A TRIBUTE TO
CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION
A few words to present our collection.
Polypack, Inc. designs and manufactures automatic packaging machines; technical activity based upon research and innovation.
Behind any machine, robot, computer, or automobile stands a human being. His ability to create and give life (very limited artificial life) to useful contraptions will lead to the development of material progress.
I bought my first "vintage car" out of necessity in the 1950s when a Talbot, Delahaye or a Darl'Mat was less expensive than any other "people's car." I loved the cars and one after another, after good service, they were garaged, waiting for better years.
Tatra from Czechoslovakia was another topic. I was intrigued by a technology and a body style almost from outer space.
The idea of a collection based upon avant garde automobile technology grew stronger every day.
Tatra with Hans Ledwinka symbolizes the rear engine technology; front wheel drive engineering was the obvious counterpoint with his apostle, Jean Albert Gregoire: the Yin and Yang of automobile technology.
In the course of our research, we discovered more creative engineers and more names. Their monikers - some unknown to the public at large - materialized every day: Jaray, Muller, Porsche, Rasmussen, Rohr...
Most of the automobiles presented here were born in the 1920s and '30s. The new concepts behind these cars had to wait many years before being accepted.
How to explain a lack of enthusiasm in the automobile industry? A car buyer has two main goals:
* His automobile will have to be reliable; and
* The cost of the car will have to be as low as possible.
For many people it is a substantial investment and the automobile is a working tool. It is out of the question to leave a car too frequently in a garage for repairs or tune-ups.
In the industrial world of machine manufacturers, the same constraints reign. A fast, "high tech" machine cannot stop working at 10:00 p.m. for no reason when the second shift is in production.
The buyer will ask for proven reliability and references dating back as far as possible. He almost never buys a prototype.
An automobile company will be obliged to be careful in its investment in a new product unwelcome by the marketing. Only a small company with few but fervent clients ready to accept a risk will launch a revolutionary car.
A larger company can do it if it has an enthusiastic helmsman, such as Erett Cord, who could still survive if one of his companies was faring badly.
But remember what happened to Andre Citroen, the visionary, who lost his company and his life in a risky venture.
Another possibility may be political. Hitler subsidized Auto Union and Mercedes to win international races for the prestige of the Third Reich. At the same time, Hitler's propaganda was promoting the people car, the Volkswagen or KDF (work through joy), which was to be manufactured under cost with government subsidies.
Original ideas belonged, quite often, to research engineers with strong and sometimes even abrasive personalities who, unable to bear the pressure of big corporations, opened their own consulting businesses. Ferdinand Porsche slammed the door on Austro Daimler, Steyr, and Mercedes, before opening his own shop, geared toward consulting in Stuttgart, in 1930.
An idea coming from nowhere will have to be sold to staff engineers alien to the concept "not made here."
Creators and inventors are seldom rich men.
But, when later all of these ideas, revolutionary in their time, prevailed in the industry, consumers and industrialists had to remember the men who created the future and their successors who imagined the world of tomorrow.
Alain A. Cerf
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