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Thread: From Russia With Loewy

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    From Russia With Loewy

    Over the weekend I received my copy of "Hagerty" & noticed (pages 114 & 115) another Loewy item that I never knew. It's a short 2 page article that includes some sketches of a proposed "World Car" that was to be made by Moskvich. It's lines remind me of a Renault R8 in some ways but another tidbit into the life of a great designer.
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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    When I was at the Loewy meeting last year, we were shown a fine new film about RL's life. The director was here as well as David Hagerman, RL's son in law. We were explained that at the beginning of the seventies, he was approached by the US government to handle various designs that could be used in USSR. This was supposed to be a way to "warm" the cold war. All this was done with Loewy's money as he had been guaranteed that he would be reimboursed if the deal fell through. Unfortunately, this is what happened. When Loewy asked for his money back , the Carter administration now in charge would not hear about this. This is why he had to sell most of his beloved posessions, including Le Domaine de la Cense.
    Nice day to all.

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    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    Nice one on the thread title, Warren

    That's very sad, Christophe. I guess the lesson here is to never do a favor for a politician.
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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showbizkid View Post
    That's very sad, Christophe. I guess the lesson here is to never do a favor for a politician.
    I would not put it differently, Clark!

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    Am not saying that there isn't some truth is the above tale of woe, and I have no personal experience in how the White House (ANY White House) asks for favors or pays for them -- but such an arrangement is against federal law and has been since at least WWII. I worked for the US Navy for a long time and for many years managed a good-sized research program, the funds from which went primarily to universities and commercial firms. (True, I was at a MUCH lower level than the White House.) There were many occasions where urgency would have favored such an informal arrangement, and there were usually some non-govt patriots who were willing to get started on the job without a formal contract. If I had accepted those offers and gotten caught, I certainly would have been fired and might have gone to jail. There are plenty of ways work on an urgent job can get started within a few days that will protect both the performer and the govt. The work on repairing the Pentagon from the 9/11 attacks started on 9/12.

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    President Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    The closest thing to a real-life version of this imagined Loewy-Moskvitch design would be the Moskvitch 403 sedan. It's quite attractive for what it is at any rate.

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I suspect the story, if accurate, would be that they invested time in preparing proposals for work that they never won the contract for. This would be something that might be done by any design firm, including Architects when work is scarce.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    All this has been well documented and you can find more details on RL's Wikipedia French page.
    Nice day to all.

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    Apologize for the rant in post #5. I just remember how seriously some of us in the trenches took both the letter of the law and our responsibilities with the taxpayer's money -- and how cavalierly some politicians treat the same charter.
    Last edited by Skip Lackie; 11-06-2018 at 10:55 AM.

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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    No sweat, Skip! In fact, I was expecting some Flak about this. Of course, I did not mention this to put the blame on any US government. But, as all this seems to be mostly unheard of, I thought it was worth mentioning.By the way, it is my belief that if more politicians were sent to the battlefield, wars would be shorter or non existant.
    Nice day to all.

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    Response to Govt. RFQ (Request for Preposal)

    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    I suspect the story, if accurate, would be that they invested time in preparing proposals for work that they never won the contract for. This would be something that might be done by any design firm, including Architects when work is scarce.
    Boy can I speak to that loss $ situation! My little Cat dealership was asked by the Navy to do an extensive bid on Marine 3412's (Cat engines) for mine sweeper(s), this was both propulsion and generator sets.....the kicker was a special degaussing system to hide the magnetic signature of all that iron so it would not set off the water born mines. Sooooo well over 1/2 million out of pocket dollars and due to a TWISTED Nato partner, we were tossed aside and Italian I F engines were used (they DID NOT make the horse power nor did they have the special signature system for mine set-off either!!) But all is not lost as I still remember the special "N value" for the degaussing settings and I did get my top secret clearance. The end result was within six months our years of hard work building the Engine Division from nothing into multi-millions of sales dollars we were gutted, downsized, broken up and then closed. Welcome to the world of the Pentagon.......... Sherm / Green Bay

