Changing face of cars
Car design has a huge impact on the visual appearance of where we live. Cars and their paraphernalia are everywhere.
Here we look at the development of the average Ford family car over the last century in the context of design trends.
|The 1908 Ford Model T was built to be affordable. It had no unnecessary decoration. Form, followed function.|
|The style of the elegant Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost of 1907 showed the influence of horse drawn carriages.|
|This 1935 Ford 8 hp shows how car bodies evolved slowly into more solid forms with integrated lamps, wings and other components.|
|In the 1930s, streamlined styling and integrated chassis and body construction were the catalysts that revolutionised car design. This is a Chrysler Airflow from 1934.
|The 1951 Ford Consul was a thoroughly modern integrated design free of mudguard-style wings and running board.|
|Designers incorporated space rocket imagery in the 1950s. This is best represented by the top end American cars of the time such as this 1959 Cadillac.|
|Influenced by Cadillac and others, Ford added subtle fins to its 1963 Cortina.|
|The perfectly proportioned lines of the Pininfarina-designed Dino sports car were as influential as they were simple.|
|The Cortina was the best selling car in the UK in the 1970s. By then it featured the 'Coke bottle' styling of 1960s American cars and European sports cars like the Dino|
|The importance of aerodynamics was recognised in he late 1970s and the '77 Porsche 928 was an early example of the organic aero styling that came to dominate car design for 20 years.|
|Ford replaced its familiar ubiquitous Cortina in 1982 with a radical aerodynamic hatchback: the Sierra. Some customers were shocked and sales initially suffered.|
|The Renault Espace pioneered the 'one box' people-carrier concept. Customers approved of its greater space and versatility and the Espace was widely emulated.|
|The 1998 Focus featured what Ford called 'New Edge' design: a combination of aero principles with sharp graphic shapes. It became an immediate best seller in the UK in spite of its radical styling.|
|The revolutionary 1997 Mercedes-Benz A-Class introduced 'one box' design to the family hatchback. It introduced influential styling and engineering developments into a traditionally conservative sector.|
To find out more about the development of transport design, take a look at the 'Road Transport History' section on this website.