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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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November 2003 Issue
 
CONCEPTS & RUMORS
 
Concepts from the 1930s
By Robert McLellan
 

Many a boy was filled with excitement on his first visit to a neighborhood new car dealership or an auto show. Back in the 1950s, when chrome and tail fins were the rage and annual model changes were very distinctive, school boys were inspired to sketch dream cars in their notebooks in class. The latest car magazines and brochures were their textbooks. Concept cars, experimental models and prototypes were, and still are, the way manufacturers manipulate the minds of the public and set their hearts pounding in anticipation of buying a new car.

Styling was rather functional prior to the 1930s, but suddenly the airplane changed all that. From a boxy biplane a streamlined monoplane developed. There was the Pierce Silver Arrow, Chrysler Airflow and the 810 Cord. Designers had now set a trend and manufacturers' annual changes were more significant. Any school boy could quote make, year, model and body style of any new car. Yesterday's car was obsolete and we were envious of the new car owner.

With this winning sales technique, stylists rushed to the drawing boards. The renderings below are mid- to late-1930s proposals for the future. Although the sources for these photographs are unknown, they are very similar to those that have appeared in various publications which attributed them to GM staff.

 
CONCEPT CARS
Click for larger view
 

Brochures and press kits on concept cars are very collectible and the following link will take you to a selection of concept literature which could be viewed on the McLellan's Automotive History web site at the time of the writing of this article. Please note that this list is not updated daily.

 
Concept Cars Greetings
 
 
 

The Automotive Chronicles, November 2003

 
 
 
 
 
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