Winner in BookAuthority’s Best Industrial Design Books of All Time category
Foreword by Virgil M Exner Jnr
An in-depth look at the last of the great auto designers of the 20th Century, his glorious achievements and personal tragedies. With many previously unseen works of art and family photos among the 150 colour images throughout, this is a unique and fascinating insight into a pivotal player in the development of the modern automobile.
The story of a man who brought his own personal style to the world of industrial design, from automobiles to powerboats. Some 50 years after his design masterpieces wrested styling leadership away from General Motors’ Harley Earl, and 34 years after his untimely death, in the minds of car enthusiasts worldwide Virgil Exner’s name still remains inexorably linked to the Chrysler Corporation.
For an all-too-brief period, Exner’s name epitomised all that was great and exciting in America. His thrilling automobile designs from the mid-fifties took the world by storm and put Chrysler at the top. His work was nothing less than revolutionary. Until the mid-fifties, engineers, creating cars that were reliable but invariably staid and conservative, had dominated auto design. Exner introduced to Chrysler, firstly with his ‘idea cars’ then with production models, vehicles that were wanted for their looks, but, at the same time, were soundly engineered: automobiles that carried classic proportions and gave the illusion of movement even whilst stationary. Exner’s design of the 1947 Studebaker established the template for all modern cars, and was a huge success. Along with automobile styling, his talents stretched to many other areas of industrial design, from trains to trucks and boats to Buicks.
This book gets into the character of the man , his strengths and weaknesses, his personal tragedies, and his vision of modern transport. Discover why he set up in competition with Raymond Loewy , get the facts behind historic inaccuracies, and why he was made a scapegoat for the sales disaster of the early sixties, then delight in his fine artwork and his love of motor racing.With many previously unseen works of art and family photos among the 150 colour images throughout, this is a unique and fascinating insight into a pivotal player in the development of the modern automobile.
- First book ever written about the subject
- Covers Exner’s entire life, from birth to death
- Offers previously-unseen family photos and paintings
- Covers the history of industrial design and development of automobile & powerboat styling
- Clarifies rumours and speculation on historic events
- Contains rarely seen pictures and period adverts
- Written in plain unpretentious English, and easy to follow
- Extended captions with the images
- Foreword by Virgil M Exner Jnr