Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book (1955) By Bob Gurr – Part 3


“Some of the facts pertinently revealed here may shock the reader….”   Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book (1955)

That’s what’s written on the back cover of Bob Gurr’s ’55 book on car design, and it gives the book a sense of mystery and intrigue designed to captivate the potential reader.  Gurr’s book in ’55 was the intended follow-up edition to one of the first books on car design ever available – his ’52 book titled “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow.”

This is the third and final in a series of articles focusing on Bob Gurr’s 1955 book, “Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book.”  Click here to review all articles in this series.


Hi Gang…

Recently, I covered Bob Gurr’s first book on designing cars which was published in ’52 called “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow.”  Click here to review the series of articles about this styling book.  Today, the book covered in this third and final series of articles was published in ’55 as an update to the early ’52 book.

In Part 1 of the story, we reviewed what Gurr had to say about “design” in the “Foreword” of his ’55 book, as well as the following sections:

  • Foreword
  • Materials
  • Getting Started
  • Character In Existing Cars
  • Perspective
  • Foreshortening
  • Ellipses

In Part 2 of this story, we presented the pages from the following sections:

  • Professional Character in Drawing
  • Lighting
  • Reflections
  • Chrome
  • Distortion
  • Critical Dimensions
  • Sports Cars
  • Manufacturer’s Point of View
  • The Case For The American Concept
  • The Commercial Importance of Identity
  • The Trend of Today
  • What You Can Do As A Designer
  • Styling Studio Conditions

In this third and final article in a series on Bob Gurr’s book “Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book” (1955), we’ll review the most exciting section of the book from my perspective – the Salon of drawings and illustrations showing what Gurr and other young and talented designers and stylists from ’55 thought the “Cars of Tomorrow” would look like.

Here’s how Gurr introduced the Salon to enthusiastic readers and interested designers:

Salon: Pages 64-95 (Back Cover)
How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow (1952)

Original “rocket ship” renderings in this salon section have been done by professional automobile designers to display various techniques common among the thousands of preliminary design sketches that contribute toward a new production styling.

Some are sketch-type color renderings which show a relatively speedy technique.  After the imagination has been allowed to drift this drawing is used to capture swiftly the fleeting inspiration of an adventuring mind.

Viewed and criticized by others, the better points are then redeveloped in a succession of other sketches – often made by vellum overlays – until a pleasing, workable design is reached.  The final drawing, examples of which also are given, is painstakingly-developed color rendering.

This may go into a clay model where surface development is refined – the first step toward consideration that might ultimately mark a design for the production line.

What you see here has been done.  What the styling studios want you to do is to go on from here.

Let’s take a look at those drawings and illustrations.  And, as with any image here at Forgotten Fiberglass, use your mouse and click on any image below to make it larger.

Off we go!


Thanks again to Bob Gurr for the time and energy he spent sharing with us his memories of his Art Center days, the lead up to the publication of his 1952 book “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow,” and now the extension to the debut of his ’55 book “Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book.”

The next book of Gurr’s we’ll be covering over several articles is his tome titled, “The ABC’s of Custom How” – one of the best books – if not the best book – on how to customize your car written and published in the ‘50s – and darn hard to find too!

And be sure to check out Bob Gurr’s forthcoming book, “Bob Gurr, Design: Just For Fun.”  Click here to review the contents and consider purchase.  I already reserved my copy   It’s guaranteed to be a fantastic read and a wonderful look inside the mind of a wildly talented designer.

Here’s a Recent Photo of Bob Gurr Showing Off A Replica of His First Disney Monorail – Used As A Waterslide at the Disney Hotel in Anaheim, California.

And…for those of you interested in learning more about Bob Gurr, check out an excellent interview done by Collectible Automobile Magazine in October, 1998.  It’s worth the read.   Also, click here to review a recent post at the website “Imagineering Disney” to learn more about Bob Gurr and his work at Disney.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures


Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book (1955) By Bob Gurr – Part 3 — 2 Comments

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