My Car Quest

September 16, 2014

Why Redesign Perfection?

by Mike –

When I was reading through the October 1966 issue of Road & Track recently I saw this photo below and immediately recognized the car as one that I saw at the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills in June 2012.

Raymond Loewy Jaguar XKE Custom

Raymond Loewy And His Custom Jaguar XKE In 1966

Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986) was a French born industrial designer who worked on a wide range of projects, which included: company logos, railroad cars, Coke vending machines, the US Air Force One livery and automobiles.

Raymond Loewy's Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Raymond Loewy’s Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

He was involved with Studebaker car designs dating back to 1936, including the Avanti in the early 1960s.

At Studebaker he worked with Virgil M. Exner who went on the lead the Chrysler styling team.

Raymond Loewy's Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Raymond Loewy’s Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Shown here is a one off custom design by Loewy where he started with a 1966 Jaguar XKE and made a few modifications.

Raymond Loewy's Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Raymond Loewy’s Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Raymond Loewy's Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

Raymond Loewy’s Custom Jaguar XKE In 2012

You can see the modifications Loewy made in the photos below.

The changes Loewy made to the front of the XKE are: the nose was shortened by 10 inches, the grille was enlarged by five times and an air scoop was built into the hood.

Jaguar XKE and Loewy Custom Jaguar XKE

Jaguar XKE (Top) and Loewy Custom Jaguar XKE (Bottom)

The changes Loewy made to the rear of the XKE are: the rear of the body was shortened so that the car is 15 inches shorter than the original, the side windows are larger and shaped differently, the rear window is about 25% larger, the wheel wells have been enlarged, a racing style gas filler cap was added, and round taillights from a Corvair have replaced the originals.

Jaguar XKE (Top) and Loewy Custom Jaguar XKE (Bottom)

Jaguar XKE (Top) and Loewy Custom Jaguar XKE (Bottom)

If I did not know that this car was a customized Jaguar XKE I would like this design but knowing that this is a customized XKE I will always compare it to the original XKE and wonder why Loewy felt the need to redesign perfection.

Let us know what you think in the comments – do you like this customized XKE?


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Summary
Article Name
Why Redesign Perfection?
Author
Description
Raymond Loewy (1893 - 1986) was a French born industrial designer who worked on a wide range of projects, which included: company logos, railroad cars, Coke vending machines, the US Air Force One livery and automobiles.

Comments

  1. ScuderiaPacNW says:

    This one is real simple, the Loewy car is no where near as beautiful or elegant as the original design. Modern designer or not, Mr. Loewy’s ego mucked up a once finely sculptured work of automobile art. Frenched Corvair tail-lights…REALLY!?! I can hear the Brit’s moaning the word “twit” from here. Sorry, but this “face-lift” experiment gets a failing grade. Makes us want to go out and buy our old E-type back for fear that some knuckle-head will do this to it.

  2. This is really like messing with the Mona Lisa – there is nothing you can do from which you will not suffer by comparison. The idea of shortening the overhangs? Probably some merit there but the execution is gawd-awful. I like the larger rear window but the racing gas-cap is totally out of place. Personally, I don’t hate the tail-lights. They seem a little less fussy than the stock units.

  3. HA ! Anytime anyone sticks up for English trim or tail lights it makes me want to laugh. Most British cars look as if the factory workers affixed whatever parts were on the shelf that day, it’s crazy

  4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I much prefer the Loewy design, except for the gas cap. When compared to Loewy design the original looks like it is made longer just to fulfill some concept that longer is better. Size does not always matter! Loewy implements a more minimalistic and sculpted look unlike the original which had more curves and harkened back to the designs of the forties and early fifties.

  5. Honestly, I enjoy his re/design better than the original. But I personally love the front end on a Shelby Cobra, which this reminds me quite a bit of.

  6. Have to say this is the first time I have ever seen the Loewy XK and I think it is just great does anyone know what happened to it?

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