galleryAmerican Cars05.30.09galleryAmerican CarsAs General Motors prepares to file for bankruptcy, Stephen Miller—obituary writer for The Wall Street Journal—on the colorful and tumultuous life of the once-dominant 101-year-old American company.05.30.09 9:45 PM ETAFP / Getty ImagesFATHER AND SCIONHenry Ford and his son Edsel pose in a Model F Ford in front of their house in Detroit in 1905.Paul Schutzer, Time & Life Pictures / Getty ImagesJUST MARRIEDNewlyweds Marilyn Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller cruise in their convertible. Their friend, American photographer Milton Greene, rides along in July 1956. Popperfoto / Getty ImagesMAKING MAGICThe Ford assembly line in Detroit in 1927. Hulton Archive / Getty ImagesKING OF HOLLYWOODGone With the Wind’s Clark Gable shows off his 1955 Ford Thunderbird.Ralph Morse, Time Life Pictures / Getty ImagesCLEAN LINESChecking out the latest model at a General Motors new car show in 1954.Keystone / Getty ImagesCOMMANDER-IN-SEATPresident Harry S. Truman at the wheel of his new beige 1945 deluxe two-door Ford sedan, a present from Henry Ford. The president was one of the first to secure a postwar automobile.Nina Leen, Time & Life Pictures / Getty ImagesTINKERINGFixing up a 1927 Ford Model T, in 1945.John Kobal Foundation / Getty ImagesA COMIC AND HIS CARBob Hope in 1935 leaning on his Packard Eight Convertible Sedan, an extremely popular model in its time.Roberts, Retrofile / Getty ImagesAUTO APPRENTICESFuture mechanics practicing their trade, in the 1960s.Hulton Archive / Getty ImagesHER FIRST RIDEYoung American actress Marla English proudly displays her car in 1955.Hart Preston, Time Life Pictures / Getty ImagesLETTING GO OF SOME GREENIn the market for a Chrysler-Windsor motor car in 1941.Al Fenn,Time Life Pictures / Getty ImagesCELEBRATING SUCCESSA shot of the legendary Ford barbecue at the Henry Ford Estate in 1964.Herbert Gehr, Time Life Pictures / Getty ImagesMEETING OF THE MINDSDiscussing business at the United Auto Workers' Convention in 1943.H. Armstrong Roberts, Retrofile / Getty ImagesAGGRAVATED ASPHALTCars of the day line the road in a traffic jam in 1950. AP PhotoGOLDEN COUPLEActress Liz Taylor and her fourth husband, singer Eddie Fisher, form a happy union on May 12, 1959, in Las Vegas.