A quick glance below shows you that the golden era of car design is well behind us. These days, despite the sophisticated technology put into even the most basic of models, automotive design has taken on a fairly generic look, and without their logos it would be hard to tell a Lexuss from a Mercedes from a Ford or an Audi.
Yet there was a time when car designers brought individual flare to the table. When visionaries launched their dreams from backyard garages and turned them into automotive history. On Thursday, June 23, Skinner offers car buffs a chance to tap into that rich epoch when they kick off their 20th Century Design sale with ten cars and a motorbike, timeless gems all sure to be the center of spirited bidding.
Lot 11 - a 1937 Cord Phaeton 812 - is sure to be one of the stars of the sale. Designed and built in Indiana, the car caused a sensation at its debut at the New York Auto Show in November 1935. It was the first American-designed and built front wheel drive car with independent front suspension, with a 288-cid V-8 under the hood and 4-speed transmission with vacuum electric shifting. Clearly, the perfect Sunday afternoon cruiser!
Bidders looking for something a little more presidential should take a serious look at Lot 10 - the 1928 Packard limousine four-door sedan. Built in Detroit, this 3-speed 6-cylinder was the top of the line Packard of its day, so highly regarded that President Herbert Hoover had one parked in the garage.
Classic is a word used a little too much when it comes to cars, but conscensus says it scores a bullseye with Lot 6 - the 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible. Created by Ford for a market niche that eventually became known as the personal luxury car, the 1955 T-bird was the first of 11 models built in Detroit through to 2005.
Americans have had a long love affair with big cars, and they dont get much bigger than Lot 8 - the enormous 1970 Cadillac Deville convertible. The name "Deville" derives from the French de la ville or de ville meaning "of the town," and was first introduced in 1949 as a separate prestige model. A total 181,719 1970 Devilles were sold, accounting for a whopping 76% of all Cadillacs purchased at the time.
Has there ever been a more lovable car than the VW Beetle? Born in Germany on the eave of WWII, the little bug-eyed car with the simple engine went on to win hearts the world over. In fact, in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, held to determine the 20th Centurys most influential car, the Beetle came fourth, after the Model T, the Mini and the Citroën DS. Selling here as Lot 2, a 1963 beetle is sure to be popular.