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Art Deco design in cars - "Streamline Moderne" - Inspired by 2articles in the current issue of JUST CARS
I was flicking through JUST CARS last night and BANG, there on page 90 is a BEAUTIFUL example of sublime industrial design. Moreover, it’s from the Czech Republic! It’s the 1948 Tatra T87 (the article has just appeared online within the last 2 hours). On the page before is a similarly wonderful example of the genre, the Austin A90.
For those who have been to Prague, you’ll know it was relatively spared the ravages of air bombing in WWII and so is a superb museum of every architectural design genre since the medieval period. It has particularly spectacular examples of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. The Tatra would have driven past these very buildings.
“Streamline Moderne” is an interesting late "subgenre” of Art Deco design characterised by curving forms, teardrop design elements, long horizontal lines (‘Streamlining’) and a tendency towards the nautical. It reached its height in 1937 and further spawned a whole sub-SUB-genre of retro-future sci-fi (“Raygun Gothic”: think the Flash Gordon and Metropolis films!). It was the "future that never happened"! An alternative future, a science fiction imagined in the 30s and 40s about what 2012 MIGHT have been like!
Just take a look at the streamlines, and teardrop lights, on my own Roadliner motorcycle! The interesting ‘Cyclops’ middle third headlight is another quirky feature common to both cars reviewed in JUST CARS. I’ll let the pictures tell the story. Compare mine with the design themes in the Tatra and the Austin (photos 1-3, borrowed from the JUST CARS articles).