My Car Quest

December 11, 2019

Stretching The Boundaries of Automotive Art

by Wallace Wyss –

Maybe they aren’t “new” as “new on the scene” but, as a fine artist myself, I perceive tastes are changing in automotive art–the term has now expanded to include some of these sub-categories, some of which I list here:

CUTAWAYS

These are usually line drawings with no color though some have sections of body panels (see X-ray view below). The idea is to show the hidden understructure of a car, the “bones” to speak. I don’t think the artists of old had a machine to see through the car so some cutaways were done by dismantling an actual car and drawing each “layer” to speak. Among the best are those race car drawings by James Allington, some featured in Shell Oil ads and handed out as posters. America’s most famous cutaway artist is C.O. La Tourette.

Ford GT40 Cutaway Drawing

Ford GT40 Cutaway Drawing

Lamborghini Espada Cutaway

Lamborghini Espada Cutaway

X-RAY VIEWS

Like cutaways but with more bodywork on the car, unmasking the innards of only selected parts of the car, as in “let’s see an x-ray view of the engine compartment.”

BLUEPRINT DRAWING

The least satisfying, in my view, are the blueprint drawings, the ones with front view, rear view, direct side, even top of the car. Yet these are invaluable in trying to think of refitting another body, or just how things look from a strictly mechanical point of view. Some cars believe it or not, are beautiful even in a blueprint drawing!

Lamborghini Blueprint

Lamborghini Blueprint

DESIGN RENDERINGS

In the pre-computer days Detroit automakers would periodically take thousands of proposed drawings for, say, the ’67 Eldorado, and haul them to the dumpster once that model is in production. Very few drawings were secreted out, and now that we are in the age of computers, designers are forbidden to print out their own work. With the result that old time design renderings are now collectible.

Pontiac Solstice Concept

Pontiac Solstice Concept

Among the most prized are drawings of exotic cars done by now famous designers like Guigaro. Recent auctions of the contents of the bankrupt Bertone Carrozzeria has put a fresh batch of original drawings onto the collector market.

Iso Rivolta GT

Iso Rivolta GT – Art by Giorgetto Giugiaro

Modern automakers sometimes hand out drawings of a new car at its preview, I remember getting drawings of the Ferrari Enzo right from the artist’s hands at a major auto show. But most of the time automakers are justifiably wary about promoting one artist above the others, leads to jealousy in the ranks (the last time I remember an American automaker promoting one was Camilo Pardo, designer of the ’05-’06 Ford GT).

MANUFACTURER’S SCALE MODELS

I don’t know if they still make them but in the Fifties I saw several scale models, painted like a real car except the windows on roofed cars were blacked out. I would think one from an automaker that went on to be produced as a real car would be a real collector’s item.

Bertone Fiat Dino

Bertone Fiat Dino

Let us know what you think in the Comments. What is your favorite type of automotive art?

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss specializes in creating portraits in oil of collector cars. He can be reached at mendoart7@gmail.com

 
 
 
 

 

 

Ford GT Art by Camilo Pardo

Ford GT Art by Camilo Pardo

Bizzarrini Manta - Art by Giorgetto Giugiaro

Bizzarrini Manta – Art by Giorgetto Giugiaro

Summary
Stretching The Boundaries of Automotive Art
Article Name
Stretching The Boundaries of Automotive Art
Description
Among the most prized are drawings of exotic cars done by now famous designers like Giorgetto Giugiaro.
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Comments

  1. SKIP HINOJOS says

    HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THE SIMILARITY, BETWEEN THE PROFILES OF THE BODY STYLES, OF THE ISO RIVOLTA AND THE BMW 2800 AND 3.0CS COUPES? I CAN’T REMEMBER THE BRITISH CAR, FROM THE 60’S, THAT ALSO HAD SIMILAR PROFILE.

  2. wallace wyss says

    Gordon Keeble, Chevy engine. I think it was designed by Giugiaro who also did the Iso Rivolta.

  3. Yep the Gordon-Keeble GK1 – drawing attached.

  4. imwithstoopid says

    The auto shows of the ’50s -’60s were a treasure trove of all kinds of renderings. Alas, and alack they, the drawings, are now lost to history.
    Mostly renderings of future visions, but some new models as well.

  5. Another great cutaway artist was Rex Burnett. He helped Hot Rod Magazine succeed with his iconic pen-and-ink drawings back in the magazines early days of publishing. His cutaways first appeared in Hot Rod’s September ’48 issue. Preceded by Hot Rod’s own Tom Medley drawn cutaways, Burnett’s X-ray-like art ran for many years and helped pull in those interested to see what was under the skin of the race cars and hot rods each month.

    Rex was assisting Gary Davis with his ill-fated Davis three-wheel creation when he came to Hot Rod honcho Bob Petersen’s attention. Hot Rod did a feature on the aluminum-skinned Davis Divan for its September ’48 issue and ran the Burnett cutaway to show off the unique three-wheel configuration. Petersen asked Burnett to do a similar illustration for the following months feature on Bob McGee’s highboy roadster and that was the start of his graphic companion pieces each month.

    There’s a story about Rex and his son Brian Burnett on http://www.FLGstory.com, the website about the Ferrari of Los Gatos dealership back in the ’80s, as well as a story about Hod Rod Magazine. Attached is a sample of Rex’s work. In addition, Rex’s drawings aren’t lost to history—they’re available online at the Rodder’s Journal store, http://www.roddersjournal.com.

    Thanks for keeping history alive Wallace.

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