Murder In South Bend by John Bridges

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If only a few things had gone differently, today’s car companies in America would be called the big four: General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Studebaker-Packard. This historical novel shows how one brilliant German automotive engineer who got his start working on Germany’s “peoples car” changed the course of American automotive history. Late in World War II, when Allied bombers almost destroyed the Volkswagen plant, Hans Werner left and joined his college roommate who was one of Dr. Werner Von Braun’s rocket scientists and traveled to America with the group. Hans escaped his work site at White Sands, New Mexico, and moved across country, eventually landing a job at Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana. By helping Studebaker develop America’s first practical four-passenger compact car and promoting extensive sharing of components between models, the company prospered and grew. In a power struggle with the local union, Hans was framed for the murder of his boss, the vice-president of Engineering. He eventually was cleared and got back to work on his compact car. The invasion of the VW Beetle never happened since Studebaker, with its superior design, was at the right place at the right time with its small car. Reading this book will convince you that it really could have and should have happened. Signed. by Author. Condition Very Good