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An inside look circa 1973 at Ford Design as they grapple with mandated safety guidelines including, seatelts, crash tests and crumple zones in vehicles.
Most people think of them as early relics of an era long past—as antiques that are best left in museums. To a special group of people — a much larger group than most would dare imagine — the earliest motorcars are an integral part of their lives. Some owners of veteran automobiles are fascinated by the early technology of the horseless carriage; others are captivated by their importance and history. But, the people we’re about to meet love the challenge of using their ancient motorcars as often as possible, reliving many of the challenges faced by the motoring pioneers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This special uncovers some of the world’s oldest running cars and the people who’ve nurtured these noisome relics. EP 410
Forward Look was a design theme employed by Virgil Exner in styling the 1955 through 1961 Chrysler Corporation vehicles. When Exner joined Chrysler, the company's vehicles were being fashioned by engineers instead of designers, and so were considered outmoded, unstylish designs. Exner fought to change this structuring, and got control over the design process, including the clay prototypes and the die models used to create production tooling. 300C Production 1957 After seeing the P-38-inspired tailfins on the 1948 Cadillac, Exner adopted fins as a central element of his vehicle designs. He believed in the aerodynamic benefits of the fins, and even used wind tunnel testing at the University of Michigan—but he also liked their visual effects on the car. Exner lowered the roofline and made the cars sleeker, smoother, and more aggressive. In 1955, Chrysler introduced "The New 100-Million Dollar Look". With a long hood and short deck, the wedgelike designs of the Chrysler 300 letter series and revised 1957 models suddenly brought the company to the forefront of design, with Ford and General Motors quickly working to catch up. The 1957 Plymouths were advertised with the slogan, "Suddenly, it's 1960!" A Mopar oil filter from the late 1950s bears the Forward Look logo Fins soon lost popularity. By the late 1950s Cadillac, Chrysler and many other marques had escalated the size of fins until some thought they were stylistically questionable, and they became a symbol of American excess in the early 60s. 1961 is considered the last of the "Forward Look" designs. The 1962's were referred to as "plucked chickens" by Exner.
GM asked its in house film team to show what is beauty. Inspired by nature with its abundance of beauty in sea shells, flower petals and birds in flight the filmmakers strove to find those shapes that occur in nature and are man made that are the essence of beauty. This is what they hoped the stylists at GM and other industrial designers would bring to consumers. A look at what we thought was the epitome of style in the early 1950s. The Look of Things S040
From the start of the automotive age, safety was a concern. In the days before seat belts, airbags, crumple zones, well marked cross walks it was dangerous for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Safety campaigns started to launch public education efforts to reduce the carnage.
General Motors created this film after the War to generate interest in its new cars by showing the public how far automobile design had come since the days of the horseless carriage.
From an artist's sketch through full-scale steel sculpturing in clay and wood, to final rendering in steel, we see the motor car designer creating greater usefulness, performance and transportation value for each successive generation.
This film brings to life the fascinating work of an auto designer who really is infused with craftmanship and an artisan's sense of the practical value of beauty.
We see how design had transformed the car from horse-drawn buggy to the modern Post WWII cars that were the envy of the world.
The film is a glimpse into that hopeful, energetic, America that was on the go and ready to claim the ear as the American Century.