Arnold Baer Shuman, a product spokesman for Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc. for more than two decades, died suddenly Friday at his home in Hillsdale, N.J.
He was 72. The cause of death was not announced.
Shuman, known by his initials "A.B.," joined Mercedes in 1972 and was the company's leading product spokesman until he took an early retirement in 1995.
He graduated from Tufts University in 1962 and spent the next five years in the Navy, with the majority of his service time spent as the pilot of a submarine-hunting P2V Neptune patrol aircraft.
Shuman flew in the Caribbean and Mediterranean theaters and also in the North Atlantic, flying eight- and 10-hour sorties between Iceland and the waters off the Russian port of Murmansk, skimming the ocean at several hundred feet and returning with his windshield covered with salt.
Shuman joined Petersen Publishing Co. in Los Angeles in 1967 and worked in various editorial capacities at Car Craft, Motor Trend and Hot Rod until moving to Mercedes.
As a teenager, the Sharon, Mass., native was an early adherent of the 1950s' hot-rod movement in New England, which he described in Cool Cars and Square Rollbars, a book he and his brother wrote and A.B. self-published in his retirement.
He was also part owner and crew chief of a Chevrolet-engined streamliner that ran at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, topping 300 mph last fall.
Shuman is survived by his wife, Lois, and two sons. Funeral arrangements were private. A memorial service has been scheduled for May 31. The location will be announced at a later date.