Graham emblem from a 1940 Graham Hollywood Supercharged Sedan (Under 200 made and designed by John Tjaada).
In 1927, Joseph B., Robert C. and Ray A. Graham organized the New York based Graham Brothers Corporation as a holding company.
On January 5, 1928, the name of the company was changed to Graham-Paige Motors Corporation, and a new line of Graham-Paige automobiles was presented to the public.
All the new 1928 Graham-Paige cars had a crisp new styling that made them an instant hit. In the single month of August a total of 11,207 cars were built, more than half the total for the entire twelve months of 1927.
The total production for 1928 amounted to something over 73,000 cars, setting a record for a new car in its first year. That record was short lived, however, as the new De Soto topped it just one year later.
In August, 1929, the Company announced 1930 Graham-Paige models. These proved to be the last to bear the Graham-Paige nameplate. In January of 1930 the company introduced a "second series" of "Very Good Cars at Low Prices" that dropped Paige from the name. Thereafter the car was simply the Graham.
The company revived the Paige name for a new line of light commercial vehicles that never sold well. When this line ceased in 1932, Paige disappeared as a vehicle nameplate.
The 1930s were hard on all auto makers but especially independents like Graham-Paige. By 1940 it had lost money every year except 1928 and 1933. Production of the Graham finally ceased in September of 1940, when the automobile assembly line was closed to concentrate on military work.
In August 1944, Joseph W. Frazer, former president of Willys-Overland, assumed control of Graham-Paige Motors Corporation. He announced that the company would resume manufacture of automobiles after the war with a completely new car to be called the Frazer. While looking for financial backing, Frazer met California industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, who also had plans for a postwar automobile. The two agreed to work together, and in August 1945 they formed the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation to build the new Kaiser. Henry Kaiser became the chairman of Kaiser-Frazer, and Frazer became president. The goal, using the same assembly line, was for Kaiser-Frazer to build two Kaiser automobiles for every Frazer built by Graham-Paige.
The enormous costs associated with designing and manufacturing a brand-new car rapidly ate away at Graham-Paige assets. The company decided a second time to quit the car business. In 1947 stockholders approved the sale of all automotive assets to Kaiser-Frazer, leaving Graham-Paige only its farm equipment division. Joe Frazer moved the company from Detroit to York, Pennsylvania, to sell rototillers.
By 1950 the company had disposed of its Kaiser-Frazer stock and dropped the word Motors from its name. Headquarters was moved to New York City and the company began investing in real estate. Frazer retired in 1954. In 1962 Graham-Paige Corporation changed its name to Madison Square Garden Corporation. By 1977 the former auto maker's various real estate assets made it an attractive takeover candidate, and it disappeared into the Gulf & Western conglomerate. Gulf & Western evolved into Paramount, which today is media conglomerate Viacom. (source: Bill Roberts)
An article by Jeffery I. Godshall that originally appeared in Automobile Quarterly Volume 13 No.1 titled The Graham Brothers and Their Car is as a complete history of Graham-Paige as you will find.
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