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The Magazine

To the master of the clean line

To the master of the clean line
Raymond Loewy, the industrial designer who was not afraid to put his mark on a car too, passed away on this day in 1986 at his home in Monte Carlo at the age of 92. He made a name with classic designs such as the Coca-Cola bottle, the Lucky Strike cigarette package, the Greyhound logo (and bus) and the US Postal Service emblem although his signature streamlined look spread to hundreds of products, from toothbrushes to the interior of the Air Force One airliner.

His relation with cars began at a young age and his first design job came in the early 1930s when he was asked to do product design at the Hupp Motor Company, giving the Hupmobile the first of his clean looks.

Loewy was an advocate of longer, lighter and more aerodynamic vehicles that would be more fuel-efficient. His ideas often clashed with those of his bosses in Detroit. But there’s no denying that his raked windscreens, built-in headlights and wheel covers set a trend that – according to some – lasts to this day. Some of his best known car designs are the 1947 Studebaker Champion, the 1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupe and of course the Studebaker Avanti. But there's quite a lot more. An unusual duo of Jaguars for example (XK140 and E-type) to an even more unusual Cadillac. Or the now well-known Lancia Loraymo and BMW 507 one-offs (the latter seen here with today’s lovely Friday Lady). If you’re a fan of his clean lines, we’d like to know: what’s your favourite Loewy design?

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#3 2017-07-15 16:03
Loewy also designed the legendary Pennsylvania Railroad's GGI electric locomotive. I think I understand why the cars depicted are one-offs. I don't think it's possible to improve on the E-type or 507.
#2 2017-07-14 20:59
My favorite is the 1953 Studebaker Starliner coupe. In my opinion that is one of the all-time best US production car body styles. Many of the other one-off cars shown above are really not in that same league.
#1 2017-07-14 15:06
The Avanti, which could be a new car today, except perhaps for the tire size. His train design was wondrous for the day.

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