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Automotive America (TRW'76): Portfolio by James B. Deneen

This Contraption Works — 1893 Duryea Bother's Motor Wagon: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
This Contraption Works — 1893 Duryea Bother's Motor Wagon: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
First Production Line — 1902 Oldsmobile Runabout: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
First Production Line — 1902 Oldsmobile Runabout: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
A Car for Everybody — 1912 Ford Model T: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
A Car for Everybody — 1912 Ford Model T: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Moving Goods — 1916 Mack AC "Bulldog" Truck: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Moving Goods — 1916 Mack AC "Bulldog" Truck: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Sporting About — 1928 Ford Model A: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Sporting About — 1928 Ford Model A: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Lights, Camera, Action! — 1929 Mercedes SSK: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Lights, Camera, Action! — 1929 Mercedes SSK: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
An Old Fashioned Fourth — 1938 La Salle: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
An Old Fashioned Fourth — 1938 La Salle: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Versatile Workhorse — 1941 Jeep: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Versatile Workhorse — 1941 Jeep: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Suburban Need — 1949 Chrysler Royal Station Wagon: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Suburban Need — 1949 Chrysler Royal Station Wagon: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Concrete Ribbons — 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Concrete Ribbons — 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Bug Invasion — 1960 Volkswagen: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Bug Invasion — 1960 Volkswagen: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Future Trend — 1976 Ford Mustang II, AMC Pacer, Chevrolet Vega: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Future Trend — 1976 Ford Mustang II, AMC Pacer, Chevrolet Vega: Illustrated by James B. Deneen
Images: Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc.
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Set of 12 automotive illustrations by the artist James B. Deneen
Special folio issue of the 12 prints that were also pictured in the Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc. calendar for 1976. This year's calendar was a tribute to America's Bicentennial and a celebration of the Automotive Industry from TRW on it's 75th anniversary:

1. This Contraption Works — 1893 Duryea Bother's motor wagon win first auto race

On Thanksgiving Day in 1895, Charles and Frank Duryea won what was doubtlessly the first auto race in the United States. Competing against four other vehicles over a 56-mile course in Chicago (and in six inches of snow), their two year old 2-cylinger, gas-powered, chain-driven "motor wagon" gave them the $2,000 first place prize. The vehicle averaged 7½ miles per hour, but owing to breakdowns it took the Duryeas nearly 10½ hours to complete the 56 miles (obviously, the other contestants suffered breakdowns, too). Did they know what they had accomplished? Charles Duryea later wrote: "We had proven the motor wagon to be superior to the horse...we had opened a new era...we had set forth a new type of vehicle...Long live the motor wagon!" This victory earned for the 1893 Duryea the reputation as "the first practical American working car."

2. First Production Line1902 Oldsmobile Runabout

The Olds Motor Works was the first auto company to mass produce its product using standard parts. The company boasted in its literature that its 1902, 800 pound Runabout was offered in one style and one finish. The machine's one cylinder engine provided four horsepower, could achieve speeds of 20 mph, and the company said the car would average about 25 miles per gallon running on common stove gasoline—a cost of about 3/8 cents per mile (meaning that fuel was less than a dime a gallon in those days). It was a two-passenger vehicle, but a detachable dos-a-dos (back to back) seat was offered as an option for a mere $25. Another option was a $35 parcel carrier for light package delivery (apparently popular with merchants). The $650 price tag for the standard wood-wheeled 1902 Oldsmobile included a lamp, tools, odometer and an all-weather top (with storage case that fit in the dash).

3. A Car for Everybody1912 Ford Model T

The Ford Motor Company was formed in 1903 and by 1912 there were over 100,000 Fords on the road, 80,000 of which were Model Ts. The company expected it would manufacture one-third of the estimated 225,000 cars that would be built in 1912. That's why Henry Ford has been acclaimed as the man who "gave the car to the masses." That car, of course, was the Model T. The 4-cylinder, 20 horsepower Model T's one chassis was available as a Commercial Roadster, Fore-door Touring Car (who can say why four was spelled that way?), Torpedo Runabout, Fore-door Town Car, and as a Delivery Car. Prices ranged from $590 for the Roadster to $900 for the Town Car. Here, Mr. Ford is at the left with Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone (in car) and John Burroughs, a well-known writer and naturalist of that time and friend of the industrialists.

4. Moving Goods — 1916 Mack AC "Bulldog" Truck

Until the Mack brothers came along, trucks were generally assembled from surplus or obsolete automobile parts. The Mack brothers pioneered the design and production of custom-built, heavy-duty trucks using components the manufactured. Their vehicles soon achieved a reputation for ruggedness, and it was a Mack-built truck that became the first "million miler." The 1916 Mack AC, a chain-driven, solid-tired brute powered by a 4-cylinder engine was nicknamed "Bulldog" by British and American soldiers of World War I. The company still remains the bulldog a corporate symbol. At the turn of the century most intercity freight was hauled by the railroads, but by the end of World War I the trucking industry was a fledgling competitor.

5. Sporting About1928 Ford Model A

On crisp, sunny autumn afternoons Americans pursue another of their favorite passions: college football. Armed with pennants and appropriately clad, they pile into the family car and head to the stadium to boost the local warriors. In 1928, raccoon coats were the rage and the transportation could easily have been provided by a Ford Model A Roadster. While the Model T had put the country on wheels, other manufacturers had eclipsed its design, and sagging sales forced Ford to introduce the revolutionary new Model A. The 4-cylinder, "L" head, 40-horsepower engine was promised to get 20 to 30 miles per gallon ("depending on your speed"), provided quick acceleration, and was capable of easily cruising at speeds of 55 to 65 miles per hour. Obviously, the rumble seat was highly popular with the college set.

