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Art & Inspiration Proportions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ned Ludd, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Beauty is in the eye, IMHO.
    This Deusenberg as far back as when I first saw it,
    maybe 1957, hasn't got the proper proportions,
    and to me is just not pleasing, never was never will be.
    This Lincoln, as far back as about 1957, when I first saw
    it, is my idea of perfection, then now and always.
    Just keeping the thread going, very interesting
    4542565172_11c9fea2e7_b.jpg 179988_Side_Profile_Web.JPG
    Ned Ludd and jimmy six like this.
  2. I think the color doesn't do this car justice. more reflective lines from a darker color would change the look. 4542565172_11c9fea2e7_b.jpg
  3. Maybe Dark Green with Red rims!:rolleyes:
    Ned Ludd, tb33anda3rd and VANDENPLAS like this.
  4. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,326


    I sort of agree with Tony Martino : we all seem to just "Know" when the proportions are "Right" for our individual tastes (or DAMN close to being so!!), & while I deeply admire both cars, I have somehow always known that I stood a MUCH better chance of owning a MK II Continental (my personal automotive "HOLY GRAIL") than of EVER even riding in a Duesenberg roadster, let alone OWNING one!! (ps: I was finally able to find an affordable Continental last year...)
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    Ned Ludd and Tony Martino like this.
  5. Again,
    beauty in the eye of the beholder.
    My wife suggested sectioning the Duesenberg to the trim line.
    I think she has a point! I would add to get rid of the spares, move the
    bumper in and maybe add a Hallec or Duval windshield.
    Just sayin'.
    She also added this very old German saying:
    "To make it right for every man, is an art that no one can.".
    Baumi and Ned Ludd like this.
  6. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,132

    jimmy six

    The duesenberg would look great with Shaq sitting it with the windshield proper for him.
    Ned Ludd and Tony Martino like this.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,676


    150C84BC-B08B-4B46-B1A4-A8202492B500.gif interesting experiment ya did there Ned.
    Just Gary and Ned Ludd like this.
  8. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,100

    The Shift Wizard

    I kept looking at the original post photo and finally noticed that the photo wasn't level and square. The back end was rotated down a couple of inches (at life-size).
    So here it is plumbed and square. It's subtle but I think it makes a difference..........

    1929 Duesenberg J.jpg
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  9. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,871

    from Nicasio Ca

    Long and lean is usually more appealing.
    Ned Ludd and tb33anda3rd like this.
  10. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,368

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Clark Gabel's roadster { the cream colored one} was coach built/customized when new. It is a perfect example of Hollywood excess of the time.
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  11. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,654

    from red oak

    I`m trying to build Clark C Scan0654.jpg Scan0751.jpg abel`s car out of a Plymouth.
  12. ccain
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 411


    These proportions are a little better. :p

  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,530


    Looking at two very similar cars at different camera angles I'd say camera angle has some to do with the black one along with some creative retouching on the photo of the black one. 30-Duesenbrg_Murphy_ConvCpe_DV-07-MB_09.jpg Deusenberg murphey roadster pt left.jpg
  14. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,073

    Ned Ludd

    I suspect that the Golden Section originated as a quick and easy way to approximate whole-multiple proportioning formulas in the field, when you have no standard measure but only a rope. It is actually incredibly easy to set out geometrically, arguably far easier than counting out lengths and losing count. I can imagine that it became a go-to setting-out trick in ancient Greek architecture. The fact that it had so many uses in constructing various geometric figures would most certainly have got the Pythagorean element in ancient Greek society, who were seeking "the harmony of the spheres," to suspect that some kind of cosmic woo was going on. They were apparently highly displeased when someone calculated the ratio and found that it was an irrational number. I think they were the first to tie the Golden Section to some kind of idea of objective beauty, though by no means uncontroversially.

    The Pythagoreans were like a mind-control cult. If the ancient Greeks had had graduated sunglasses, Pythagoras would have worn them.

    The Romans took their Classicism from the Greeks with very little adaptation. Vitruvius went into the geometry of the Orders in a lot of detail, with reference to many Greek examples, but was wholly silent on the Golden Section. It was all about multiples of column base diameters, supposedly drawn from the proportions, again in whole multiples, of the human body. Hence the man-in-circle/square Vitruvian Man famously drawn by Leonardo da Vinci fifteen centuries later. No Golden Section in sight, nor √2:1, √3:1, √5:1, or any of the other irrational ratios used in various contexts over the years.

    Medieval use of this stuff was either in conventional decorum or convenience, or in jest. Fibonacci had got some mathematical derivations of the Golden Section from Arabian mathematicians. I wouldn't put it past a medieval mason to work a riddle based on Fibonacci numbers into a building just for fun – just because he had the freedom to do it – which, when you work it out, reads BERENGARIUS ASINUS EST.

    I think much of our received thinking about irrational ratios in proportioning comes from the Enlightenment. Not only was there a concerted effort to seek perfection in reason, drawing especially on the Roman Empire as a model, there was also a fashion for dodgy conjectural back-stories because, who would know? Locke did it; Rousseau did it; Adam Smith did it. The idea that humans (or at least humans worthy of the name) are hard-wired to find the Golden Section beautiful is seriously 1762. I'd submit that the truth is that they thought the Golden Section beautiful because it looked like Roman copies of ancient Greek architecture, which was beautiful because it represented to them the historic epitome of Rational Civilization – which significantly was also a slave-based economy.

    I saw this accompanying employers to site meetings, and noticing that they applied different architectural filters to the passing landscape to the ones I did. They were after that distinctive Modernist horizontality, that end-extensiveness which makes a thing look like a drawing, and would point out a sawmill or something, "Oh, that's rather nice?" Meanwhile I was filtering for John Ruskin's Virtues of Gothic (savageness, changefulness, naturalism, grotesqueness, rigidity, and redundance) looking for that oddly-placed little upright window, which meant that the sawmill left me cold. I didn't find the sawmill beautiful because to me it resembled techno-authoritarian bullshit.

