The push for a bailout for America’s big three automakers has had some unintended consequences. Other companies are reportedly jumping on the government bailout wagon.
First up is the Studebaker Corporation. Although the company has been defunct since 1967, a few aging former shareholders and directors have banded together to make a pitch to resurrect the business.
"We’re not looking for fifty billion dollars," said former company executive Gordon Grundy. "Heck, we don’t even need billions. A few hundred million dollars would be more than enough to get us up and running again."
Known for its innovative automobile styling in the 1950s and the popular Lark and Avanti models of the early 60s, Studebaker is hoping to capitalize on its expertise with electric cars gained in the early years of the previous century.
"Yeah, we were one of the first to go with battery-powered automobiles," said Mr. Grundy. "And with a little help from the government, I believe we can regain our number one position in the industry."
Also expressing interest in receiving a government handout is Pierce-Arrow, the noted luxury car manufacturer of the early1900s. Done in by the declining market for expensive motor cars during the Great Depression, the company is hoping to kick start its business.
"If we could get just a fraction of what’s being considered for GM, Ford and Chrysler," said company spokesman Hardy Wise. "Then we are confident that we can take on Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even Rolls-Royce."
The Stanley Motor Carriage Company has also thrown its corporate hat into the government giveaway ring. The maker of the famous Stanley Steamer automobile figures that the time is right for a rebirth of the company’s turn-of-the-last-century technology.
"With oil reserves in decline and hybrid technology only a temporary fix," said George Stanley, great-grandson of company founder Francis Stanley. "We feel that steam technology is the way to go."
Notwithstanding its twenty horsepower motor and unsafe carriage design, Stanley Steamer supporters are confident that a cash infusion will help launch the company, if not into the 21st century then at least into the latter half of the 20th century.
Last but not least in the lineup of grant seekers is Markham Buggy Whips Manufacturing Inc. of Buffalo, New York. Dormant for the last one hundred years, the once thriving company feels that the time is right to revitalize its business.
"With a modest nine-figure investment from the government, I think we’re poised to lead an explosion in buggy whip sales," said sole shareholder Fred Markham. "After all, oil is running out and a new horse and buggy era is surely just around the corner."