Sunday, August 10, 2014

Forecast: the inspiration for '50s car design

From the New Hope Automobile Show:

America was wild about the Jet Age in ’52, right before the Space Age. Cars had been unibody (not separate fenders welded on) since the big redesign for the ’49 model year (arguably the first ’50s cars), but still were high and rounded like the ’40s.

People love these Mercs because of James Dean.

That year, designers had already planned the late ’50s-early ’60s style (like doo-wop/googie architecture), inspired by jets and space flight (the Ford Galaxie, for example: the taillights were supposed to look like a jet's exhaust pipe). Low, rectangular, and with "wings" (fins, which started with little rounded ones on the '49 Cadillac, peaking with the '59).

The artist's imagination seems to have come up with the TV Batmobile 14 years in advance. That car's a perfect ’50s parody because it was a real ’50s concept one, the Lincoln Futura, amazingly spared from scrapping so when the custom car guy got the order to make a Batmobile, he just modified it and the rest is history.

Batmobile clone at Atlantic City car show.

Does the black with red piping remind you of a monsignor's cassock? The God Squad car.

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