Automobile Styling for 1949

Automobile Styling for 1949

Why did American car design take such a huge leap forward in 1949? Why did the Shoebox Fords and Mercurys look lightyears ahead of the ’48 models? Over at GM the ‘Hardtop Convertible’ body style, one piece, panoramic windshield and OHV V-8’s in Cadillac and Oldsmobile all premiered in 1949 as well. The simple answer to all this amazing progress in car design and engineering comes from World War II. Just four years earlier, the US was in the midst of making military vehicles and weapons, forcing the manufacturers to wait to introduce their new passenger cars. This gave Detroit extra time to work on revolutionary designs, coupled with new inspiration from fighter aircraft and better knowledge of aerodynamics. Here’s a General Motors color film called ‘Styling the Motor Car”, that explains a bit about the importance and process of modern design. Its got some great footage inside their Design Studio and Harley Earl’s office as well…

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