Bob / Henry Gurr Automobile Design Archives
Today Bob Gurr’s best known as one of Disney’s most famous “Imagineers”. Starting in 1955, Bob’s developed more than 100 designs for Disney ranging from the Autopia sports cars and Matterhorn Bobsleds to the futuristic Monorails. Bob’s a Disney legend. But before Disney….back in the early 1950s….Gurr was the “rock star” of a new generation of young American designers graduating from the Art Center in Los Angeles, California. The future of American Automobile design was in the hands of this new generation.
As a student, Bob was mentored by legendary Strother MacMinn who helped nurture and encourage his talent. And impressively, before graduating from the Art Center in the summer of 1952, his first design book titled “How To Draw Cars of Tomorrow” had been published. This was one of the first automobile design books released in postwar American. His second design book “Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book” was released in 1955. Both books form the core of any designer’s library from that era, and represent the foundation work for postwar automobile design in America.
But his design books were not just displays of his personal work. He sought samples of other students work – friends of his at the time. These “friends” included future and celebrated designers such as Ron Hill, Bob Cadaret, Stan Parker, Richard Tatge and many more.
It wasn’t coincidence that the timing of Bob’s automotive design work was released during the explosion of rapidly evolving designs in postwar America. The nature of how a car looked radically changed from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and the designs captured in his books showed an exciting future – an inspirational future that attracted fledgling young designers to this discipline. These designs shared not just what an automobile should look like but what the most radical, stylish, sporty and sexy cars could actually be.
No other time in automobile design has seen such rapid radical change and stunning incredible designs converge during such a short number of years. Bob Gurr, his vision and those he included in his work and books were at the center of this era and significantly influenced what designers and the American public would see for years to come.
Personality Profile: Bob Gurr
Making Dreams Come True
Collectible Automobile: October, 1998
Bob Gurr’s Three Design Books Are Shown Below (1952, 1954, 1955)
1: Automobile Design: The Complete Styling Book (1955)
2: ABC’s of Custom How (1954)
3: How to Draw Cars of Tomorrow (1952)