These books may make a great gift for one of your auto fanatic friends.
When I think about what initially got me interested in automobiles, I’d have to say it is automotive styling. With that in mind I’d like to share some brief automotive styling book reviews.
A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design by Michael Lamm & Dave Holls does an excellent job covering the first 100 years of automotive styling. Early in the beginning of the automobile, manufacturers embraced the fact that design-styling sells. Lamm and Holls follow the genesis of auto design from carriages and ship design to the futuristic themes of airplanes and space ships. They talk about the industry not just in terms of the transition from carriage makers to the mass production auto giants, but they also unearth the trends and innovative stylists shaping the industry. The authors give an overview of working in a design studio and some ideas what might be down the road. The book’s depth provides a look at areas not normally accessible to industry outsiders.
Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World by Glenn Adamson documents Brooks Stevens’, broad career in industrial design from 1934 – 1979. Where one instance occurred in 1938, Brooks Stevens customized his own Cord L-29 Cabriolet. Stevens made slight changes to the body and fender contours, finished off with a streamline paint job, and added a sloping windshield and chrome wheel discs over the stock wire wheels. Next, he removed the rumble seat and folding top and installed a seamless rear body with a rounded fin protruding from the center. (This may be the earliest tail fin to appear on an American car.) He dramatically transformed the front of the car with a bar type grille with sculptured chrome bumpers and teardrop shaped “wood lights.” Today, this car resides in a private collection. Adamson yields a through look at Brooks Stevens’ influence on industrial design.
Virgil Exner: Visioneer: The official biography of Virgil M. Exner, designer extraordinaire by Peter Grist offers an extensive look at one of the great auto designers of the Twentieth Century. Virgil Exner is probably best known for Chrysler’s ‘Forward Look’ automobiles of the mid 1950’s. His industrial design legacy is traced from 1934 through 1972. The author provides insights about Exner’s early artistic endeavors, his design process, and the transfer from concept model to finished product. The book includes previously unseen works and family photos among the 150 color images. It is interesting to note Exner’s links to Indiana with Studebaker, Buehler, and Duesenberg.
The Automotive Book Review section is my attempt to share reviews of current and other auto-related books. Most of the books have an Indiana automotive history connection or feature a broad automotive context.
Peruse The Automotive Book Review section to discover some ideas for gifts for that genuine car nut in your life.
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