Dateline: 12.8.11 Cigar salesman, to Wall Street tycoon, to bowling alley manager? (Where did William Durant’s unusual middle name come from? Check out the PS at the bottom of this post. – Ed) The name “William Crapo Durant” has been making somewhat of a comeback as of late, thanks to the 100th anniversary celebration of… Read More
In the early days of the American car industry, there were hundreds of car companies, most of which have been long forgotten. Many of the brand names that are still with us were once shabby little enterprises. Even though it wasn’t the computer age, “business is business” and a feeding frenzy was going on. Car companies were buying up other car companies that were then bought up by bigger or more aggressive car companies. There’s always a bigger fish, right?
William Crapo Durant (yes, that was his middle name) worked out a deal to buy the Ford Motor Company for $2 Million in cash, plus an additional $4 Million paid out over three years, at 5-percent interest. Billy pitched the deal to his company’s board of directors on October 26, 1909 and they approved, IF he could get the financing. But the banks said, “NO!” It probably seemed way too risky with possible cost overruns, etc. Read More