Some classic car aficionados are creating a documentary about the post-War art designers behind Detroit’s big automakers, including General Motors, Ford, Packard, Chrysler, Hudson, Nash, and Studebaker. American Dreaming: Detroit Automotive Styling 1946-1973 is a project from artist Robert Edwards and Greg Salustro being crowdfunded through Indiegogo.
The filmmakers have interviewed the university-trained art designers behind mid-century car designs, hired by the auto companies between 1946 and 1973, and take a close look at their original artwork, including designs for concept cars that never made it to the city streets. Some of those designs are pretty stunning, and landed in collectors’ hands in a roundabout fashion.
As in many other industries, designs created by in-house staff became the property of the car companies, and in Detroit auto designers were not allowed to even keep a portfolio of their works at home. Worse yet, like the early days of comic books and comic strips, the companies threw nixed designs and old artwork into the trash. It will be those few pages of art that managed to make it out of the companies, through the back door or otherwise, that will be featured in American Dreaming. These hand-drawn designs for real-life classic hot wheels are great works of American art in their own right, yet never before seen as a unique field of fine art study.
Check out this trailer to promote the documentary project after the break here: