The Automobile in 1960s Lifestyle Magazine Illustration

James Kraus

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Morgan Kane, 1960. Image © IPD. Note latch detail on open door.

Illustration as an art form somewhat fell from favour after the 1960s, increasingly being replaced by photography. This was apparent even in automotive print advertising, with Pontiac abandoning their decade-plus relationship with illustration masters Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman.  Continue reading

1968: The Times They Were A Changin’

James Kraus


38th Geneva Motor Show poster, 1968.

The calendar still said 1960s but by 1968, it seemed like a different decade. The world was a very dissimilar place than it was in say, 1966. Changes and undercurrents that had been brewing since mid-decade exploded. The U.S. suffered through a second year of mass racial unrest, two political figures were assassinated, rioting broke out at the Democratic National Convention, and college campuses sustained over forty arson attacks and bombing incidents. France suffered through the Mai 68 civil unrest with general strikes that brought the country to a virtual standstill, the Prague Spring came to a bitter end and Germany saw the first attack by what was to become known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.  Continue reading

The Germans Aren’t Just Cutting Corners On Emissions…

James Kraus

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U.S.-spec 718 Boxster. Is the driver braking? Turning? Who knows? Who cares? Porsche doesn’t; but you should.

Everywhere outside of North America, rear turn indicators are required to be amber in colour. This is due to extensive research going back decades demonstrating amber conclusively outperforming red in terms of recognition time. The latest studies by the NHTSA in 2008 and 2009 show a significant reduction in collisions when vehicles are equipped with amber rear indicators (assuming of course that drivers actually use them.)   Continue reading

1968: U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Automotive Safety Standards

James Kraus

Unsafe At Any Speed, Ralph Nader. First Edition; November, 1965.

Fifty years ago, new 1968 autos sat glistened in showrooms across America. These were a bit different from previous new cars; for the first time in history their design was heavily influenced by U.S. government regulations. New federal legislation required reductions of harmful vehicular emissions, and increased safety for drivers and passengers. Today Auto Universum looks back at the history of automotive safety design and the background of the numerous safety features that greeted new U.S. car buyers in 1968.  Continue reading