< 1928-1930 Bibliography>

Since 1932

For the story of the Graham in the 1930s, go to J. I. Godshall's article (listed in "Bibliography"), which tells the story of the Prosperity Six, the Blue Streak, skirted fenders, supercharged engines, the Crusader, REO designs, the sale of old dies and tooling to Nissan, the Sharknose, and the Hollywood. What follows is what happened to the company itself.

The 1930s were hard on all auto makers but especially independents like Graham-Paige. By 1940 it had lost money every year except 1928 and 1933. Production of the Graham finally ceased in September of 1940, when the automobile assembly line was closed to concentrate on military work.

In August 1944, Joseph W. Frazer, former president of Willys-Overland, assumed control of Graham-Paige Motors Corporation. He announced that the company would resume manufacture of automobiles after the war with a completely new car to be called the Frazer. While looking for financial backing, Frazer met California industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, who also had plans for a postwar automobile. The two agreed to work together, and in August 1945 they formed the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation to build the new Kaiser. Henry Kaiser became the chairman of Kaiser-Frazer, and Frazer became president. The goal, using the same assembly line, was for Kaiser-Frazer to build two Kaiser automobiles for every Frazer built by Graham-Paige.

The enormous costs associated with designing and manufacturing a brand-new car rapidly ate away at Graham-Paige assets. The company decided a second time to quit the car business. In 1947 stockholders approved the sale of all automotive assets to Kaiser-Frazer, leaving Graham-Paige only its farm equipment division. Joe Frazer moved the company from Detroit to York, Pennsylvania, to sell rototillers.

By 1950 the company had disposed of its Kaiser-Frazer stock and dropped the word Motors from its name. Headquarters was moved to New York City and the company began investing in real estate. Frazer retired in 1954. In 1962 Graham-Paige Corporation changed its name to Madison Square Garden Corporation. By 1977 the former auto maker's various real estate assets made it an attractive takeover candidate, and it disappeared into the Gulf & Western conglomerate. Gulf & Western evolved into Paramount, which today is media conglomerate Viacom.

< 1928-1930 Bibliography>