6. Lights, Camera, Action!1929 Mercedes SSK

The lavish life style of motion picture stars is directly proportional to the esteem and affection showered on them by their adoring fans. However frivolous this hoopla may sometimes seem, it is difficult to escape the ultimate truth that the motion picture is the only art form to be born and developed in our lifetime. For the stars, box office success meant unbounded wealth, and the ability to enjoy, among other things, the finest cars in the world, such as this 1929 Mercedes SSK. The epitome of German engineering perfection, its 6-cylinder engine thundered with 170 horsepower. The car swept to victory in a number of major races, and gained the reputation as the fastest sports car in the world. The Mercedes SSK was equipped with a supercharger that kicked in when the accelerator was pressed to the floor, but the driver could keep the accelerator down only for short periods or risk blowing the engine.

7. An Old Fashioned Fourth — 1938 La Salle - a product of Cadillac

The La Salle was the first production car to be designed by a stylist (Harley Earl). From the time of its introduction in 1927, it set a styling trend away from block-looking, square cornered cars toward sleekness and grace. A product of Cadillac, it adapted all significant engineering improvements from the mother machine. The exterior of the 1938 model was completely redesigned, and its 322 cid, V-8 engine supplied 125 horsepower. It has been called a casualty of the Depression, when the market for small luxury cars collapsed along with the market for large luxury cars. The La Salle was discontinued in the summer of 1940, and a Cadillac executive lamented: "It slipped quietly out of production, it passing scarcely noticed by the automotive press."

8. Versatile Workhorse1941 Jeep

The World War II Jeep may well be the most versatile vehicle ever produced. It was designed to be a powerful reconnaissance car, but military men soon discovered that the four-wheel drive, quarter-ton utility truck would do just about anything that was asked of it. In war it carried troops and supplies, bore the wounded, mounted weapons, towed trailers, hustled as a command car and parked airplanes. In peace, it has—among other things—cleared snow from roads and driveways, and dug post holes and trenches. Designed by American Bantam engineers in 1940, it was put into mass production in 1941 after selection by the Army over competitive vehicles. Today, the Jeep Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Motors Corporation. Shortly after World War II ended, General George C. Marshall described the Jeep as "America's greatest contribution to modern warfare."

9. Suburban Need — 1949 Chrysler Royal Station Wagon

With peace reestablished in the mid 1940s, little communities began springing up on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas. "Suburbia" was born. Though station wagons had been around long before suburbia, they seemed to find their perfect niche there, with their ability to haul either people or goods. Chrysler's 1949 Royal station wagon was equipped with what the company call its "Spitfire 6", an L-Head 250 cid engine that provided 116 hp at 3600 rpm. The wagon was capable of seating nine persons, and a removable rear seat added to its storage capacity. The wood finish was not artificial, but very real white oak and mahogany, which gave it a splendid exterior appearance. All in all, the wagon was just what Mom needed to get the kids to the ball game, or lay in a six-month food supply for the freezer.

10. Concrete Ribbons — 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

During the 1950s, America launched an ambitious and vigorous highway expansion program linking major cities east and west, north and south. Though construction is still going on, it is now possible to drive thousands of miles without encountering a red light or a stop sign. One of the most popular cars of all time, the Chevrolet Bel Air, was produced during this period. The 1957 version shown here was offered in 16 solid and 15 two-tone color combinations. Eight engine selections were available, providing horsepower from 140 to 220, in combination with three types of transmissions. It was designed specifically to appeal to the emerging youth market, and it was not uncommon to see teachers' parking lots look poor by comparison. The Bel Air immediately became a favorite of young Americans because of its speed and easy handling, and is still a favorite of many auto enthusiasts.

11. Bug Invasion1960 Volkswagen

As suburbia grew and flourished, a new problem confronted the families living there. Pop drove the family vehicle to work, and Mom was left home miles from the market with no way to get there. The solution? A second car, usually a small, economical car, and as often as not a Volkswagen. Indeed, the popularity of "The Bug" and this new, rising demand for an economy car had major reverberations in Detroit. All American producers now offer a line of small cars. Economy was only one preferred aspect of "The Bug", however. Another was that styling changes year-to-year were so subtle they were scarcely noticeable: a distinct advantage at trade-in time. In the 1960 model shown here, among the evident changes were push button doorhandles and a contoured front seat backrest. Hidden changes included larger heater pipes and an anti-sway bar for improved cornering and handling.

12. Future Trend — 1976 Ford Mustang II, AMC Pacer, Chevrolet Vega

As we enter the last half of this decade, many uncertain factors loom that will definitely determine future design and styling trends of the auto. Among these are safety requisites, environmental protection and energy requirements, the latter being the most uncertain. More than ever before, increasing fuel costs, prompted by threatened shortages, spark a need for conservation. National speed limits have been reduced. A demand has arisen for cars offering improved gas mileage. Among the most typical of such cars in the last few years have been the Ford Mustang II, AMC Pacer and Chevrolet Vega. Even thoroughbred Cadillac has introduced a smaller, more economical model (the Seville). This, then, is where the industry stands in America's Bicentennial year. As we enter the final quarter of this century, it will be interesting to see how the automobile evolves in light of the challenges ahead.
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