One of the prettiest GM show cars of the 1950s. One wonders if this was influenced Ghia's FIAT 8V design. While the torpedo fenders may be rather flamboyant, there is no denying the remarkable proportions and flowing surfacing in this design study. Look at the highlights and reflections wrappign around the fenderline. Just gorgeous.
Entries in Design History (19)
I love this photo of GM design supremo Bill Mitchell standing in the mud next to his spectacular creation. For a fascinating 1985 interview with Mitchell, click on over to Dean's Garage.
If you can stomach listening to me talking about cars and my watch company for two 28 minute segments, please have a listen!
Wes Garcia over at Megadeluxe was kind enough to interview me for his most excellent site! Definitely book mark it, as he posts some amazing stuff all the time!
Part one of the interview is about my personal cars and car design. The first 5 minutes are skippable but then it gets rolling!
Part two is about how I went about starting the watch company, and some other tangents!
Continuing on our theme of unloved cars this week, let's talk about the original Vector W2 Prototype. Of course when I was a tiny kid in the 80s, I thought the Vector was the be-all end-all of supercars. It was the topic of many breathless schoolyard conversations and sketches in the margins of my notebooks. But as time went by, it has become sort of the Jean Claude Van Damme of supercars--just a punchline to a bad 80s joke. The sort of thing that we look at today and say "wow. did we really think that was cool back then??" Putting aside the 3 speed automatic transmission, I think the time has come to perhaps re-appraise the car on stylistic grounds. Although I agree it will never be a "timeless" car, I think it's now getting old enough to appreciate it as a period piece, and a successful execution of the design trends of that time.With the later iterations of the design, the car became increasingly overstyled and needlessly complex, in order to compete with also-vulgar Lamborghini Diablo. But I think the original prototype has some really wicked, menacing proportions, and cool detailing. I love the fighter jet look imparted by the shut lines and tight panel gaps. The design borrows heavily from Bertone (the Athon -also from 1980- comes to mind), but creator Gerald Wiegert added his own Art Center-trained, American flavor to the mix. I think the way the organic fender flares relate to the chiseled belt line of the car is particularly well executed and unexpected. Perhaps we should look past the later Vectors, such as the disgusting M12, and appreciate the intent behind the original car --to make a home grown super-exotic with the latest technology and the most extreme styling that was cutting edge at the time.
I discovered this photo of a 1:1 scale maquette of the Dino GT4 in a book recently, and was quite excited, as I had never seen this photo before. It's interesting to note the more flamboyant treatments of the air intakes and outlets when compared to the more restrained final design. Gandini also did well by adding the additional character line along the flank of the final car to break up the vertical mass of the body. That line is absent on this early study. The elegant and subtle hood creases on the final car are also not yet defined on the unadorned nose area.
The production rear end treatment and bumpers are also far more delightful and nuanced than this maquette, meaning, I would assume, that this is one of the earliest full scale models made. Note that the maquette is described as a clay model, but I believe that Bertone and the other Italian design houses worked primarily in plaster models at the time, with clay being more prevalent in Detroit.