Tuesday 19th February 1901
Roy D Chapin quit college to join the Olds Motor Works, beginning an illustrious automotive career. Chapin headed the consortium of businessmen and engineers that founded the Hudson Motor Car Company in 1908. The company was named for Detroit merchant Joseph L. Hudson, who provided the majority of capital for the operation’s start-up.
Chapin was also behind the 1918 formation of the Essex Motors Company, a subsidiary of Hudson. Essex is notable for developing the first affordable mass-produced enclosed automobile in 1922. Because of the success of the inexpensive enclosed Essex Coach line, the American automobile industry shifted away from open touring cars in order to meet consumer demand for all-weather passenger vehicles.
In 1927 he replaced Clifton as the head of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his corporate interests, Chapin spearheaded the drive to build the Lincoln Highway, along with Henry B. Joy of Packard Motors. While Chapin viewed a system of professionally designed and built roadways as the greatest way to grow the automobile industry, he also saw the modern roadways movement as a way to secure long range strength for the United States as a nation.