Have you ever heard of a Lincoln Zephyr? Turn to page 42 of this luxurious book, and see for yourself the 1935 model of that extraordinarily styled automobile. Style is whatthis oversized beauty of a book (which is itself the epitome of style) is all about. Accomplished automotive writer Bayley begins his breathtaking album of stunningblack-and-white photographs with the bold statement: "Car design is one of the distinctive, even defining, art forms of the twenty-first century." Further, he argues, car design is "our age's singular contribution to cultural history." Each car [was] selected because it "changed the conventional wisdom, lifted the game, raised the bar" in terms of style... Check out, in particular, the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Wow! American opulence at its most dramatic. (Brad Hooper, Booklist 2009-01-00)
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Sources are eclectic, results mixed, but one thing is certain: car design is being forced up an ever tightening spiral of creativity. These machines are memorials of our tastes, yearnings and capabilities. They have layers of meaning and can, as Henry Ford knew, be read like a book...if only you know how. The story of the car is the story of how the objects of industry became a medium of artistic expression. This book tells that story in a series of case studies which reveal national characteristics: American flair, German technical suprematism, French vernacular chic, gorgeous Italian sculpture, English antiquarianism, Japanese ingenuity, Swedish responsibility. Cars featured appear in chronological date order from the 1908 Ford Model T to 2003 BMW 5 Series. The chosen cars will be specially photographed in a uniform style and reproduced in very textured, 4 colour b/w so as to distance this book from the clich??A?s and conventions of specialist automotive publishing and to highlight form and shape.
Each picture will be accompanied by a short critical essay including essential historical material together with colorful anecdotage and quotations as well as a persuasive aesthetic appraisal of each vehicle. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados.