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 »

"Something that did survive as a truly revolutionary item, though, was the Toronado's axle seal. The Cord-the other recognizable American front-drive car-had a recommended axle seal lubrication interval of just 500 miles. Saginaw engineers instead used an oil-resistant, synthetic rubber seal held in place by copper snap rings, which were lubricated and sealed for the life of the car. Non-serviceable "lubed-for-life" moving parts have become old hat today, but in 1966, they were essentially unheard of."

500-mile service interval for the Cord---oops.

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

Post by DRN »

I have the distinct memory from my early college years( ‘84-‘85 )of a friend from high school who drove a “hand me down” 1970 Toronado sweating the cost of the replacement of a torn CV boot. As much as I know about cars, I’m not sure if the CV boot and the axle seal noted in the article are one and the same....I do recall the ‘70 Toronado had well over 100,000 miles on the clock at the time of its repair. It was built like a tank.

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

Post by SDR »

That's unclear to me as well. Among the sixteen cars I've had in my possession, three have been front-wheel-drive makes. The current one is now thirty-two years old. When the Civic was younger it got serviced at the local dealer. The inner and outer axle boots were replaced, on their say-so, at least three times. Since moving to an independent garage twenty-four years ago, that has happened once.

The four boots, which contain the CV (universal) axle joints and a lot of grease, are said to tear, lose their grease, and (if not attended to) cause the CV joints to fail. The factory (and, presumably, independent after-market suppliers) sell rebuilt axles with joints; one or the other of these have been replaced twice on my car. When you observe a front-wheel-drive car taking a corner with a lot of clicking, that's likely to be failing CV joints . . .

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

Post by DRN »

The image at the attached link is painting of a 1966 Toronado done in the manner of the great posters of the 1920’s and 1930’s, further tying the spirit of the Toronado to that of the Cord.
https://arteauto.com/collections/alain- ... -mid-1990s

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

Post by SDR »

Nice ! I wonder the artist completed the larger work. His stuff is impressive: here's a Voisin, Corbu's ride of choice.

https://arteauto.com/collections/alain- ... n-levesque

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

Post by DRN »

According to the book Voiture Minimum: Le Corbusier and the Automobile, LC was friends with aviation pioneer/builder and later car maker Gabriel Voisin. Voisin funded the conceptual a city planning scheme by LC called the "Plan Voisin" much the same way EJ Kaufmann funded Wright's Broadacre City model.
Le Corbusier owned four Voisin cars between 1923 and 1937: a C4, a C7 Lumineuse, and two C11 Lumineuses, and used the C7 and C11's repeatedly as compositional elements in professional photos of his built work.
In this linked photo, LC went as far as featuring the C7 as a primary figure to illustrate his architecture and the Voisin as exemplars of functional purity, and in that, having an innate beauty.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ModernistArchi ... ned_by_le/

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

Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. But you don't see any decorative birds---even stylized ones---on Corbu buildings. Perhaps that element could be likened to the semi-representative or Cubist content in his paintings ?

https://ar.pinterest.com/pin/3450180214 ... =1a5Gu6QIr

https://uploads0.wikiart.org/images/le- ... s-1935.jpg

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

Post by DRN »

Voisin's dealers demanded a mascot on the radiator, as all other luxury or sporting Grand Touring cars of the period had them. Gabriel Voisin, thinking it a ridiculous and unnecessary bauble, gave the dealers and customers a mascot, but designed it on his terms: it was light weight (scraps from the aluminum body work were used), it was easily and quickly made by his metal workers (simple cuts and riveting), it posed no significant air resistance to forward motion, and it posed little to no obstruction to the driver's view of the road.
Voisin called it "La Cocotte" which translates to "the chick"....no "Spirit of Ecstasy" for Voisin.

https://www.google.com/search?q=voisin+ ... 4&biw=1457

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

Post by SDR »

There appear to be slightly different versions of the mascot, including but not limited to the number of plates in the stack---as few as one, as many as ten ?

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/c2/c8/25/c2c8 ... bb60c9.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/bb/da/93/bbda ... 317633.jpg

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-juech ... 79884.html

There are also, of course, reproductions; perhaps a whole industry devoted to the effort ?

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ ... -434833858

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

Post by DRN »

From my reading of the history of Voisin in Automobile Quarterly Vol 13 No 4, a biography of André Lefebvre, Voisin and later Citroen's principal engineer, and Gabriel Voisin's autobiography, it would seem a great many aspects of Voisin cars were not standardized, and each was in many respects unique. A small and relatively unimportant item such as an ornament that the maker didn't really find necessary was likely made with whatever was on hand by whomever was tasked at the moment.

In fact, the author of the AQ article actually described Gabriel Voisin thus:
"The peak year of 1925 marked Voisin's full emergence as a carrossier, a body builder, in his own right. This was for better or for worse, since one either liked what he did, or one detested it. Someone in England quipped,
'One man's meat is another man's poison; My favorite car is an Avions Voisin.'
Or, to put it otherwise, Voisin was out on the wavelength of Frank Lloyd Wright and his [Voisin's] friend Le Corbusier, which put him in with the microscopic elite and utterly out with the moronariat."

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

Post by Jeff Myers »

Model of Wright’s living city car and cantilever roof car
Image
JAT
Jeff T

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

Post by SDR »

It's perhaps interesting that so few car manufacturers were aircraft makers first---or second ?

SAAB comes to mind. https://s8096.pcdn.co/wp-content/upload ... 2/Saab.jpg Any others ?

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

Post by GordonM »

Wow, this thread has gone pretty far afield from the original post. It's nice to know, however, that there are some car guys among us. Having written about cars for thirty years I appreciate the enthusiasm. This photo doesn't shed any more light on a list of Wright's cars, but it's interesting to know that in 1956 (or maybe '57) the Lincoln had been consigned to a dusty stall in a Taliesin garage. Wright had a Jaguar Mark V sedan and had recently received a Mercedes 300D sedan through Max Hoffman. He seemed to prefer European cars later in life.
The photo is pretty poorly lit, taken by Don Lovness. That's Virginia Lovness at left. She was a looker, probably why Mr. wright was so willing to design a house for her.
https://www.facebook.com/growingupwrigh ... 1750690174

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

Post by Rood »

DRN wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:08 pm
Voisin's dealers demanded a mascot on the radiator, as all other luxury or sporting Grand Touring cars of the period had them. Gabriel Voisin, thinking it a ridiculous and unnecessary bauble, gave the dealers and customers a mascot, but designed it on his terms: it was light weight (scraps from the aluminum body work were used), it was easily and quickly made by his metal workers (simple cuts and riveting), it posed no significant air resistance to forward motion, and it posed little to no obstruction to the driver's view of the road.
Voisin called it "La Cocotte" which translates to "the chick"....no "Spirit of Ecstasy" for Voisin.

https://www.google.com/search?q=voisin+ ... 4&biw=1457
Something must have been in the air, as they are awfully reminiscent of the sculptures at Hoover Dam ... or was it the other way around ...

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

Post by DRN »

Hoover Dam was constructed from 1931 to 1935. The “chick” first appeared on Voisin radiators in 1923-24.
Not sure if Gordon Kaufmann, the architect responsible for the decorative aspects of the dam, was cognizant of the Voisin mascot. Stylized birds were popular elements in Deco design particularly when applied to US government projects. It is conceivable that the Voisin chick may have been seen by someone in the architectural world, possibly via publications of LeCorbusier's work which often had LC’s car as an element in photos. Otherwise, Voisin cars were very rare in the US.

Kaufmann was very much a practitioner of the then popular Art Deco...he was the designer of the LA Times building:
https://dornsife.usc.edu/la-walking-tou ... -building/

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