in the sunshine of another day

By | January 12, 2014

'63 Avanti in Palm Springs“Non possiamo andare avanti cosi.”  (We can’t go on like this.)

The central problem in automobile aesthetics is the relation of form to function. A skillful designer may test his assertions by displacing all the old clichés of car design so effectively that before long his dramatic new styling or design becomes the reference upon which other designers model their commercially successful cars–-Provided that the public is educated or eclectic enough to buy the new aesthetic in numbers adequate for profit.
Longtime Studebaker Corporation contractor, Raymond Loewy Associates designed the 1963 Avanti (Italian translation: forward) at the request of Sherwood Egbert, president of Studebaker. Concentrated development of Egbert’s concept began in March 1961, when Mr. Loewy leased a house near his own residence in Palm Springs, California. Within the sparse rental on the outskirts of town, Loewy arranged high speed production of various drawings and small scale clay models, assisted by specialists Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews, and John Ebstein.
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Studebaker president Sherwood Egbert (L) and industrial designer Raymond Loewy (R) with 1963 Avanti’s at Studebaker Proving Grounds, 1962. Resource: Studebaker National Museum Archives.

Studebaker Corporation president Sherwood Egbert (L) and Studebaker vice president, chief engineer and driver Andy Granatelli (R). Indianapolis Motor Speedway, October 1962 press preview of 1963 Avanti. Resource: Studebaker National Museum Archives.

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