Futuristic, utopian, eccentric and always ahead of its time: Fast Forward tells the exciting story of concept cars – from the 1930s to today. The richly illustrated volume “Fast Forward” was jointly developed by the publisher Gestalten and Jan Baedeker. The publication pays a tribute to the history of the cars and presents the most famous car designs alongside their legendary creators that correspond to the respective timeline on 304 pages. Every era boasts its icons, even though many designs stayed in the drawers of the designers and never saw the light of the day. Based on sketches and photographs, the book delves deeper into the exciting chronicle of concept cars and shows exclusive interviews and portraits of design legends such as Guiseppe Bertone, Giorgio Giugiaro or Marcello Gandini as well as the current visionaries of mobility.
Prototype Dymaxion at the beginning of the automobile era
On page 28, Fast Forward touches upon the radical prototype Dymaxion, which no one initially believed would work. Buckminster Fuller worked towards turning his dream of modern locomotion into reality and completed the first zeppelin-like prototype of Dymaxion in 1933. It was a three-wheeled construction in the shape of a submarine and had six-metre-long body, which he later wanted to equip with a jet propulsion. The weight, the length and the narrow tires made it quite difficult to operate. Fuller, who was ultimately thwarted in his attempts at convincing the masses of his design, left important insights for automotive development.
Golden Rocket by Harley J. Earl
Page 34 onwards, Fast Forward presents the car designs of the booming US economy in the 1950s, which were very popular amongst the car fanatics. The Golden Rocket with a body made of fibreglass was developed by the formerly much sought-after luxury brand Oldmobile together with the designer Harley J. Earl. The interior was inspired by aircraft cockpits and dominated by an elegant steering wheel. The peculiarity of the design was the large-scale front with hidden headlamps, which dipped behind in rocket-shaped rear trunks lids. In 1956, Harley J. Earl developed the family-friendly four-seater Firebird II for General Motors, offering every imaginable comfort. Many of his advanced features have been produced on a large scale. Just three years later, Harley presented the Firebird III and the Cadillac Cyclone to the global public – both of which never went into production.
Visionary Guiseppe Bertone and the overlord Marcello Gandini
Fast Forward is full of celebrity appearances of famous designers in all their grandeur. It includes the visionary Guiseppe Bertone or Marcello Gandini, who is also referred to as the overlord of all automobile designers. Arnold MG, designed by Guiseppe Bertone, even made it into the international production process with 460 units. The development of further automobiles gave Bertone the title of the best carbody-work artist of his time. The good reputation attracted a new generation of skilled workers. Giorgetto Giugiaro and later Marcello Gandini, who shouldered the responsibility for the Lamborghini Miura, Marzal and Espada, found their way to Bertone. With the combined efforts of these two, the designer house Bertone witnessed a golden era, which was then globally considered to be ahead of its time.
Visionary vehicle DeLorean DMC-12 by Giorgio Giugiaro
Anyone familiar with the legendary film triology “Back to the Future” will remember the DeLorean DMC-12 with its role as a time machine. Its square casing of matt shimmering stainless steel with modern swing doors was more of a visual treat than the actual built integrated, and delivered a rather mediocre technology. With only 130km/h of maximum performance, the DeLorean did not do justice to its dramatic appearance. In 1981, the vehicle designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro went into production; but rolled on the street only for three years.
The car of the future: Ford 021C by Marc Newson
Not only the vintage ones, but the concept cars of the 21st century are also presented in Fast Forward on the pages at the back. Marc Newson’s Ford 021C shown in the header image for instance, was not intended for production right from the start. The Ford, which Newson first presented in Tokyo in 1999, served him only for the implementation of his retro-futuristic visions of the future of automobiles. The sedan with a 1.6-litre engine and 99 hp, with four doors, side swivelling front seats and a movable dashboard clearly emphasises the trend-setting futuristic approach.
Fast Forward takes you on a ride through the history of the concept cars and demonstrates how mobility has developed and how exciting this industry will be in the future with the most extraordinary automotive designs of our time.
If you wish to take yourself on a ride of discovering great automotive designs, browse through our category Cars. Along with automobile design, we recommend the impressive pictorial catalogue Ever since I was a young boy, with 252 pages full of current sports cars.
Header image: Fast Forward, S.72-73, Alfa Romeo
Posted on 18.05.2018
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