The legends of the 1930s include such individuals as Harley Earl, Gordon Buehrig, and Raymond Loewy. Amos Northup is a name that is virtually unknown, yet his Blue Streak design was revolutionary and often imitated. His signature art deco design features several major changes to automobile construction, including to the suspension which allowed the car to sit considerably lower than most cars of the era.
Amos Northup was born in Ohio in 1889 and began working for Henry Ford's former production manager and chief engineer Childe Harold Wills. Northrup left after a few years and joined the Murray Corporation of America, where he largely influenced the styling of the Hupmobile.
The Graham Blue Streak would be Amos Northup's greatest contribution to automotive styling. First launched in 1932, it set several trends that would be frequently imitated. A windshield that slopes, curved fenders, a lower chassis design, and a fender skirt that would allow space for a spare tire. In 1933, most car manufacturer adopted Northup's design of sloping grills and Graham type fender skirts. Sadly, the car was not very popular in the marketplace, but, Amso Northups influence on manufacturing and design can't be ignored.
In June of 1927, the Graham brothers, Joseph, Robert, and Ray, purchased the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company. The four models offered by Paige prior to the acquisition continued until the close of the year. At which time, the new Graham-Paige automobiles were introduced consisting of both six- and eight-cylinder models. During their first full year as a company, more than 73,000 cars were sold. The name 'Paige' was finally dropped after 1930, though the company name was still the Graham-Paige Motor Corporation.
During the difficult era of the Great Depression, sales were slow. To help stimulate interest, a centrifugal supercharger was offered on the eight-cylinder models in 1934.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007