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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firestoper 25 View Post
    Boy can I speak to that loss $ situation! My little Cat dealership was asked by the Navy to do an extensive bid on Marine 3412's (Cat engines) for mine sweeper(s), this was both propulsion and generator sets.....the kicker was a special degaussing system to hide the magnetic signature of all that iron so it would not set off the water born mines. Sooooo well over 1/2 million out of pocket dollars and due to a TWISTED Nato partner, we were tossed aside and Italian I F engines were used (they DID NOT make the horse power nor did they have the special signature system for mine set-off either!!) But all is not lost as I still remember the special "N value" for the degaussing settings and I did get my top secret clearance. The end result was within six months our years of hard work building the Engine Division from nothing into multi-millions of sales dollars we were gutted, downsized, broken up and then closed. Welcome to the world of the Pentagon.......... Sherm / Green Bay
    I feel sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me. A few years ago our government had the brillliant idea to introduce a brand new sparkling computerized accounting system. Its deployement was... ahem... laborious to say the least. As a result, companies which dealt with the state had to wait sometimes more than a year to get their bills paid. A lot of small companies that were dealing almost exclusively with army contracts had to shut their doors. By the way, I was not aware that Isotta-Fraschini was still building engines. I find this nice but not the twisted deal, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firestoper 25 View Post
    Boy can I speak to that loss $ situation! My little Cat dealership was asked by the Navy to do an extensive bid on Marine 3412's (Cat engines) for mine sweeper(s), this was both propulsion and generator sets.....the kicker was a special degaussing system to hide the magnetic signature of all that iron so it would not set off the water born mines. Sooooo well over 1/2 million out of pocket dollars and due to a TWISTED Nato partner, we were tossed aside and Italian I F engines were used (they DID NOT make the horse power nor did they have the special signature system for mine set-off either!!) But all is not lost as I still remember the special "N value" for the degaussing settings and I did get my top secret clearance. The end result was within six months our years of hard work building the Engine Division from nothing into multi-millions of sales dollars we were gutted, downsized, broken up and then closed. Welcome to the world of the Pentagon.......... Sherm / Green Bay
    You have my sympathies. Probably not telling you anything you don't already know . . . .

    Unless they are set aside for small business, Defense Dept procurements pretty much assume that the bidders are gonna be big enough companies to eat the Bid and Proposal costs if they don't win. And while I have no personal knowledge of NATO procurement procedures, I did serve in a NATO job for a few years, and know that it resembles Alice in Wonderland in many ways. Every NATO nation gets a vote and a chance to play, even if they have no capability whatsoever. Because it represents ~50% of all NATO capability, the US goes to great lengths to avoid throwing its weight around.
    Last edited by Skip Lackie; 11-07-2018 at 04:36 PM.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firestoper 25 View Post
    Boy can I speak to that loss $ situation! My little Cat dealership was asked by the Navy to do an extensive bid on Marine 3412's (Cat engines) for mine sweeper(s), this was both propulsion and generator sets.....the kicker was a special degaussing system to hide the magnetic signature of all that iron so it would not set off the water born mines. Sooooo well over 1/2 million out of pocket dollars and due to a TWISTED Nato partner, we were tossed aside and Italian I F engines were used (they DID NOT make the horse power nor did they have the special signature system for mine set-off either!!) But all is not lost as I still remember the special "N value" for the degaussing settings and I did get my top secret clearance. The end result was within six months our years of hard work building the Engine Division from nothing into multi-millions of sales dollars we were gutted, downsized, broken up and then closed. Welcome to the world of the Pentagon.......... Sherm / Green Bay
    The other side of the coin, is if your company wins a contract a year later, it is most likely committed to building it to the specs as per the Request for Quotation. This is where Studebaker was obligated to produce 65 4E model 1/2 ton four wheel drive trucks for the US Navy because they won the contract. The Lark bodied 1/2 & 3/4 ton 5E was already on the market, and Studebaker had to also accommodate these special 4E trucks on the production line and produce them simultaneously.

    Craig

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    This is an interesting thread. I lived in CT from 2008 until 2017. While enjoying my presence at a car event with my Avanti, I was amazed at how many people told me they had worked in the Loewy studios in NYC. He had an amazing career. The title for this link was perfect.
    Last edited by Bob Bryant; 11-07-2018 at 05:15 PM. Reason: addition

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Loewy was a great designer, and apparently an excellent salesman. His studio did some really great iconic work!
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Loewy had a knack for picking fine talent to work for him and for knowing how to please a customer. Some of his personal designs that weren't for a paying customer were a bit on the bizarre side, though. Maybe he was trying to stretch the envelope a bit using himself as a "crash dummy" so to speak. Some of his later personal car designs were a bit "unusual" but the best elements were taken and distilled into the Avanti form.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    According to people that worked for Loewy, he hired excellent designers/stylists (biased opinion) and was a great salesman for their ideas and the company in general.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

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    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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