    So no, I don't think there is an ideal proportion. I do believe that proportions – along with a lot of other aesthetic stuff – impart a look, but whether that look is good or bad depends on other things. You could say that beauty is a certain "wrongness" plus meaning, and the meaning transforms the "wrongness" and instead makes it definitive, i.e. the standard by which good aesthetics may be distinguished from bad (and, for the dialectically inclined, something relative to which something else might be "wrong".) In this way, a traditional hot rod is "wrong" in that half the bodywork is missing, and the wheels are of different sizes. We understand, however, that all that is about going fast on the lakes, so that fenderless, bigs-and-littles look becomes the look of going fast on the lakes. And so it becomes something desirable, so much so that we call something redolent of that look "beautiful." And that, say I, is ultimately what beauty is.

    Of course the meaning has to be a good meaning. What meaning does a '31 on an S-10 frame, with IFS growing out of its ears, as it were, impart?
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  15. Hey Ned, so beauty IS really in the eyes of the beholder!
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  16. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,073

    Ned Ludd

    Perhaps more like in the heart of the beholder.
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  17. OK, can anyone say they really don't like these proportions?
    Some cars, IMHO are really perfect.
    This is one. No changes needed. Well maybe moving the back bumper in a little!
  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    from Quincy, IL

    Only one, that in regard to bumpers, practical designers applied ‘form follows function’ as a guide to their placement relative to the body they were intended to protect.

  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    from Quincy, IL

    @Ned Ludd .........your post #75 is waaaaaay beyond my ‘pay grade’..! :confused: :D

  20. This is a Duesenberg, the proportions are prefect, designed by Gordon Buehrig the man who designed many Duesenberg's, the Cord 810, and the 56 /57 Lincoln Continental. Pretty hard to say he didn't get proportions right. My rule of thumb is that you need at least one wheel length between the firewall and the front wheel. This Duesenberg has that and more. There are some very "not up on automotive design" comments here.
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  22. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,491


    I'll bite . . . It means the poor blue collar bastard that built it did the best he could with what he could afford. I would counter with . . . Isn't that better than no '31 on the road? (Assuming the poor bastard's would have otherwise still been sitting in a field.)

    In all seriousness, thanks again for the enlightened post. Like Ray, I may have to revisit it a few times and look up a few things along the way, but you, by god, have got us thinking.
  23. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,073

    Ned Ludd

    All Model Js were coachbuilt. A "stock" Model J looked something like this:

    The roadster I asked about was by Murphy. As far as I could ascertain the designer responsible for it was either Philip Wright or Franklin Hershey.
  24. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,073

    Ned Ludd

    That's a valid point.

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  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,726

    from norcal

    Kind of like porn, you know when you see a good one
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  26. 34Phil
    Joined: Sep 12, 2016
    Posts: 226


    "This is one. No changes needed." Front fender could curve all the way to running board instead of curving 8" up then dropping near vertically. Would match rear fender better. And move door handle up into the stainless trim line.
    Ned Ludd likes this.
  27. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 987


    Ned, the only sawmill story I have worth telling comes from a Judge, who told me on a trip to look at some land he was offering to sell me. In his youth, he said, the young men at the school he attended worked during the summer at the sawmill. He laughed, and said that if there was a scheduled baseball game, the sawmill had to be shut down to make up a full team to play their opponents.
    The golden mean, often expressed as 1 to 1.5, is the same ratio as the frame of 35mm camera. Many serious photographers, Hernri Cartier-Bresson being one of them, always had the laboratory print the full frame, and in his books and subsequently published works they appear the same. Subjective, or not, the human eye wants to impose order where there is none.
    Automobiles are after all the culmination of this expression, drawing on sources that are cumulative, adding and often subtracting elements to soothe both the eye and the elements through which they ply. Streamlining came about as the result of the latter, and who cannot say that the result equals that of modern sculptors like Brancusi, or many of the others.
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  28. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,073

    Ned Ludd

    Photo format sizes are pretty arbitrary, and generally whole-integer ratios: 3x2, 4x3, 16x9, etc. The 35mm frame is 36x24 i.e. 3x2. The Golden Section (Golden Ratio or Golden Mean) is approximately 1.618034:1. It is an irrational ratio, and its thing is that it is the only ratio which can be divided into a square and a GS rectangle. That means you can go on cutting a square off the remaining rectangle forever, and still have a GS left over. That also allows you to construct an approximate spiral by drawing a 90° arc in each of those squares. It works the other way around, too: adding a square to a GS produces a GS.

    Cartier-Bresson was big on composing in the viewfinder, in the moment. I know his stuff because my wife is a photographer.
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  29. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 987


    Nature is good at creating spirals. The Many Chambered Nautilus is one, of many. As to irrational numbers, we can also add pi, itself the ratio of the radius of a circle to its diameter. Last word told is that this one has been run out to a twenty million some odd fraction without repetition. And, yet, we are subject to the hidden nature of these miraculous adjuncts in every object that comes from our minds, eyes and hands. I will end this here. The air is getting so rarefied I feel as a climber on a summit in the Himalayas.
    Ned Ludd and Hnstray like this.
  30. Halfdozen
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 606


    "Really perfect" to some eyes...
    I kinda like the '40 Chev with its longer doors and slanted B pillar.

    Apparently, so did Sam Foose.
    Sam Foose 40 Ford coupe.jpg

    The '46-'48 rear window wouldn't have been my first choice, I like the '40 split.

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