CRIMES & FIRES

Interestingly enough, the supremacy of the American auto industry was slow in coming.

During the first decade of the 20th century, it was European-built vehicles that were stealing the show.

In 1914 the perception, though largely unwarranted by that date, that European models were of superior quality led William Durant to capitalize on this with the introduction of a new line named for a Swiss-born race driver, Louis Chevrolet.

It has been estimated that the penetration by Ford, with the Model T, was such that by 1920 one of every three cars in the world was a Ford product! At the other end of the price spectrum, Packard was quite often the luxury car of choice even in colonies of the British Empire.

Today, there is a stigma about vehicles with 100,000 miles on the odometer even though this number has had no relevance to the consumer for more than a generation.

Such was the case with American-built cars until the start of World War I.

During the war, the durability of Jeffery Quad (4x4) trucks, Lincoln-built aero engines and Dodge touring cars had become legendary.

After the war, a large percentage of American military vehicles were liquidated through Motor Reception Parks and subsequently were utilized in Europe as well as North Africa.

The result was an almost instantaneous explosion in demand for more.

Throughout much of the 1920s and 1930s, at the prestigious Paris Le Salon de l'Automobile, 25 to 50 percent of vehicles displayed were American models.

At the annual automobile shows in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, during this period, almost every American automobile manufacturer was represented.

The 1920s were, in large part, a prosperous time.

This as well as a relative lack of trade barriers fueled the export of American-built vehicles to unprecedented heights.

In Australia, one of the largest markets for these automobiles and trucks, two-thirds of all cars registered annually had been manufactured in the United States.

By the mid-1930s, 90 percent of all automobiles in Japan were American models.

In France, as the rising number of American-produced vehicles threatened to swamp that nation's automobile industry, stiff tariffs were levied.

To stay in the market, Ford launched the modern era with the purchase of French manufacturer Mathis, creating Matford.

Other American companies followed suit with similar endeavors.

The Great Depression as well as increasing import tariffs checked this supremacy but did not stop it.

Egypt, with stable cotton prices, weathered the worst of the hard times relatively unscathed.

This, as well as a thirst for American-built vehicles which had been launched at the end of World War I, made the country a strong market.

In South Africa, a much larger market than Egypt, by 1935 more than one-half of all motor vehicles in use were of American manufacture.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, during the 1920s, Auburn, Studebaker, Graham, Chrysler, Marmon and Hupmobile, among others, constructed some of their most luxurious showrooms in Rio de Janeiro.

Before the collapse of coffee prices in 1929 and a revolution the following year, Brazil absorbed hundreds of American-built vehicles annually.

Even in the Soviet Union and China, American manufacturers were well represented.

A rare parade of automobiles through the Red Square of Moscow in 1925 was led by a Lincoln.

Today, multinational corporations have blurred the brand names as well as nation of origin.

More often than not the attempt to "buy" an American automobile is an exercise in self deception.

Unless, of course, one chooses to forgo a few modern amenities and selects a former king of the road for their transportation needs.

Jim Hinckley writes weekly columns on automobiles and regional travel for the Miner.

Police seek leads in 'Maze' vandalism

KINGMAN – Kingman police are seeking public help in solving a rash of vandalism overnight in the "Maze" area.

At least a dozen vehicles had windows broken out with rocks or baseball bats, resulting in several thousand dollars in damage, detective Sgt.

Rusty Cooper said.

The Maze area includes the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Miami and Chicago avenues, along with Mullen, Ricca and Van Marter drives.

Anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious may call Cooper at 753-2191 or Silent Witness toll free (888) 227-8780.

Silent Witness offers a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of criminals.

Two hospitalized after U.S.

93 rollover

WIKIEUP – Two people were taken to hospitals following a rollover accident on U.S.

93 Wednesday.

An engine and two personnel from the Pinion Pine Fire Department responded around 7:35 a.m.

to milepost 103, which is about 20 miles north of Wikieup, Lt.

Chris Simpson said.

One crash victim was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas and another was taken by ambulance to Kingman Regional Medical Center.

Coach accused of molesting juvenile

KINGMAN – A youth baseball coach from Phoenix was arrested Sunday on one count of child molestation and three counts of sexual conduct with a minor, all felonies.

The male coach used the Internet over a course of several months to lure and entice a juvenile from Kingman, a press release from the Kingman Police Department stated.

On Saturday, the coach drove from Phoenix to Kingman.

He is accused of picking up the youth, going with him to a Kingman motel and later to a Las Vegas hotel and having sex with the juvenile at both locations.

The youth's parents reported him missing.

On Sunday around 11:30 p.m.

Kingman police located man's vehicle as he returned to Kingman.

He was taken into custody and the youth returned to his parents.

Search warrants were executed on the vehicle of Sergio John Martinez, 29, and his south Phoenix home with evidence collected from both locations.

Martinez was booked into the Mohave County Jail.

Woman arrested in justice court

KINGMAN – A Kingman woman was arrested Tuesday at Kingman Justice Court on two felony warrants.

Cindy Francis McLennan, 37, had gone to the court, where she was recognized by a judge as having the warrants.

They charged her with criminal trespassing and stemmed from two incidents at the home of her ex-husband earlier this year, Kingman police Lt.

Dean Brice said.

She was booked into the Mohave County Jail.

Barefoot and hungry, fugitive surrenders

KINGMAN – A resident of Henderson, Nev., was arrested Wednesday in Kingman on a felony fugitive from justice warrant issued by the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office.

Frankie Flores-Fleetfoot Romero, 20, was barefoot, hungry and thirsty when he called the Kingman Police Department from a pay phone in the 900 block of West Beale Street about 6 a.m.

to surrender, Lt.

Dean Brice said.

Romero is accused of breaking into a residence in Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif., and taking a small amount of cash, some clothing and the keys to a car so he could drive to see his mother in Henderson, Brice said.

The car ran out of gas somewhere in the California desert and was abandoned.

Romero then walked and hitchhiked his way to Kingman.

Kingman police confirmed the warrant and booked Romero into the Mohave County Jail, where he awaits extradition.

Fire calls

The Kingman Fire Department assisted the Bureau of Land Management in fighting a fire in the Cerbat Mountains behind Chloride, and responded to a vehicle fire, a non-injury accident, a propane gas leak and 13 medical calls.

The Hualapai Valley Fire Department responded to a fire alarm activation and three medical calls.

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to a mutual aid call from the BLM for a fire in the Cerbat Mountains behind Chloride and one false alarm.