“Some of the facts revealed here may shock the reader….” How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow (1952)
That’s what’s written on the back cover of Bob Gurr’s 1952 book on car design, and it gives the book a sense of mystery and intrigue designed to captivate the potential reader – and as one of the first books on car design available to a hungry young American public in the early ’50s – that was an easy task to do.
This is the second in a series of articles focusing on Bob Gurr’s 1952 book, “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow.” Click here to review all articles in this series.
In Part 1 of the story, we reviewed what Gurr had to say about “design” in the “Foreword” of his book. Let’s review how what Dan Post and Bob Gurr had to say on the back cover – the part designed to “sell” young men on the importance and purchase of this book back in the early ’50s.
How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow
Text And Principal Illustrations By Henry Gurr
Here are the rudiments of automobile drawing in plain crisp language, with an unequalled selection of supporting sketches and renderings. This is the book that will turn armchair auto doodlers into artists of professional stature, and produce among the casually interested a pencil pushing effort showing mean ability.
The contents reveal the comprehensive character of the book: materials, getting started, character in existing cars, professional character in drawing, general perspective, ellipses, lighting (highlight, core, shadow, reflected light), reflections, chrome, distortion, what you can do as a designer, the trend of today, manufacturer’s point of view, critical dimensions, salon.
Besides the straight-forward course of instruction, the substantial Salon section of professional advance designs can also be considered a gold mine of fresh ideas for custom restyling current models.
Henry Gurr, a graduate of the Art Center School in Los Angeles, is now a professional motor car designer with one of the country’s largest companies. His rare combination of outstanding designing and rendering ability, coupled with engineering comprehension, assures his future as a resident of Southern Michigan.
Nowhere else between the covers of a book can such candid and unbiased views of manufacturer’s aims, designer’s problems, and consumer’s benefits be found. They would never have been said had the author been committed professionally when the book was written.
This is perhaps why some of the facts revealed here may shock the reader.
Dan Post Publication – Arcadia, California
In this second in a series on Bob Gurr’s book “How to Draw Cars of Tomorrow” (1952), we’ll review the next sections of his design book.
In Part 1 of this story, we covered:
- Getting Started
- Character In Existing Cars
Today, in Part 2 of this story, we’ll present the pages from the following sections:
- Professional Character in Drawing
- Critical Dimensions
- What You Can Do As a Designer
- The Trend of Today
- Manufacturer’s Point of View
The Critical Dimensions Section:
Pay close attention to the section below on “Critical Dimensions” which is shown on pages 30 and 31 of Gurr’s book.
Merrill Powell, car designer and co-owner of Victress Manufacturing from ’53 – ’61 really hammered home the importance of these 2 pages to me and their criticality to all designers building a car from scratch. Merrill also shared that these same dimensions apply to the building of a sports car using a Victress or any other fiberglass body in that these identify critical measurements in seating, height, and reach that must be adhered to so that the finished car has the right look, comfort, and safety.
Perhaps Merrill will comment additionally, below in this story and share some more thoughts on how these dimensions should be used by anyone building one of our favorite fiberglass fabrications. How ’bout it Merrill? Share some more thoughts with us? All comments are always appreciated 🙂
And now… let’s look at the next sections of Gurr’s book. Remember…..you can click on each picture below to make it appear larger on your screen.
Thanks again to Bob Gurr for the time and energy he spent sharing with us his memories of his Art Center days and the lead up to the publication of his 1952 book “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow.” I’ll be sharing the rest of this book over several more stories here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
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.
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…
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