REARVIEW | Analog car design : Henry Ford Museum online gallery.

In today’s culture, we rely on electronic assistance as much as oxygen. When your iPhone isn’t working properly ( come on, you know you have one or want one ), it seems like you forgot to operate without it. Comedian Louis C.K. did a great bit on Conan about how ridiculously reliant ( and impatient ) we have become with our ‘smart’ devices. In the design world, this reliance is compounded. If the Alias server is down, forget it, you might as well go home. Wacom pen lost? You might as well have lost your whole hand. Does anyone have a pencil around here?

Thankfully, I am still surrounded at work by some fabulous old-school clay modelers who keep me in check, a peripheral reminder of the analog craftsmanship which begot beautiful road and show cars which still inspire us today. I’m still fond of the orthographic design sketches of maestros like Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Alfa GTV or Marcello Gandini’s Miura. And that’s why when I found this gallery, I wanted to share it with you.

My good friend and former manager George Saridakis created the Shelby GR-1 concept from literally three orthographic sketches and one 3/4. Ford Design VP J Mays, featured in a post below, saw the sketches and said, “build it”. That George understood the car in terms of its actual sectional design, and not just the exaggerated typical centerfold designer sketch, ensured the success of the design as it translated from paper to aluminum.

I think the GR-1 and its inspiration, the original Peter Brock penned Daytona coupe are spectacular designs. The Daytona coupe is stunning, especially considering it was created when computers were the size of an RV used at Houston Space Center to launch rockets. Thankfully Henry Ford Museum’s online catalog of photos has some great moments in car design history, and the wooden bucks used to create AC coupe and Daytona coupe bodies have been preserved and transferred from film reels to online pixels, for all to enjoy. Check out the flickr gallery here.

Photo credits: David Friedman Collection, Henry Ford Museum Benson Research Archives, Ford Motor Company

1 Comment

  1. Bill says:

    Both are jaw dropping. Form follow function and more in these.

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