Fifty years ago, new 1968 autos began appearing in showrooms across America. These were a bit different from previous new cars; for the first time their design was heavily influenced by the U.S. government. New federal regulations covered two key areas of automotive engineering with twin goals in mind: a reduction of harmful vehicular emissions and increased safety for drivers and passengers. Today Auto Universum looks back at the early years of emission reduction. Continue reading →
The VW Beetle has probably appeared in more artwork than any other vehicle. In 2011, Indonesian sculptor Ichwan Noor added to the Beetle’s catalogue raisonné when he began a series of lifesize full-scale VWs transformed into to perfect spheres and cubes. Continue reading →
Don Draper in his Starlight Silver 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.
One of the few value segments of the vintage car market is what Auto Universum calls American Glamour. A lack of enthusiasm for refinement and elegance has kept prices subdued, a welcome state of affairs waiting to be exploited by those who with a taste for the good life. Continue reading →
1963 Plymouth Belvedere. Image: George Klass Collection
As colour film ages, a phenomena known as curve crossover frequently occurs as fidelity of the three colour dyes age at different rates. This often results in an evocatively ethereal colour palette. Such is the case with these photos from the heyday of Stock Car drag racing in the U.S.
In the 1950s when 1/4-mile drag racing was gaining legitimacy, there was little interest in racing the family sedan. No official records were kept, nor was elapsed time recorded; the winner was the car with the highest trap speed. Continue reading →
Opened in Montreal Canada on 27 April, Expo 67 proved to be the most popular World’s Fair of the 20th Century
1967 proved to be the pivot point in the 1960s. Around midyear, during the Summer Of Love, the decade began segueing from the elegance and avant-garde aesthetics of the early years to the more tumultuous cultural and stylistic trends associated with the end of the decade. Continue reading →
Publicity photo from Come Imparai ad Amare le Donne (1966). Race driver portrayed by Elsa Martinelli strips to the bare essentials to shed weight from her Lancia Fulvia HF while racing a Porsche 356 C.
In the early decades of motordom, front grills stood tall and proud, reflecting the proportions of early radiators. Headlamps, originally housed in separate housings, began being integrated into the cars design in the late 1930s. Nevertheless, grills and headlamps remained separate elements with the exception of Peugeot, which placed the headlamps near the centre of the car, behind the grill. Continue reading →
Today Auto Universum unveils a new tabbed page that examines the exciting and glamorous world of the Jet Age 1960s, from its roots in the mid-fifties though its gradual demise in the waning years of the decade.
It’s a lengthy 2800-word treatise, so don’t try and take it in now. Wait until tonight when you can pour yourself a Manhattan, Martini or Old Fashioned, slip into your smoking jacket, cue up some Mel Tormé or Tom Jones and savour it at leisure.
Access it with this link, or via the permanent new tab on the menu bar.
Aurora Clock. Kirsch, Hamilton, Corchia, and de Harak, 1970
Mankind has been using light to tell the time since the days of ancient Egypt. While early shadow clocks and sundials utilized light and shadow, a new clock was developed in 1970 that displayed the time using coloured artificial light generated by rotating polarization filters. Continue reading →