The Beauty of the Streamline Moderne Automobiles

1938 Graham

Streamline Modern is the late Art Deco style, which has evolved both in architecture and in industrial design. It appeared in the 1930s and differs in rounded and aerodynamic shapes, long horizontal lines and sometimes nautical elements.

The first streamlined buildings were detached from Bauhaus’s works, and the building considered the first of its kind is the Mossehaus.

The style was the incorporation of electrical light into the architectural structure. These elements were specific to the weather, especially SS Normandy. Many buildings were built like seagoing ships, such as cruise ships, but sometimes aircraft elements also blended. So Streamline Moderne meant speed. The aerodynamic forms of many automobiles from the 1930s to 1940 were a streamlined era in the automotive industry.

Modern Streamline cars seem to me the most beautiful, the most elegant, the most attractive and the most aesthetically successful. With the economic progress of the 1930s, cars began to take this trend, and in 1933 at the Chicago Universal Exhibition, Cadillac presented the Fleetwood V-16 Limousine. This model has become a true dream of wealthy people, being very elegant, modern and special.

Perhaps the most popular Streamline machine in Romania was Lincoln Zephyr, which was selling very well in a large store on the ground floor of the Malaxa block on Magheru. The car is really beautiful and has style. Streamline cars are different from each other in the 1920s.

A Lincoln Zephyr in Los Angeles, California. 1940

Cars of this type are very dear to me due to the fact that they do not have a design too sophisticated with much detail, like the 1920s, yet they are stylish. They are faster, being more aerodynamic, but fuel consumption is also lower. The consumption scheme works until today, only to think about saving money by buying new cars.

I like a lot like the wealth in the 1940s America. He had many faces and had not yet started on the road to architectural degradation. However, Streamline Moderne continued its existence until the 1950s-60s, after which it became something more magnificent, being modified with space elements. Due to the then trend, the cars ceased to be marine and airborne and became missiles, which were not at all ugly.

1934 Studebaker Land Cruiser
1934 Chrysler Imperial

Streamline cars are considered by many to be the most beautiful cars in history thanks to its impeccable design. The truth is that in this case we are talking about the famous Delahaye, Bugatti or Rolls Royce cars, which were exclusive and extremely expensive. These brands often appear as Art Deco and it’s not a lie, because Streamline Moderne is a part of this era. However, it would be better to call these Streamline machines.

As I said before, the Streamline Moderne style has evolved, being endowed with new elements over the years. For example, in the 1950s, the “tail of fish” element was ravaged among car lovers. The style of the seagoing ship sank to the aquatic world and at the same time it has exalted itself to other planets. The fish tail turned back to the rocket with the Americans’ tendency to search for space. Namely the Americans took this style further, because the Europeans minimized it to a maximum after the Second World War.

The decline of architecture in the 1960s has also hit the machinery industry. So many cars have suddenly turned into brutality, without making a harmonious transition. Fortunately, we have a beautiful legacy and our duty is not to forget it and keep the remains. And those who are conquered by this age must pass on the idea, so that we can do a revival as well as the Art Deco architecture.

1938 ADLER 2.5 litre Cabriolet
1936 Cadillac V-16 Series 90 Convertible Coupé
1940. Buick Limited Fastback Convertible Phaeton



Text by Claudiu C. CREȚU

Source:  SamsebeskazalHemmings, Wikimedia Commons

© The Bunget Arts & Culture 2018


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