The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle was produced in Milwaukee in 1902 and launched in 1903 by William Harley and the Davidson brothers, William, Walter, and Arthur. The Werner Brothers in France had been manufacturing bicycles with attached engines since 1897, but Harley integrated the engine into the frame. In 1936, a new Harley-Davidson 61 EL motor-cycle, designed by its founders, was introduced. It became known as the original "Hog." After World War II, Harley-Davidson was one of the only two surviving motorcycle manufacturers. Indian, the other, produced its last cycle in 1953. Some of the post-war H-D designs were worked on by Brooks Stevens (1911-1995). In the 1950s a film, The Wild Ones, starring Marlon Brando, branded motorcycles as weapons of counter-cultural elements; gangs, to be specific. This non-traditional trend continued in the 1960s, with a book by Robert Pirsig called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which nevertheless captured the interest of many industrial designers with its message of product excellence and quality. In 1969, motorcycles embodied the counter-culture youth image in the film, Easy Rider, starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson. In addition to this 1960s stigma of a fringe market, Harley Davidson was suffering hard times due to competitive Japanese imports like Honda and Kawasaki. The company was sold to AMF in 1969. In 1975 a Windjammer motorcycle aerodynamic wind-deflector was designed and produced by Craig Vetter which set a new typeform for the ways motorcycles look. Japanese designs were also changing the image of cycles into that of stylish sport vehicles. The counter-culture image faded. In 1981, Harley-Davidson was re-acquired by its original management and by 1991, was producing 60,000 cycles per year and struggling to keep up with demand. A real turn around success story. Eric Buell designed for H-D from 1979 to 1984.
The first US gasoline-powered auto to be produced in quantity, the 425 Runabout, was introduced by Olds Motor Works, founded in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds. Features included the first "speed meter," invented last year by a Mr. Jones, and a new gracefully-curved dashboard. The 7 hp., 650 lb. car was priced at $650, and 425 were built the first year. It was produced until 1907, and some were used by the US Postal Service as the first mail trucks. As a promotional stunt, test driver Roy D. Chapin drove one from Detroit to New York, although there were only 200 miles of hard-surfaced roads in the US. In 1903, R.E. Olds built a race car, the Pirate, and driver H.T. Thomas set the first land speed record in its class at Daytona Beach, FL at 54.38 mph. Ordinary cars could go no faster than 30 mph. The bullet-nosed, low design of the Pirate set the style for Indianapolis race cars, starting in 1911, for many years. In 1903, Buick was founded by William C. Durant, a race car driver, and the first Buick appeared. Durant founded General Motors in 1908 as a holding company to buy out various car manufacturers, including Cadillac (in 1909), Oldsmobile and Oakland (later called Pontiac). Ford demanded $8 million, and Durant declined to buy. In 1910, Durant left active management of General Motors, and founded Chevrolet. He engaged Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss-born racing driver, to design his new car, which was introduced in 1913. The new president of General Motors in 1910 became Charles W. Nash. He retired in 1916, and purchased the Jeffery Motor Company from Thomas B. Jeffery, who had founded the company in 1879 to make Rambler bicycles, and had introduced the first Rambler car in 1902. Now, it's new 1917 model was called a Nash. After the War in 1918, General Motors suffered a severe financial decline. A major stockholder was the wealthy E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company, which sent Pierre DuPont to manage GM. He bought Chevrolet Motor Co., whose major investor, William C.