EMP Update version 5

Oldsmobile’s Golden Rocket
An interior shot of Oldsmobile’s Golden Rocket, a “dream car” from the 1956 GM Motorama. The huge steering wheel was articulated, with the lower part folding forward for ease of entry. The two-spoke vee design and split dashboard appeared, in watered-down form, in the 1959 Oldsmobile.

Buick City, Cont’d.
From California, Jeff S. writes in: “I was particularly intrigued by the Buick City page because I was born and raised in Flint and worked for Buick Motor Division in Flint in the 1980’s. The shed in the photographs is on the roof of the Buick Engineering building at the Buick complex in Flint. I think it’s extremely likely that the photos were taken in order to give the artist details of the new models for the brochure renderings.” Thanks to Jeff for pinning down the exact location of the photos.

From 1947, one of the many futuristic renderings (by an undeservedly unknown artist, in the style of Arthur Radebaugh) used in the postwar ad campaign of Bohn Aluminum & Brass.

The Road to Zion
An illustration for Gilbert Papers by the Western artist Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), painted in the year of his death. It appeared posthumously in 1947. Dixon spent the final years of his life painting the southern Utah landscape around his summer home in Mount Carmel, near Zion Canyon. Not long after this oil was painted, the cliffs of the desert Southwest served as a backdrop for thousands of uranium prospectors at the start of the Atomic Age.

Buick City
With the aid of a high-powered scanner, satellite photography and Google, we’ve pretty much solved the mystery of the rooftop Buicks. Read all about it here. And see the pictures (more than a dozen new ones) here.

1954 Buick Roofmaster
Yet another curious shot, of two nicely turned out models pretending to drive a 1954 Buick . . . on the roof of an industrial-looking building in Michigan (according to the license plates of the cars in the background), probably around Detroit. Our best guess is that this was a study for the artists who illustrated the brochures. In a number of these photographs you can see the reflections of the people who took them.

The New Look
You may have noticed the site has undergone something of a makeover during the past week. We hope the result is that it looks less 1997 and more 1957. There’s also an RSS feed (top of this page) for people using newsreaders. In case of what might seem to be a broken link, try going back to the page you clicked on and hit “refresh,” then click again. Or better yet, clear your browser cache to purge any dead links.

Solitaire (1936)
ONLY A FEW jewels achieve the rare distinction of being “solitaires.” For only a few can appear magnificent without a flattering setting. The Packard, we feel, is one of those jewels. Even if you take away its proud name, even if you strip it of its enduring identity—it will still be a monarch among motor cars. It will still be a peer in mechanical excellence. It will still be without an equal in the luxury men and women love. But you can no more divorce a Packard from its name, from its prestige and identity, than you can separate it from its comfort, or the swift-flowing ease with which it rides the roads. For more than a third of a century, the Packard name has stood for the utmost in fine motor cars. Packard today has the largest fine car clientele in the world. More large Packards are in use in America than any three other fine cars combined.

Subtext: Packard is starting to feel the heat from Cadillac.

Words From the Wise (1936)
MOTORISTS who have been accustomed to higher priced cars (and have traded them in on LINCOLN-ZEPHYRS) are the most generous in their praises of this new kind of automobile. Quoting from a few of the many letters recently received: “It takes 70 as smoothly as 45 in any other car.” The V-12 engine in the LINCOLN-ZEPHYR, designed by Lincoln, built by Lincoln, develops 110 horsepower. The next car with a twelve-cylinder engine costs more than three thousand dollars. “My LINCOLN- ZEPHYR has gone over two thousand miles and I am pleased to report 15 to 16 miles to each gallon of gas.” Economy as well as stimulating performance is built into the LINCOLN-ZEPHYR. It writes a new record on the roads. The beauty of complete streamlining is evident at a glance. Seats are like divans. Passengers step from pavement directly onto the floor of the car . . .

The Virtual Buick
Photo from 1953 of a model seated at the controls of a 1954 Buick Roadmaster. Probably done as a study for illustrators to use in advertising and promotional materials, months before the actual cars were available.

Better Gears for Tomorrow’s Skyliners (1943)
A new era in transportation is on the way! Already skyliners of the future are past the experimental stage, and tomorrow promises a world of short distances—a world where Bagdad and Cairo, Moscow and Budapest will be little more than sleeper jumps from New York. The giant engines to power these airliners of the future are today a reality. Making gears for these engines is Foote Bros.’ job. When the war is won and these new gears can be produced for peacetime industry, they give promise of new efficiency—new economy to American manufacturers, whether they be applied to skyliner engines or machine tools, farm equipment or motor cars. Foote Bros. Gear and Machine Corp., Chicago

The Gauges of War, 1942
How to get home from Tokyo: Suddenly the arrow on a dial in front of you quivers . . . you’re on the beam, tuned the wave length of a radio-location set somewhere in China! Gruen . . . makers of the Precision Watch . . . and Precision Instruments for War.

South Pacific, 1942
The “Someday” of Global Skyways . . . is Here Today! Veterans of the air lanes over the Seven Seas since the first Pan American Airways Clipper hopped off for distant horizons are Chase Fabrics . . . specially woven upholstery, carpets, linings and curtains. L.C. Chase & Company, New York.

Parrot Jungle, 1942
Molded Plaskon is now playing an important part in the operation of radios, field and base telephones, and “walkie-talkies” used by our armed forces throughout the world. Plaskon Company, Toledo.

Dream Boat, 1943
Keep your spirits high—speed Victory. Buy U.S. War Bonds Today—Tomorrow command your own. Chris-Craft Corporation, Algonac, Michigan. World’s largest builder of motor boats. All men and women at the three Chris-Craft factories are working under the Army-Navy “E” with two stars for Excellence in War Pr