Gordon Davis – Design Team of Chrysler Forward Look
In 1957 Chrysler introduced “The Forward Look,” a line of tail-finned automobiles that catapulted car design from the cautious early 50s designs to embrace something futuristic and imaginative.
Chrysler shocked the competition.
From Gordon Davis who was there and a part of this design revolution…
“I know. I was there: a twenty-year-old kid who had been hired by Virgil Exner at Chrysler Styling in 1955. I was paid $350 a month to do what I’d dreamed of doing all my life.
Most designers I knew back then have either passed, or are otherwise unable to share their work with a public hungry for memories of this crescendo of car design. Some were simply forced to leave their work – their sketches and diagrams – with Chrysler. It has been 62 years since joining Chrysler, yet I’ve somehow been able to save a number of illustrations and sketches from that time.
In the past year or so, I posted several concept car images on Facebook. The response was overwhelming. Following are some typical responses received from those postings.
“What was it like, to be a part of something, that sixty-years later, people are still nuts about?” “Thank you for being a part of the greatest automotive design team in history!” “Without your designs, my classic ’62 Dodge convertible wouldn’t be in my garage.” “You were ahead of your time with that Dodge Daytona rear wing.” “Wow Gordon. This is why I love this page!” “Wonderful legacy. Beautiful art!”
You really don’t have to be a car lover to respond to these designs. They showcase a vision of the future that was radical and fun and fulfilled our imaginations. Based on this enthusiasm, I have arranged for selections of my design to be giclee printed on archival paper, individually signed and ready for matting and framing. I played a part of the design movement that transformed the automotive world until the surge of economics and politics caught up with us in the seventies. Oh well, you can buy a print of what was released in our imagination in the late fifties!”