Carleton Spencer in Collectible Automobile

When it comes to writing history, readers of this blog know how much I hate “book reports.” Stories like these are drab recitations of facts and figures. They should stay in senior high school English classes.

But Richard Langworth doesn’t write book reports. In fact, his first book Kaiser-Frazer, The Last Onslaught on Detroit is a fantastic read. Why? Because he went out and interviewed everyone still alive in 1975 and incorporated a ton of quotes into the narrative. (Richard, pleeeeeeeeease do an update of this book! We’ve learned so much about K-F since then!) History is always most interesting when it’s told by the people who created it.

So I was very psyched to read Langworth’s article about Carleton Spencer, the wunderdesigner at Kaiser-Frazer who dressed up an otherwise limited product line. It’s in the October 2009 issue of Collectible Automobile (still no web site. Seriously.)

Besides a ton of great pictures of Spencer’s K-F interiors, there is a sprinkling of Spencer quotes that help to drive the story.

My only small quibble: since the article is a Personality Profile, I wish that CA had chosen some pull quotes and printed them in large blocks throughout the article. They would have evoked Spencer’s personality and helped us understand better the man who created such striking interior designs for Kaiser-Frazer.