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- ISBN-10: 1845848632
- ISBN-13: 9781845848637
by Peter Grist
The story of a man that brought his own personal style to the world of industrial design, from automobiles to powerboats. Some 50 years after his design masterpieces wrested styling leadership away from General Motors’ Harley Earl. Thirty four years after his untimely death, Virgil Exner’s name still remains inexorably linked to the Chrysler Corporation in the minds of car enthusiasts worldwide. For an all too brief period, Exner’s name epitomised all that was great and exciting in America. His thrilling automobile designs from the mid-fifties took the world by storm and put Chrysler at the top. His work was nothing less than a revolution. Until the mid-fifties, engineers, creating cars that were reliable but invariably staid and conservative, had dominated auto design. Exner introduced to Chrysler, firstly with his "idea cars" then with production models, vehicles that were wanted for their looks but at the same time, were soundly engineered; automobiles that carried classic proportions and gave the illusion of movement even whilst stationary. His design of the 1947 Studebaker established the design pattern for all modern cars and was a huge success. Along with automobile styling, his talents stretched to many other areas of industrial design, from trains to trucks and boats to Buicks.
This book gets behind the character of the man, his strengths and weaknesses, his personal tragedies and his vision of modern transport. Uncover why he set up in competition with Raymond Loewy, get the real facts behind historic inaccuracies and why he was made scapegoat for the sales disaster of the early sixties, Then delight in his fine artwork and his love of motor racing. With many previously unseen works of art and family photos among the 150 colour images throughout this is a unique and fascinating insight into a pivotal player in the development of the modern automobile.
- With such a pencil, such a pen.
The general outline for the book is to be a biographical account of Virgil M. Exner Snr’s life, from his birth in Ann Arbour, Michigan in 1909; his adoption by the Exner’s and his early years and influences.
- The Big Break.
The second chapter will deal with his early working career, marriage, etc with an in depth look at Virgil’s work at Pontiac with Harley Earl.
- Dangerous Curves Ahead.
The third chapter will be one of the longest as this will deal with Exner’s time at Studebaker, including the war years, the famous 1947 Champion and the death of his youngest son.
- The Fin Man.
Chrysler. Early concept car design, his first changes to production models and his groundbreaking 1955 and ’57 model year production designs.
- Ship Ahoy!
The next chapter will be the early sixties when tastes in cars were moving away from large finned vehicles to smaller more economic cars and hailed the end of Exner’s time with the corporation. This will lead on nicely in to the consultation work he did, the business he set up with his son designing amongst other things, boats. This chapter will also look at his Stutz cars.
- Circque De Exner.
This last chapter will naturally look at the end of his life including his love of painting, in particular his passion for European castles. His death in December 1973 will lead on to examine just how large the legacy was he left us and awards that he has been given posthumously.
Buch, Softcover, 20,5 x 25 cm, 176 Seiten, 100 farbige und 150 s/w-Abbildungen, englischer Text