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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Top-5 Harley Earl's design before and during 1940s

1927 to 1959 was the golden era of General Motors. This was the period when Harley J. Earl started as Vice President of the Art and Color Division and gave birth to the modern notion of car design.
1938 Buick Y-Job was one of Harley Earl masterpieces in 1940s. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Syd8wU)

Earl eschewed the purely engineering driven practicality of Ford to take inspirations from aircraft and space age concepts and add them to cars, turning them into works of art.

The GM's DaVinci, Harley J. Earl 
(1893-1969). (Picture from: 
http://www.post-gazette.com/)
The designs ranged from the highly futuristic Firebird gas turbine concept vehicles to the wildly successful production Corvette. Like almost all product design and architecture, the stamp of authorship is not clear cut and nor should it be.

Many designs that are associated with him were produced by people working under him, but it was Early himself who created the school and he deserves a place alongside Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames as one of America’s most important designers.

Here are 5 designs of Harley Earl that made ​​before and during the 1940s,

5. 1927 Cadillac LaSalle
The 1927 LaSalle was introduced in March of 1927. There were 10,767 units produced. This was Harley Earl's first project at GM and lead to the formation of GM's Art and Colour Department. The LaSalle was produced in the Cadillac production facilities as a lower priced median car line between Cadillac and Buick.
A 1927 LaSalle, the first production car designed by Harley Earl, at wheel, who is considered the father of automotive design. (Picture from: http://www.post-gazette.com/)
LaSalles were offered in a full range of body styles, including Fisher and Fleetwood-built custom body designs. The roadster could also be ordered in two tone color combinations at a time when dark colors like black and navy blue were still the most familiar colors produced by manufacturers.

4. 1928 Cadillac LaSalle Phaeton
The origins of the new-for-1928 Cadillac models can be traced to the enormously successful 1927 LaSalle. Styled by Harley Earl’s new Art & Colour Section, the LaSalle introduced a decidedly European flair to American car design, even if it did closely resemble the elegant Hispano-Suiza, which Earl openly admired.
1928 Cadillac LaSalle Phaeton. (Picture from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/)
Earl next worked his magic on the 1928 Cadillac models, and the result was stunning, especially the huge new 12-inch headlights that framed an impressive chrome-plated grille. Meanwhile, sweeping fenders emphasized the longer wheelbase, and the multitude of elegant new bodies from Fisher and Fleetwood generated a great deal of public excitement.

3. 1934 Cadillac LaSalle
With the 1934 LaSalle, Harley Earl made history once again. The car's smooth lines, narrow grille and ornamental motifs made it a pioneering and influential example of art moderne design. The 1934 LaSalle started with concept drawings by GM stylist Jules Agramonte. The moment that Harley Earl saw Argamonte's sketches, he knew he was looking at the next LaSalle. When Earl later revealed a full-scale prototype model of the 1934 LaSalle to GM senior management, it was approved for production on the spot.
The LaSalle 1934 Coupe had a weaker engine than past models (a straight eight as opposed to V-8) but compensated with slick new styling. (Picture from: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/)
The cars abilities were matched by their elegant style. The bodies were often finished in two-tone colors. The vehicle is powered by a 353 cubic-inch side-valve vee eight-cylinder engine capable of producing nearly 100 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes.
1934 LaSalle Convertible Coupe. (Picture from: http://www.uploadimages4free.com/)
There were five body-types, all sitting atop a 125-inch wheelbase. Later, larger bodystyles were added which rode on an enlarged 134-inch chassis. These were the seven-passenger sedans, Imperial sedan, and five-passenger Imperial. All of the bodies were designed by Harley Earl and created by Fisher, though special semi-custom Fleetwood styles were available through special order.

2. 1938 Buick Y-Job
The Buick Y-Job was the auto industry's first concept car, produced by Buick (a division of General Motors), in 1938. Designed by Harley J. Earl, the car had power-operated hidden headlamps, a "gunsight" hood ornament, electric windows, wraparound bumpers, flush door handles, and prefigured styling cues used by Buick until the 1950s and the vertical waterfall grille design still used by Buick today.
The Buick Y-Job was the auto industry's first concept car. (Picture from: http://www.seriouswheels.com/)
The car itself was actually driven for a number of years by Harley Earl, until he replaced it with a 1951 model car. Sometime after that, the car was restored at the Henry Ford Museum, until 1993 when it was returned to the GM Design Center.

1. 1948 Cadillac Series 61
Cadillac for 1948 ignited a styling cue that would come to symbolize post-war American automotive exuberance and, by extension, the post-war optimism and confidence of America itself. Call 1948 "The Year of the Tailfin."


Cadillac's hallmark tailfin design is the crowning glory on this 1948 Cadillac Series 61 coupe fastback. (Picture from: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/)
Tailfins were the crowning touch for Cadillac's masterful 1948 design, which was executed by a small team working under Hershey at his farm in suburban Detroit. The traditional Cadillac grille became more aggressive via larger eggcrates, complemented by a more-shapely hood. Roof and fenderlines were curvaceously beautiful from every angle. (See another Harley Earl's creations.) *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | HOWSTUFFWORKS | CONCEPTCARZ | WIKIPEDIA | POST-GAZXETTE.COM | THE (NEW) CADILLAC DATABASE]
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