I am not a car nut and almost always choose public transport, a bike or shank’s pony to get around but I have always had a real love of classic cars and through our Classic Car Boot Sale events. I have learnt that just about anyone wandering within eyesight of a line-up of classic car vehicles will dip in their pockets and pay a few quid to get up close and personal. When Gerardine and I got together at the turn of the 80s and shacked up in London, the first of a series of classics was a gorgeous Standard Vanguard.
On our eldest kids 17th birthdays we bought them dirt cheap, but so cool, Datsun 120Y’s.
As a family we have regularly bemoaned the dearth of decent visual design in modern mass market cars. I often question whether we just don’t have the foresight to see that today’s designs will be classics in the future but there is always that underlying feeling that actually today’s cars are just so damn boring.
Then yesterday I read an article by Norman Foster issue 338 of Blueprint Magazine. He was talking about his new book Havana Autos and Architecture and eulogising about the wonderful old architecture and classic cars that can’t help but catch the eye in Cuba. He talks about despite the lack of money, the love, devotion and time many Cubans put into their 60 year old Chevvies, Oldsmobile’s and Pontiacs and comes up with one telling quote: “It seemed to me that soon everything in Cuba might be like anywhere else in the world . Gone would be the exotic vehicles like dinosaurs from an age long past, to be replaced by the technically superior but characterless cars of today.” – Norman Foster
So why can’t we have uplifting visual design to match the wonderful reliability and technology that we get with new cars. Does functionality have to quash serendipity? We need the car manufacturing equivalent of Apple (or dare I say it Ikea) to come along and shake up the industry.
Boy how we here at HemingwayDesign would love to work with a big car manufacturer and try to marry their technological skills with beauty. – Wayne Hemingway