Thursday, October 10, 2013

1954's Car of the Future

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Loretta reports:

I’m not much of a car nut, (or am I?  see here, here, and here) but a trip to the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, MA, on Cape Cod, brought out my inner motorhead.

Or maybe it has less to do with auto lust than an appreciation of beautiful design.

One part of the exhibition Driving Our Dreams: Imagination in Motion, features postwar car design concepts, the result of American men's exposure to Italian design during and after WWII.  Former GIs were looking for the exciting sorts of vehicles they had seen abroad.

I hope to show several examples in the near future, but here was one of my favorites.  This beautiful 1954 Plymouth Explorer was designed to shed “Chrysler’s stodgy 1940s image.”  According to the explanatory note, the Italian design house “Ghia built cars more creatively and less expensively than the American companies.”  Thanks to Italian flair, Chrysler became the leader in cool auto style.


Anonymous said...

That is a beauty. I wouldn't even want to own it, but it's a pleasure to look at it.

"Cars of the future" made me think of the rocket cars that we'll all be driving in the far, far future of the year 2000... okay, make it 3000. Has a nice ring to it and is far enough away not to disappoint.

Interestingly enough, one of the current state of the art cars (Tesla Model S) looks incredibly like this green beauty up-dated by a SciFi aficionado: the outer shape tweaked in the direction of Star Trek and the sight that greats the driver even more so - see here!

Regencyresearcher said...

My husband had a 54 Chevty when we were dating. He bought a '57 Plymouth with tail fins and buttons on the steering wheel when we married. It was a beautiful car of the day and we were a soure of envy. The car had a ninety day warrantry and lost its engine in the 91st day.
cars need more than looks.

Isobel Carr said...

Ghia made so many beautiful cars! I adored my 1965 Volvo P1800 (even if the gas tank did fill with water nearly every time it rained; talk about a design flaw!).

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Jim O'Neal said...

What an interesting article! I really enjoyed the photos of those gorgeous cars. You made some interesting points, too. I didn’t realize the designs had come from Americans seeing Italian vehicles through WWII. That’s a great historical car fact. I really hope to see more photos and descriptions of what you saw when you were there.

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