July 19, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1934 Patent filed for retractable headlamps

Harold T. Ames filed a patent application for his retractable headlamps. The design would later become one of the defining details on Ames' most triumphant project, the Cord 810. Ames, then the chief executive at Duesenberg, asked Cord designer Gordon Buehrig to make a "baby version" of the Duesenberg car. Buehrig's response, the Cord 810, is widely held to be one of the most influential cars in American automotive history. It was the last great offering of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg triumvirate, as the company became insolvent at the end of the Depression. In 1952, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) chose the 1937 Cord as one of eight automotive works of art for a year-long exhibition. MoMA's summation of the Cord's lines are as follows: "Many of the Cord's lines are borrowed form aerodynamics... The Cord suggests the driving power of a fast fighter plane. It is, in fact, a most solemn expression of streamlining."

Posted by Quality Weenie at July 19, 2006 06:51 AM | TrackBack