The car has come a long way from an interesting invention and leisure vehicle to a necessity for modern life. This has been largely driven by technological advances in manufacturing, materials and design.
The first significant change in car design came with the Ford Model T; it introduced a mass production process that made motor cars affordable and available to more people. This changed the whole face of car design and opened up a new market for manufacturers.
The Great Depression
The United States experienced a severe economic crisis in the years 1929 to 1939, known as the Great Depression. The stock market crash of October 1929 caused a dramatic drop in consumer spending and investment that pushed the economy into recession. This downturn resulted in widespread unemployment, homelessness, and a marked decrease in American standard of living.
The Great Depression, though a relatively brief period of economic distress, changed the way Americans viewed their government. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration, led by the New Deal, helped lift the nation out of this economic abyss through a series of government programs designed to stimulate industrial production and employment.
In addition to changing the way we view the government, the depression also changed economic thinking. As a result, many economists, and the public at large, adopted the Keynesian view that government could and should stabilize demand to prevent future depressions from occurring.
While this approach was initially supported by a significant portion of the American public, over time it became unpopular. This view was largely fueled by the fact that the American economy had been suffering from low industrial output, a lack of investment, and widespread unemployment.
As a result of these factors, the United States experienced a prolonged economic contraction that was far more severe than that in other industrialized countries. Moreover, the United States’ banking system suffered from fundamental weaknesses that contributed to panic and the subsequent failure of almost half of the nation’s banks.
One of the most significant contributions to the evolution of car design during this period was the invention of the monocoque. This single-hull chassis made the car lighter and more durable. It also allowed engineers to integrate headlight, runner boards and fenders into the body of the vehicle, making it look sleeker and more elegant than previous designs.
Another significant advancement in automobile design during this time was the development of automatic transmissions. This allowed cars to be more efficient, safer, and faster than their predecessors.
The 1930s were a difficult period for the automotive industry, but despite these setbacks, the nation did manage to make some major advances in automotive technology. Some of these innovations, such as hydraulic brakes, gearshifts and built-in car trunks, had the potential to dramatically improve profitability for automobile manufacturers in the future.
The monocoque, a form of single-shell construction, was an important design development that revolutionised the evolution of car design. It made it possible to reduce a vehicle’s weight without compromising its structural integrity, while also providing improved safety for the driver and passengers.
The word monocoque comes from the French term coque, which means “shell.” It refers to a type of structural frame that consists of one unit, or shell, rather than multiple beams and joints. This technique is most commonly found in aircraft, but can be used to construct vehicles as well.
In the early 1980s, a major advancement in monocoque design occurred in Formula 1 racing. In a move that would later become commonplace, McLaren developed a carbon fibre moulded monocoque for their MP4/1C racer.
This was a big step forward in the history of car monocoque construction and was the first time that this method was used in a Formula One racer. However, some rival teams still had reservations about the use of composites for chassis manufacture, and it took a while for McLaren to convince everyone that they had made the right decision.
Another key factor that helped the development of the monocoque was the introduction of high performance engines that could reach higher altitudes and faster speeds. This meant that airplanes needed a skin that was strong enough to handle the increased pressure and velocity inside the cabin, but also light enough to be able to carry large fuel loads.
As a result, the body of most modern cars is not true monocoques. They are more similar to unitary or unibody structures, which use a system of box sections, bulkheads and tubes to provide most of the strength, while the stressed skin adds relatively little strength or stiffness.
To achieve the required strength, layers of different mats based on anticipated loads are inserted between these fabrics. The structure is then heated in a special autoclave under negative pressure. The resulting carbon-fibre-reinforced shell is strong enough to resist very large impact loads and can weigh as little as 35 kg (5.5 stone).
Carbon fiber monocoque designs are very light but are also very robust, making them the preferred choice of the FIA. This is a good thing, as it ensures that the team has the safety of the driver in mind during design.
Pontoon styling is an automotive design genre that spanned from the 1930s through the 1960s. It was a significant shift from the earlier distinct running boards and articulated fenders to full-width bodywork that enclosed the car’s entire width and uninterrupted length.
Ponton styling was introduced during World War II in an attempt to make cars more visually cohesive. It was influenced by military tanks that had tread armor along each side of the vehicle that looked like pontoons – a concept that was later adopted for automobiles.
While many of the early designs were very odd looking and certainly looked out of place with modern streamlined cars, some had a positive impact on the evolution of automobile design. For example, the Stout Scarab was an important trend-setter that took advantage of a rear engine layout to maximize interior space.
The Ponton style was also used on smaller, streamlined race cars in France and Italy before the war, such as the Bugatti T32 “Tank” two-seaters designed by Ettore Bugatti. Unlike Jaray’s aerodynamic approach, Bugatti believed that the airfoil shape would reduce drag and improve top speed.
Some of these small, streamlined cars were quite good looking. For example, the 1934 Praga Super Piccolo featured a very similar design.
But the earliest truly large-scale Ponton style was the Maybach DS 8 Stromlinie Limousine shown at the 1932 Berlin Motor Show. This was the first true big-bodied Ponton style and it had a huge influence on the world’s automakers.
However, many of the larger pontoon cars were a bit awkward and lacked balance. The Skoda W125 Rekordwagen (top left) was one of the first Ponton-styled cars that were based on an old-fashioned chassis, but it still looks a lot better than the slab-sided Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B (1939), Delahaye 135 cabriolet by Guillore (bottom right), and Hooper Rolls (bottom left).
These early designs were very difficult to get right, especially in terms of balance and size. The pontoon fender style was not suited to the large, complex chassis of the 1940s, as it was only a matter of time before manufacturers started building cars with shorter hoods and less front overhang.
The 1970’s was a decade of dramatic changes in the world. The Vietnam War ended and the Cold War got colder. The oil embargo forced Americans to look for fuel efficient cars and the car industry changed dramatically.
American buyers began buying compact cars that were affordable and efficient. These cars were designed with function over form in mind and they became very popular.
These cars were made by American companies. They were more fuel efficient and had better gas mileage than the previous models that were made. These were designed for the average consumer, and the car industry was able to get their products out there quickly.
The chevy Monte Carlo and the Ford Mustang were two of the most popular vehicles in the 1970’s. They were both very popular because of there new features and designs.
They were also very easy to drive and made the drivers job much easier! These cars were very popular and were a lot of fun to drive.
This was a great time to be a teenager. These were the days when you could wear halter tops and tube tops!
A lot of people were looking for a way to be trendy. Fashion came a long way in the 1970’s. They were not afraid to try new things.
It was also a time when many different kinds of music were becoming popular and it was exciting to see the new bands and styles that were making there way. Punk rock and New Wave were very popular.
Another craze that was big in the 1970’s was disco. They stole some of the elements from funk and rock to create a very popular music and dance style that was very cool!
The era had many fads and crazes, and these things would come and go. Some of these fads were based on fashion like bell-bottoms and hot pants. Others were based on exercise and sports, such as jogging and aerobics.
Some of these fads were also based on the different lifestyles and attitudes that America had at this time. They were a time when people became more independent and had less family support.