Cunningham’s novel solution was to weave together 1,300 pages of facts and photos via the vivid recollections of Crazy Zeke, a reclusive car collector. ORPHAN BABIES, America’s Forgotten Economy Car is a true story–mostly. Although Zeke is a fictional character, his conversations were adapted from vintage periodicals, sales brochures, and the personal memoirs of America’s lesser-known automotive pioneers, scalawags, hobbyists and mentors.
The work was so large, Cunningham divided it into three volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 are now available and the third book will be released in 2012.
ORPHAN BABIES, Volume 1, 1887-1927
Soft cover. 8.25×10.75. 410 pages. Nearly 800 vintage photos ads.
3 lb. shipping wt.
In the beginning, the most popular cars were steam- or battery-powered. By 1908, gasoline buggies were kings of the road. Zeke explains how the Ford Model T came to dominate the low-price field. Five years later, Powel Crosley, Jr. and other entrepreneurs boldly challenged Henry Ford with more than 200 brands of cyclecars. For a while, our streets were crawling with Crickets and Dudly Bugs, Imps and Vixens. Read more about ORPHAN BABIES, Volume 1, 1887-1927.
ORPHAN BABIES, Volume 2, 1927-1943
Soft cover. 8.25×10.75. 510 pages. Nearly 900 vintage photos ads.
4 lb. shipping wt.
In the second book, news wires buzzed with reports of $200 Darts delivered in free garages; three-wheeled Martins that turned on a dime; and amazing motorized tear drops. But Herbert Austin, the Henry Ford of Great Britain, dashed the hopes of the would-be auto barons when he launched the first successful baby car in America, the American Austin dashed the hopes of Crosley and many other would-be auto barons. As the world prepared for World War II, Powel Crosley introduced a new light car based on his cyclecar principles. And the American Bantam Car Company developed the first jeep for the U.S. Army.
Read more about ORPHAN BABIES, Volume 2, 1927-1943.