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Old 05-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #1
Jive-Bomber
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Default Designing the Wildcat III



One more scan from the "Styling- The Look of Things", which I posted a little of earlier this week. This was the largest portion of the book, showing the creation of a new Motorama Dream car from sta...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

This is so great, especially the noting the example of the computer era ease. This car has always been one of my fave concept vehicles. Nice to see the use of Mercury side trim on the ride, ha ha. I am so taken by these historical events and pass along a big atta-boy for kickin this down. ~sololobo~
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Great article - and very accurate. This was my world before retiring GM ( my engineers worked with Design on future vehicles and show vehicles ) - other than computer design and manufacturing technology helping with the process - this is about how it still happens !!
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Great publication! Thanks for sharing it!

Gotta wonder why they had to get to clay before they saw that the head and tail lights on that first iteration weren't going to work, though the final resolution was much better!

I'd love to see a similar photo story on the GM design process that went into a more recent and, uh, unfortunate production vehicle... the Pontiac Aztek! Might be an interesting comparison.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

I love seeing this type of stuff. What a great era to be a designer at GM. Its amazing to think that the process really has changed all that much in the past 50 years!!
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Another interesting excerpt from this great book! Even the layout and artwork is "mid-century cool".
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

I have the first year produced Wildcat..it's a 1962 with 46,000 miles on her. I am the 3rd owner and restored her 3 years ago. Mid-year production (Invicta on steroids) 401, 325 HP nailhead, 1st year production vinyl roof, special handling package (1 1/16" front sway bar and 1" rear sway bar), Dual exhaust, 3:42 positraction, power windows, Radio delete, upgraded original trans to 1965 T-400 SP (I did this in the 80's when everyone said it couldn't be done) and lots more. Color is arctic white but the mustard pigment was removed, so its more like appliance (bright) white. And the interior is red with white accent stripe, buckets, console, Tach, all factory. better than Any 62' impala!
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Awesome thread. I always wondered specifically what the process was to make a concept car.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Thanks for sharing!..........The GM Motorama was the big show to look foward to........
Buick was the dreamcar founder (as it were).....Harley Earl's Y-Job of 1938 was a Buick...........
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

It's incredible that designers could give these cars such graceful curves in designs done with slide rules and compasses, and then place them precisely on a clay model. Designers now are spoiled with incredible computing tools, and they produce these hideous cars. Just think of what modern computer design could do if we still had real creative minds in the styling departments.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldthudman View Post
Thanks for sharing!..........The GM Motorama was the big show to look foward to........
Buick was the dreamcar founder (as it were).....Harley Earl's Y-Job of 1938 was a Buick...........
The Y-Job was probably the coolest thing since the Auburn Cord,wayyyy ahead of its time.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

thanks for sharing. As an avid Buick guy, and lover of concept cars, it's really cool to see the process. great literature as well. that's a gem
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

I'm thinking you know this fact, but the book it's downloadable here:
http://www.deansgarage.com/wp-content/uploads/Styling-The_Look_of_Things.pdf
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skankin' Rat Fink View Post
It's incredible that designers could give these cars such graceful curves in designs done with slide rules and compasses, and then place them precisely on a clay model. Designers now are spoiled with incredible computing tools, and they produce these hideous cars. Just think of what modern computer design could do if we still had real creative minds in the styling departments.
Trust me as a engineer/designer myself if they would have had the technology we had today they would have used it to the fullest extent they could. If slide rules and clay were better we would still be using them.

Cars today in terms of styling are driven by pedestrian safety, fuel economy and just about every other little thing then styling. I am amazed that cars come out now as good looking as they do with all the regulations in place to make them look as close to anthropomorphous blobs as possible.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

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Originally Posted by wearymicrobe View Post
Trust me as a engineer/designer myself if they would have had the technology we had today they would have used it to the fullest extent they could. If slide rules and clay were better we would still be using them.

Cars today in terms of styling are driven by pedestrian safety, fuel economy and just about every other little thing then styling. I am amazed that cars come out now as good looking as they do with all the regulations in place to make them look as close to anthropomorphous blobs as possible.
I think that statement is very shortsighted with-in the industry. Technology is plentiful but in the end it is just a tool to get to the same goal.

TRUST ME, As Clay Modeler in the auto industry, We still work in Clay. Not many companies are totally digital, and will never be, as on a computer you can not walk around the model and see how the property looks in real life to develop its surfaces. True we have technology but the tools and the process are the same as they have been since the mid -'30s

In the 50's they could do more with stamping then they can now. Sheetmetal was thicker and could take having it bent and pulled more times then todays sheetmetal.

Reasons for thinner sheet metal is they have found that on impact when the sheetmetal crumples up it absorbs the force. The part is cheaper, and the passengers are safer. What you lose is being able to have crazy shapes.

There are more cars on the road today then there were 50 years ago. Most of America at that time was still farming, cars did not need to travel as far or do crazy commutes everyday. Suburbs were a new thing. Where you lived is where you worked for the most part. Cars didn't really travel at the speeds they travel now at average.

The only thing that hasn't really changed is gas prices. (If you go by the dollar value and rise/fall of the dollar with other factors) Gas prices are about the only thing that is ball park the same as it was in the 50's. Compared to pay wages and cost of living. And what most people brought home in the 1950's for a paycheck.

Cars today are driven by many things. Safety is a biggest but I think that all automakers/designers try and design a car you want to buy. Designs trends are different from the 50's today. But the bottom line it is a business, they have to sell cars. Its a product. Fuel economy is big, government mandates are big to, crash zones, impact zones, sheet metal thickness, ease of entry/egress, etc all play in part. But after the design must remain somewhat intact from the original sketch that was bought off on. That part of the process is the first step before any of the "factors" mentioned above go into place.

And every now and then slide rules do come out. I use one, well its a scale (same principle) and is in millimeters, but I need it to take points off large fullsize engineering print-outs with a designer taping lines, so I can make templates out of wood to drag clay surfaces. There's a guy a computer right near me, building surfaces in 2D (and yes they too are not engineers) Sometimes the "Alias" 2 surfaces are used to get the basics down, but mostly they follow up what is done by hand and clean everything up when it gets closer to going in to production.

Have to make cars people want to buy. Following trends of what people are buying. I think every automaker, more so American, are trying like hell to get back to their roots and create cars that people have to have. Back in the 50's for example Ford and GM made cars that dictate design trends, The NY fashion scene always followed what Detroit would crank out. That's what make those motorama cars so awesome.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Designing the Wildcat III

Quote:
Originally Posted by funnycar View Post
I'm thinking you know this fact, but the book it's downloadable here:
http://www.deansgarage.com/wp-content/uploads/Styling-The_Look_of_Things.pdf
Good find thanks, I was just there and didnt see that.

I think theres a short movie of this title, saw it on youtube but I cant find it now.

theres also design for dreaming by gm in 56 I think.

If it exists it will probably be on this guys channel http://www.youtube.com/user/AutomobileHistoryUSA
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