This is a book about automotive styling, in particular the streamlined styling that defined what are now known as Airline cars. During the mid-1930s the majority of British car manufacturers and coachbuilders experimented with streamlined styling. This fashion was the result of Art Deco, an international movement that influenced design and marketing in many different industries, and produced some of the most unique and visually exhilarating cars ever produced in Britain. Part One of the book explains and illustrates the Art Deco styling elements that link these streamlined car designs, and describes their development, their commonality, and their unique aeronautical names. The stories of the individual cars, their designers, and their development, are told in Part Two. Here, Barrie Down has collected examples of all the significant British streamlined production cars made between 1933 and 1936, many of them still represented by beautifully restored survivors. The book is well illustrated with over 200 contemporary pictures and colour photographs of existing cars, many of which have never before been published. This book is an instructive and visual feast for all car lovers.
PART ONE - Why Art Deco? Ch.1: Art Deco * Its origins and its universality * Its expression in streamlining * Aircraft, trains & cars Ch.2: Streamlining in Car Design * Streamlining historically * The two types * drag reduction * styling & the art deco elements Ch.3: The Origins of Art-Deco Styling in Britain * Earliest examples * Input from Abroad (France, Italy, USA) * Input from the Coachbuilders * Evolution up to 1933 Ch.4: 1934 - The Developing Styles of Art Deco Ch.5: 1935 - The Classic Airline Year Ch.6: 1936 and on - The Maturing of Art Deco Styling PART TWO - The Cars & their Stories Ch.7: Hillman (Aero Minx Streamline & Cresta) * Bio of Freddie March Ch.8: MG (PA, PB & NB Airline coupes) * Bio of H.W.Allingham Ch.9: SS1 (Airline saloon) * Bio of Sir William Lyons Ch.10: Triumph (Gloria Flowfree) * Bio of Walter Belgrove Ch.11: Standard (10/12 Speedline & Coupe & Flying Standards) * Bio of Charles Beauvais Ch.12: Riley (Kestrel) Ch.13: Singer (11hp Airstream, 9hp & Bantam Sports Coupes) * Bio of Captain D.F.H.Fitzmaurice Ch.14: Talbot (105 Airline saloon & 10 saloon) * Bio of Georges Roesch Ch.15: Rover (14 Streamline Saloon) Ch.16: British Salmson (Airline Sports Saloon) Ch.17: AC (16/6 Aero Saloon) Alvis (Speed 20 Sports Saloon)
Barrie Down has had a fascination with cars from as early as he can remember, and his childhood drawings were almost exclusively cars, cars, and more cars. Those he owned as an impecunious bachelor were from the 1920s and `30s, from which he gained a healthy respect for the design and quality of vintage and thoroughbred cars. After emigrating to Canada in 1964, he spent over 20 years in the industrial design field, concerned primarily with transportation design. From his art historian wife, he learned to link design and social history, and discovered that the design of the cars he loved were strongly influenced by Art Deco.