker name in 1965 and since that time has gone through a series of owners. Avanti II gained success by being hand-built for each customer. Learn about the history of Avanti.

The cars built by the Duesenberg brothers are still considered among the finest ever made. With their vast experience and growing reputation in racing, the Duesenbergs built their first road car. Learn more about the fascinating run of the Duesenberg.

Willys was best known for manufacturing the Jeep, but for years it also produced several popular passenger cars. Willys was later bought out by Kaiser. Look back at the line of Willys cars.

Panoz Auto Development Company is the brainchild of Dan Panoz and his billionaire father. Dan setup a small factory in Atlanta, Georgia to create his first roadster. Learn about models such as the Panoz Roadster and A.I.V.

Excalibur has an exciting and turbulent history lasting more than 40 years. From the classic automobiles, to the history behind them, the Excalibur Phaeton and Excalibur Roadster are a collector's dream. Learn more about Excalibur.

Allstate cars were a short-lived experiment conducted by Sears to try to break into the automobile industry. Allstates are extremely rare today, and thus more desired by collectors. Learn about Allstate's mail-order car.

AMC was born from the failing Rambler company. They became a distinct make in 1966. Learn how AMC built the Gremlin and Javelin, bought out Jeep, and was in turn bought out by Chrysler.

The 1930 Austin American Roadster was more of a novelty than transportation. American Austin made midget cars more than a foot shorter than the VW Beetle. Learn why even a starring movie role couldn't sell American Austins.

Roy S. Evans bought American Austin for a mere $5,000 and renamed it American Bantam. American Bantam produced small cars from 1936 up until 1941. Learn why American Bantam didn't succeed beyond World War II.

Though the Auburns best remembered today were built in the '30s and late '20s, the marque was established way back in 1903. That's when brothers Frank and Morris Eckhart began selling an $800 chain-drive runabout with a single-cylinder engine.

After Carroll Shelby retired from racing cars he began building them. The 1964 Shelby AC Cobra was one of Carroll Shelby’s first American masterpieces. Learn about Shelby Cobras Mustangs and other exciting Shelby cars.