designed by Richard Arbib
for the Henney Motor Company, reveals importance of chromium to complete the automobile's sculptural form. In the Starfire, the color scheme and bright metal work have been integrated, with anodized aluminum and chromium parts combined in the lower panel.
Artist: Richard A. Arbib, 1917 - 1995
Education: Pratt Institute
Biography: Arbib's creativity reached new levels with the Packard Caribbean and the beautiful 1951-1954 Henney-Packards
. These cars set styling trends that lasted many years, such as the rear door that opens into the roof and the wrap-around rear side windows on the limousine style models. One of Arbib's most famous cars is the Astra-Gnome
, which was featured on the cover of Newsweek in 1956.
Work History: GM Styling 1940's Henney Automobile Company.
His Dream Cars Come True
Birth of the Starfire Custom Convertible is Dramatic Proof That Richard Arbib’s Stylistic Prophesies Are As Effective On The Road As On The Drawing Board.
A dreamer is anything but a practical man – supposedly. Richard Arbib, one of America’s foremost designers of futuristic cars is, however, a successful exception to the rule. For years he has dreamed up and drawn various products the way he would like them to look and industry has accepted his ideas with enthusiasm.
Arbib is now at work on his most ambitious project – the translation into real steel and aluminum of his most luxurious dream – the Starfire Custom Convertible.
This car, which will probably be featured in the spring at the World and International Motor Sports Shows in New York, represents the fruit of years of experimentation in dream-car design during which he devoted the best of his talents to the creation of the famous Veedol Dream Car Salon advertisements.
The Starfire embodies many of the principles worked out in those striking illustrations as well as some brand-new theories of automobile design. Arbib picked the German-built Porsche chassis as the basis for his first six models because, in his words,
“The mechanical quality found in this car is uncompromising” and further, “The Porsche offers brilliant acceleration as well as good economy…..and….the chassis mounts its engine to the rear, making it extremely adaptable to the body style chosen for the Starfire.”
The three-place convertible bodies built entirely of aluminum by an old established Italian body firm in New York will, according to Arbib, have a minimum style life of ten years. The customer is offered his choice of vari-colored replaceable fluted alloy panels to contrast with optional paint schemes.
“More for the interest and satisfaction of the project than for the profit,” says Arbib, “the price of the Starfire is $5000 plus taxes.”
Cars Magazine, March 1953