Clear tail lights are quite popular today and appear on several new models as standard or optional equipment from the Toyota Prius to the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage. Many people mistakenly believe they were introduced in 1998 with the debut of the Toyota Altezza (Lexus IS) although the Toyota actually only had conventional tail lamps covered by clear acrylic; the design did not conceal the underlying red filter lenses. Clear tail lamps, like so many automotive technologies, actually first surfaced in the 1960s. Many of them were more sophisticated than some recent examples. Continue reading →
The Corvair Line is an accent line that circumnavigates the entire vehicle, front, sides and back, visually dividing the body into upper and lower sections. It can rise and fall, curve and bend, but must be unbroken, with neither beginning nor end. Continue reading →
Bond’s Aston parked at the Hotel Palácio, Estoril, Portugal
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service presented quite a challenge to loyal Bond moviegoers. Not only was Sean Connery replaced, so was the legendary Aston Martin of Goldfinger and Thunderball; the M-enhanced DB5 incorporating the “usual refinements” that had become integral to Bond mythology. In its place was a new Aston, the DBS. Continue reading →
December 2104 marks the beginning of a new tradition; the annual announcement of the Étoile d’Or, to be awarded to films that best capture the look and feel of the heyday of the Jet Age as celebrated in the pages of Auto Universum. Continue reading →
In the 1960s, dedicated audiophiles listened to their music through a system of separate components. Most others enjoyed listening via the recent invention of the ConsoleHi-Fi, also known in the UK as a Radiogram. These furniture-like units usually incorporated a tuner, turntable, an integrated preamp, and amplifier together with a set of speakers. The first of these were monaural, but by the early sixties, most were stereophonic. Some even included a television, making them an early form of entertainment center. Continue reading →
In 1964 the British Isles became the centre of popular culture. Beatlemania assumed international proportions with the band’s successful invasion of the United States and the release of A Hard Day’s Night. Meanwhile, cinematic MI6 Agent James Bond cemented his status as the free world’s favorite undercover operative with the debut of Goldfinger. The Rover 2000 won European Car of the Year and the Morris Mini Cooper secured its premier victory at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the storied event with which it would become inexorably linked. Last but not least, another sort of British mini exploded into worldwide popularity and acclaim: the miniskirt. Continue reading →
Jim Bernardin in his office at Campbell-Ewald, Detroit, Michigan, 1963
Chevrolet was America’s perennial top seller of automobiles in the 1960s. To maintain that dominance they wielded an appropriately massive merchandising war chest. GM was the world’s largest advertiser with an annual budget of nearly US$2 Billion in today’s dollars.
A significant slice of that expenditure went into the coffers of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolets’ ad agency since 1919. In 1962 the agency promoted Jim Bernardin to Creative Director for the highly coveted Chevrolet account. Continue reading →
40 years ago Volkswagen celebrated Germany’s 1974 World Cup victory by providing members of the winning team with special commemorative VW cabriolets. The public could not buy them, but they could purchase a limited number of sedan versions. The VW 1303 World Cup Weltmeister was available in four special colours with satin black front and rear deck lids borrowed from the 1303 GSR. All the team cars and most of the civilian versions were finished in the Cliff Green shown here. The Weltmeister came with a football-like gearshift knob, a concept Volkswagen would revisit a few years later when they equipped the Golf GTI with a golf ball-styled shift knob, a feature still retained in the current model.