The American spirit is all about a can-do attitude, and that elusive but ever-present American dream starts with an idea and comes to life through the taking of action. There are those who have the energy and vision that it takes to make their mark, and in an industry that is as competitive as the automobile manufacturing business, it does indeed take a unique individual to carve out even the tiniest beachhead. Paul Zimmer was just this type of person.
As the story goes, Zimmer was having dinner with his son Robert, and he sketched out the rough draft of what looked like a neo-classic automobile. He then went on to tell Robert that they were going start a company that would build that very same car, and that he, Robert, was going to be in charge of development, manufacturing, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company. And with that, Zimmer Motorcars Corporation was born in 1978.
The model that the company first released was the Zimmer Golden Spirit, and in that initial production year there were 1,500 of them built. The company found some footing on the strength of the Golden Spirit and by 1984 they were introducing their second model, which was called the Quicksilver.
In 1988 the younger Zimmer decided to move on and start his own automotive dealership, and this created a void. Not long after that, Paul Zimmer fell ill, suffering a heart attack, and this compounded the lack of energy and vision at the top. Employees and existing management and major stockholders tried to right the ship, but their efforts weren’t enough. The Zimmer company, which had broader holdings beyond the automotive division, which was said to be profitable, fell into bankruptcy.
The factory was located in Pompano Beach, Florida, and at the height of its success it provided jobs for 175 people and posted annual earnings of some $25 million.
Art Zimmer, who is not related to the founders of the company, obtained rights to the name in 1996 and started a car club for Zimmer enthusiasts. He went on to found the Art Zimmer Neo-Classic Motor Car Company that builds a handful of cars every year. A 2011 Zimmer four-door convertible can be ordered with a 60% down payment and delivered in about four months at a total price of $194,900
Contributed by Fossil Cars Staff Writer