John Samsen was a major design force for the first T-birds and the Barracuda. The dude liked to paint what he saw in his head.
Want to share the pictures in his head?
Samsen worked on the design team that was America’s answer to the European sports car. The answer was the first personal luxury car: the Thunderbird. In its first year 1955, it outsold the Corvette 23:1. While at Ford until 1957, he worked on Ford’s experimental Cougar and the 1957 line-up of Fords. Moving to Chrysler, (why? did they need him more?), he immediately got involved in trying to save the Desoto through sheer design ingenuity. (You should see the awesome design concepts, but it didn’t wash.)
He soon became a design force on the Barracuda, the Plymouth Fury, Road Runner, the imperious Chrysler Imperial and the mysterious Duster. You can read about his design work in Motor Trend, Muscle Car Enthusiast and Hemmings.
1955 Thunderbird by one of its designers, John Samsen
Samsen’s work demonstrates rigorous training as an aerospace engineer combined with a dedicated quest for spiritual discovery and enlightened consciousness. Perfect for the freedom and exploration of the sixties, eh?
Since then, the name John Samsen has become equally recognized for his automotive art, as well as exquisite landscapes and seascapes.
1970 Hemi *Cuda* Barracuda by one of its designers, John Samsen
He produced a documentary “We Dreamed the Dream Cars!” Car design legend Virgil Exner has lauded the documentary and Samsen’s passionate work:
“It is an extremely colorful presentation of his excellent taste and forethought as well as his own life experiences with automobiles and family life. John, certainly, creates an overall portrait of the life, mostly fun and many times frustrating, that a good artist with design conviction goes through… “
Fine art giclee prints of Samsen’s work available on the finest archival papers are ready for framing. Click on Samsen Fine Art Prints.