Graham-Paige‘s history was that of an American carmaker founded in 1927 by brothers Joseph B. Graham (1882-1970), Robert C. Graham (1885-1967), and Ray A. Graham (1887-1932) . The company made its cars in Willow Run, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit..
The Graham brothers were already in the automobile industry in various capacities. Joseph Graham had been a sales executive for Studebaker. Robert Graham had been a plant manager for Willys-Overland, and Ray Graham had been a designer for Ford Motor Company.
Eventually, the Graham brothers decided to start their own company after they became convinced that the automobile industry was ripe for change. They believed that the cars of the day were too expensive and too conservative. The Grahams set out to build a car that was stylish, affordable, and reliable.
The name “Paige” came from the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company, which was founded in 1909 by Harry Jewett. So, the company became Graham-Paige Motors Corporation in 1927 after it joined the Graham brothers.
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company preceded Graham-Paige. The founder of Paige of Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company was Frederick Osgood Paige. He was a successful businessman who had made his fortune in the paper industry. Paige was also a car enthusiast and had a passion for engineering. In 1909, he partnered with Harry M. Jewett to found the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company.
Paige helped to shape the early automobile industry. Also, he was committed to building high-quality cars that were affordable for the average American. He also believed that cars should be stylish and stylish.
Under Paige’s leadership, the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company became one of the most successful automobile manufacturers in the United States. The company produced a variety of cars, including sedans, coupes, convertibles, and roadsters.
Paige retired from the company in 1927, but he remained active in the automobile industry. Frederick Paige died in 1935 at the age of 72.
The Graham brothers appreciated the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company’s reputation for quality and its loyal customer base. They believed that by combining their own innovative designs with the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company’s expertise, they could create a successful automobile company.
It turns out the Graham brothers were right. The Graham-Paige Motors Corporation was a success. They produced a variety of cars, including sedans, coupes, convertibles, and roadsters. Its cars had stylish design and their affordable price. Graham-Paige cars were popular with celebrities and other well-known figures, including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Amelia Earhart.
The Graham brothers’ first car, the 1928 Graham, was a success. It succeeded because of its styling, its performance, and its value. The company’s sales grew rapidly in the early years.
Louis Chevrolet, the co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, had a brief connection with Graham-Paige in the early 1930s. In 1932, Chevrolet contracted with Graham-Paige as a consultant. He helped the company improve its performance and styling. Chevrolet worked with Graham-Paige for about a year, and his input improved the company’s cars. However, Chevrolet left Graham-Paige in 1933, after he became dissatisfied with the company’s direction.
A Death, a Depression and a Decline
In 1932, Ray Graham died suddenly. The loss of their youngest brother was a major blow to the Graham brothers. They continued to run the company, but they never fully recovered from Ray’s death.
The Great Depression hit the Graham-Paige company hard. Sales declined sharply in the late 1930s. The company laid off workers and cut production.
In 1940, Graham-Paige ceased automobile production. The company continued to make farm equipment for a few more years, but it eventually went out of business in 1947. The Graham-Paige company was a short-lived success, but it left its mark on the automobile industry.
- Year Started: 1927
- Year Ended: 1940
- Origin Of Name: Names of Two Founders
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Graham Brothers
- Owner While In Use: Graham Brothers
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Cadillac
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Willow Run, Michigan USA