Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

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SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

It is. (See first link on this thread.) On the other hand, no other book devoted to the subject has been published, which means, among other things, that the field is still open for work which would address the shortcomings identified by the critic.

One error that has been published and which awaits correction: on page 45 of his book, Curtis Besinger reproduces a photo contributed by Jack Howe in which appears a Cord phaeton identified as belonging to Mr Wright. The owner of the car is unknown to me; Wright's only Cord appears to have been the earlier model, a 1929 L-29 Phaeton Sedan.


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Since our last look at the subject, this blog has appeared online:

http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2020/04 ... rated.html

Do not miss the linked article by Mary Jane Hamilton, which goes into the matter of Wright's Cords at length.

S

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

http://www.historicmadison.org/Publicat ... ournal.pdf

Among many other bits of minutia, the Hamilton article reveals the interesting mistake which resulted in the orange color currently applied to Wright's second Cord . . .

S

DRN
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by DRN »

I look forward to hearing about FLLW and “Automobility” from the pages of Automobile Quarterly.
A BDalton bookstore at the long gone Granite Run Mall in Media, PA, used to carry AQ when I was a kid...I bought the occasional copy or asked for one to be put away as a gift if an issue captured my interest. I still have one that featured Studebaker, Avanti II’s, the Bugatti Royale, and Burma Shave roadside jingles.

My recent search was relative to Voisin cars ... I’m expecting Volume 13 Number 4 in the next couple of weeks.

I was more than satisfied with Herink’s effort in The Car is Architecture...it was a good start to a most arcane realm of Wright study. From it we learned the cars Wright (or his Foundation/ business) owned; we learned the story of the Cherokee Red color’s introduction to Wright’s consciousness; and the specific color the Wright saw, liked, and requested. (1935 Oldsmobile color #108 Cherokee Red, as manufactured by DuPont #246-30986)

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

For those who didn't get to it, the explanation of the orange color of the L-29 Cord two-door that Mr Wright (MistWright, to some old apprentices) bought in the 'fifties resulted from a well-meaning later owner's attempt to duplicate a color found on a windshield sticker that apparently survives to this day. The sticker was designed by Gene Masselink for a long-forgotten Wright-related event; the sticker was originally colored a version of Cherokee Red but had faded to orange by the time the restorer decided to use it as a reference to that storied hue. Too bad a more reliable source wasn't consulted; it wouldn't be too late today to correct the (literally) glaring error . . .

There was at least one car-themed bookstore in San Francisco before the turn of the present century; one of its offerings was a Japanese or Korean periodical devoted to automotive design. Various issues contained articles like the one I referred to earlier: "Development of the GM F-body models for 1982." Numerous shots of half- and full-sized "clays," positioned on hidden supports and with real-appearing tires and wheels and chrome (how did they do that ? aluminum foil ?) and blacked-out windows, showing versions of production cars which the public never saw, created to assess their appearance in advance of a final selection for production. Sometimes the clay would have alternate versions of certain details on each side of the replica.

S

DRN
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by DRN »

I recall my industrial designer father sculpting a clay model of a proposed Hewlett-Packard lab instrument over a 2x and plywood buck (core) in our garage one weekend in the 1970’s. I was mesmerized watching him shape it. I recall being amazed at the photos he showed me later after he had “dressed” it at the office with actual keyboard buttons, corporate emblems and textured crackle finish paint.
CGI has given us “virtual reality” for the proposed, but there was something to the craft of a physical model and the impact that 3 dimensional object must have had in a corporate board room or automotive styling studio showroom that has been lost in the trade. CNC can approach it, but there is an artificial quality to those efforts, at least to my eye.

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

Right. The 3D printer was supposed to have a part to play in rapid prototyping, and maybe concept modeling---but the results I've seen so far haven't stood muster as to smooth and flawless surfaces---from the additive printers, anyway.

Was the model your dad did at 1:1 scale, or larger ?

S

DRN
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by DRN »

1:1.
The instrument under development was a bench top integrator which was to interface with other bench top lab equipment HP produced, notably gas chromatographs. My father and HP were looking not just at physical appearance, but also how the object would fit into a lab setting, how it would be accessed, how connections would be made, how much valuable space would be taken up, etc.
Dad described an industrial designer’s work as the architecture of consumer products.

