John E. Goerlich

Inducted 1990

Founded the AP Parts Company where he promoted the innovative universal muffler and other automotive parts

During World War II developed a special thin-wall, quick-coupling steel pipe for the transport of fuel across the North African desert

John Goerlich built a major parts business from the back seat of his car. In 1916, there were 1.5 million cars on the road…and thousands broken down by the side of the road. Blacksmiths attempted to provide replacement parts, but the demand was overwhelming. It was during this era that Goerlich worked as a salesman for Willys-Overland, traveling from town to town selling auto parts from the back seat of his car. He later joined the Koolfast Radiator Company as Vice President, overseeing the growing replacement parts market. There he acquired the rights to manufacture the Taylor Loudspeaker muffler. Designed to actually amplify engine noise while eliminating exhaust, the device “put the roar into the Roaring 20s.” In 1927, Goerlich acquired the rights to Koolfast’s muffler business and created his own company. Soon Goerlich was manufacturing six universal mufflers which could be installed on 85 percent of the cars on the road…making the highway a safer, quieter place to drive.

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Class of 1990

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