Who was This Colorful Character?

01 Jun

According to Legend:

A Rarely Recognized Genius

Army Air Corps Officer in WW II

Used to Party up at Mulholland Farm

Errol Taught Him How to be a “Ladies Man”

Closely Associated with Planes, Trains and Automobiles

A Mann of Many Varied Talents, from Engineering to Entertainment

Many Notable Friends, from Howard Hughes to Groucho Marx to Satchel Paige

Errol Once Threw Golf Balls from the Roof of a Downtown LA Courthouse to “Help His Auto Body Repair Business”

Having Designed It, This was His “Baby”:

Baby LeSabre

And He Worked on This One, Howard’s Baby, Too:

Spruce Goose




— Tim


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  1. Maria

    June 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    The Spruce Goose! In trying to provide an answer (I am usually wrong!) I came across some very interesting people. Henry J. Kaiser for one :…
    and Howard A. Darrin who worked with Kaiser in later years, designing cars for the likes of Errol!

    • Gentleman Tim

      June 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      I didn’t know about these guys, Maria. Thanks! I’m gonna have to study up on them. That’s very cool. Our mystery man is said by some to be one of theOriginal Rat Pack – the one before the Ocean’s Eleven crew, with Sammy Davis Jr., et al. The one Lauren Bogart said used to meet up at her place, with Errol, Humprey, et al.

      He was also a premier pilot, flew in combat, trained a famous WWII squadron, and may have been a stunt pilot in Hughes’ Hells Angels in 1930.

      If all they say is true, they really should do a movie about this guy. He was way ahead of his time.


  2. wagram

    June 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Joey Bishop? One of the least mentioned in the Rat Pack as I remember but don’t know much about his life. Peter Lawford was part of the Rat Pack. Even though they were part of the group, I’m sure they’re not the answer.

    • Gentleman Tim

      June 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      No this is the (Holmby Hills) Rat Pack, with Lauren Bacall their “Den Mother”, wagram – before that more well known Rat Pat, before Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Lawford. They used to drink and carouse all around town and also hang out at Bogart’s place.…

    • Gentleman Tim

      June 3, 2015 at 1:42 am

      He helped train this historic group of heroes:


  3. Gentleman Tim

    June 3, 2015 at 12:07 am

    It is said:

    He designed the prototype car that influenced the aeronautical design of the Corvette.

    He designed the first car named El Dorado, which he named after a prominent black nightclub in Houston, depicted below.

    He helped design the twin-engine “Super Electra” Lockheed Model 14 Lodestar that Howard Hughes circumnavigated the globe in, leaving out of Floyd Bennett Field in 1938, also depicted below.

    He was a pioneer pilot for Northwest Airways (now Northwest Airlines.)




    • Maria

      June 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      How about Harley Earl?…
      They don’t make them like that anymore!

      • Gentleman Tim

        June 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

        Not the great Harley Earl, Maria, but I’ve added a couple of actual photos of our mystery mann – the first (posted up top because I have no link) from 1919 with his long-time friend and benefactor, the second from decades later, with one of his legendary “miniature” trains:

        • wagram

          June 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm

          I’m making a wild guess! Jimmy Stewart falls into a few of the clues. Then I thought Chuck Yeager but he doesn’t fit, but it is worth a try. Jimmy was shy and a friend. I’ve been wracking my brain because I should know this!!

  4. Tina

    June 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Those quizzes of yours are tricky!
    What about Frank Calvin Mann?
    Only, I can’t find any association with Errol?………

    • Gentleman Tim

      June 3, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Yes, Tina!!! You did it again. These are indeed (necessarily) very tricky. Otherwise you’d be answering them within minutes! … Isn’t this mann’s story amazing!? What a great movie it would be.



      • Tina

        June 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        Thanks Tim, yes a most interesting man indeed and his association with Howard Hughes.
        I do enjoy good quizzes but what puzzles me in this quiz is the connection to Errol?
        I could not find anything at all. What do you have which supports that there was a friendship and being a guest at Mulholland, as by your quotes:
        Used to Party up at Mulholland Farm and
        Errol Taught Him How to be a “Ladies Man”
        I think that would be the very interesting part of this quiz.
        Please let us know!

        • Gentleman Tim

          June 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm

          I apologize, Tina, was writing that on my cell before when a very important call came in. This book has information on Mann’s reported connection to Flynn, all of which I recommend. My favorite may be the account about Errol’s pocket full of golf balls on the Courthouse roof.



          I recommend searching for all the references to Errol, on and around pages 23 & 77, especially.

        • wagram

          June 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm

          I hadn’t a clue. I’ve never heard about Frank Mann and, like Tina, wonder about carousing and partying at Mulholland. I’m sure I’ve read there was someone other than Frank that Errol taught how to be a ladies’ man. I don’t remember ever hearing about Frank Mann during WWII or before. Good for you, Tina!

          • Gentleman Tim

            June 3, 2015 at 10:19 pm

            Frank claimed Errol taught him (Frank) how to be a ladies man, not vice versa.


            • Tina

              June 3, 2015 at 10:37 pm

              Wow Tim! That is seems to be a good book, how on earth did you ever unearth this story? What was the springing point? Those very unknown tales and encounters of Errol are the essence of this blog. I read page 23 but 77 is not available. What does it say there? Great work!
              What made you aware of Frank Mann?
              Most definitely a most interesting man indeed!

              • Gentleman Tim

                June 4, 2015 at 1:25 am

                Finding Frank Mann and his connection to Errol came indirectly, via other research, Tina. I had never heard of Mann, so I’m not sure I could have found this otherwise. I was actually investigating Errol’s history with golf, entering various key words, including “golf course”, “golfing”and “golf balls”. One of those, I forget which one now, yielded (on Google Books) the anecdote about Errol having tossed the golf balls. Interestingly enough, this led me to find another very cool fact regarding Errol, not about Frank Mann, but about one of his (Errol’s) legendary cars, which I had never seen before. … I hope post that up later tonight. (Not as a quiz, as we probably all deserve a rest from these tricky quizzes!)

                Page 25 of Hidden Genius includes the golf balls story.

                Page 77 includes the stories about Frank being in the early Rat Pack with Errol, and partying up at Mulholland.

                Errol was way ahead of his time, and, as we all know, really enjoyed bright, fun people. … I wonder if Errol ever got together with Satchel Paige. That would have been awesome. Paige was older, but very youthful. … Here’s a great photo of Frank Mann with Satchel Paige at The El Dorado Club.


                (This is the club Mann credited as the influence behind the naming of the Eldorado automobile – first his own, followed by Cadillac’s.

  5. Gentleman Tim

    June 3, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you very much, Tina. I think Errol was such a great guy about enjoying and respecting people for who they really were, not what “society” said what they were and must be.

    Hidden Genius:

  6. David DeWitt

    June 4, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Great Quizz!!!

    • Gentleman Tim

      June 4, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Thanks, David. I really don’t know how anyone answers these so quickly. I don’t believe I could do so. But, I can’t make them any easier, or Tina, Marie, and others, will end the quiz in minutes. Besides, at least for me, it’s the search that’s the most fun and rewarding part of trying to answer this kind of quiz – all the fascinating peripheral or even unrelated things one finds, even going down dead ends. … Much like life itself.

  7. Gentleman Tim

    June 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Video Tribute/News Report on the Death of Frank Mann:

    Looked like a Great Guy!