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

The Automobile Quarterly issue (Vol 38, No 3, Dec. 1998) containing a piece on Wright has arrived in my maibox; the 12-page article is reproduced here in its entirety. Stuart W Wells is unknown to me; he is listed on the masthead of the periodical as Assistant Editor. He appears to have put a worthy effort into researching his subject---though errors appear, beginning with his second sentence, where Wright's 1909 Stoddard-Dayton is listed as a 1910 model. He cribs the rare photo of a Cord Phaeton found in Besinger (as seen above), and repeats the misapprehension that it was Mr Wright's car; he compounds the error by assigning to it the impossible model year of 1935.

I will let readers identify any further errata. Information new to me includes a generously-quoted 1932 lecture on the "assembled house." And he finds a 1948 Oldsmobile print ad with the Affleck Usonian in the background (I hadn't known they did that; later Olds ads sported fictional modern houses).

As usual, these images can be enlarged to their original size by opening them in a new tab on your computer. Right-click on image, select "open image in new tab." The URL will appear on the address line at top of screen.


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(The wheels of Wright's futuristic vehicles are embarrassingly drawn as circles rather than ellipses---discs in perspective.)
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Last edited by SDR on Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

MOman2
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by MOman2 »

THANK YOU! SDR

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

Sorry---I advised readers (about opening of images in a new tab) to "left-click"; I've corrected that to "right-click."

There is a lot of meat in the essay. Wright is quoted usefully; obscure bits of Wrightiana are brought to light. I learned things I did not know, on several subjects.

S

HOJO
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by HOJO »

And where is AutoQuarterlyWright8.jpg ?

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

Oops---good question, HOJO. I've added it---page 37 of the article: Herb Johnson, the Zephyrs, Wes Peters and the Continentals. Thanks !

Wright really saw what the post-war American car was becoming: a bloated babe, overhanging its track more every year, "gnashing its teeth at you for no good reason" (Buick et al ?). Good thing he didn't live to see the 'sixties and beyond ! Of course, by the later 'sixties the track had grown to the width of the body, as designers finally caught on to what the Europeans knew all along: that the car is about its wheels, first of all !

Would he have fallen for the spare and smooth '61 Continental, as so many others did ? Would he have approved of the graceful s e x y animals that GM and Chrysler came up with for their "muscle cars" ? We'll never know.

S

(Honestly---we are the most prudish nation on Earth ! You can watch a movie on TV, and the nude art on the walls will have been blurred out . . . for pity's sake.)

DRN
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by DRN »

Many thanks SDR for sharing this great article in its entirety. The discussion of some of the details of Broadacre City’s roads and utilities were new to me. Concave roads with a center gutter and utility trench may look good, but having cars drift to the center with no barrier might be a bit risky. Buried utilities beneath or among the flotsam and jetsam of a highway gutter might be problematic as well. The low lights might be an idea to combat light pollution of the night skies though.

The only other error I detected was the misspelling of the Packard showroom owner’s
last name: correct spelling is Wetmore, not Westmore.

As to later American made cars that Wright might have liked, I’d think the 1966-67 Olds Toronado might have been his cup of tea...roomy rear seat with relatively easy entry, long hood, sleek lines, front wheel drive..the virtues of which he extolled in hi autobiography.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hemmin ... ronado/amp


https://journal.classiccars.com/2019/02 ... -toronado/

Roderick Grant
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by Roderick Grant »

Westmore is the name of an entire family of Hollywood makeup artists who have worked for Paramount since 1917.

SDR
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Re: Book: Car is Architecture - FLW's cars & motorcycle

Post by SDR »

Thanks for those pieces on the Toronado, Dan. I'll enjoying absorbing them at my leisure. I do recall a writer commenting (perhaps in retrospect) about the enormous A-frames to the front suspension; I'm sure there's much more there.

As to the styling of the car, it occurred upon first sight that two references to the later Cord might be found on the exterior, namely the circular piercing of the wheels and wheel covers, and the horizontal slats or ribs of the grille.

I also recall one of the magazines publishing a contribution from a reader---a doctor or dentist, as I recall it---who provided a subtly shortened version of the body---made very neatly, in the days before Photoshop---by removing material from ahead of the front wheels, behind the rear wheels, and somewhere in the middle.

S

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