Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bill Porter, Designer of Pontiac GTO, on Nature-Inspired Automobile Designs

This NYT article notes Roger Ebert's talk about Studebakers. In thinking about Porter's observation, one could say that Studebaker-Packard were ahead of their time (as usual) with the Packard Hawk nose, the Loewy Coupe grille, etc.

"At the 2009 Detroit auto show, I had a sort of epiphany," Mr. Porter said at the introduction of his presentation. "I saw a whole new kind of forms inspiring today’s designers rather than the speed forms that inspired my generation." He argued that designs today were dominated by forms adopted from nature, like marine animals, leaves, flowers, flames and faces."

The Society of Automotive Historians, whose membership numbers about 900, gather every other year to hear the presentation of papers on topics that have included the history of Cadillac advertising and the importance of two-tone paint schemes.

Robert Ebert, a Studebaker buff and professor emeritus of economics at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, delivered a talk on Harold Churchill, president of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Mira Wilkins, professor of economics at Florida International University, spoke about the history of foreign investment in the American automobile industry.

Read the full article here.

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