In our last installment in this series about, The Art and Colour of General Motors, the design of the 1931 Cadillac V-16 Series 452B Dual Cowl Phaeton was covered. The car seen here is a 1937 Cadillac V-16 Series 90 Aerodynamic Coupe which was a continuation of the 1933 V-16 model, that was built for the 1933-34 Worlds Fair exhibit, that we will look at.
In the early 1930s the streamlining movement was just starting to take hold and Harley Earl and Art and Color were ready for it with this very restrained design for Cadillac. The GM Customer research staff that was established in 1933, found that the public favored the “flowing speed lines of popular streamlining” to the aerodynamically superior shapes-by a wide margin. Knowing this, Harley Earl was assured that the lines that Art and Color had developed into the Aerodynamic Coupe were exactly what the public wanted and a run of twenty of these bodies were produced. The design elements used in this car were also introduced into the rest of the GM product line in the next year or two.
To learn more about the subject, you can look back on our earlier posts and also visit with Coachbuilt Press, where you can learn much more about the book The Art and Colour of General Motors. You can also learn more about Earl at coachbuilt.com. More of Michael Furman’s work can also be seen here on The Old Motor.
Art and Color stylists are seen (above) at work on the clay model for the 1932 Aerodynamic Coupe, which is considered to be GM’s first purpose-built show car. It was displayed in the GM pavilion at the 1933-34 “Century of Progress” Chicago Worlds Fair.
Photo courtesy of the www.cadillaclasalleclub.org.