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Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
PANEL BEATING SPRAY PAINTING Two pack spray and bake booth CHASSIS WORK Measure and alignment system from Finland MINTYS BODYWORKS 107 Mornington Road Mornington Telephone 6244 4732 Facsimile 6244 3845 The first concept car is believed to be the Y-Job, a 1938 Buick designed by Harley Earl. 'Misterl', as his employees knew him, was Design Chief at General Motors from 1927 to 1958 and arguably the most influential automotive stylist to date. The Detroit News once described him as 'the father of the dream car' and when you look at some of his creation s the title is well-deserved. Buick, Pontiac, Chev rolet and Oldsmobile all got the Earl treatment. He and his team went on to develop the panoramic cur ved windshield as well as the jet aircraft-inspired tail fin, culminating in the 42 centimetre whoppers on the '59 Cadillac. A concept car is a mobile test-bed for components and systems soon to be built into updated or completely new mass-market cars. Some become pre-production vehicles and eventually production models but generally once they fulfil their purpose they are destroyed or end up in a company museum, storage, or the hands of a lucky collector. They might be unique in layout (sliding doors or three or six wheels) or come equipped with peculiarities such as automatically-adjusting rear spoiler, photo-sensitive glass roof with detachable top, vacuum-operated ashtray and handlebar steering. There have even been nuclear-powered and gyroscopically-controlled two-wheeled cars -- the concept of a concept car is limited only by the imagination of the designer. Few concept cars are functional, but there were some notable exceptions, such as a Lincoln Futura built by the Ford Motor Company in 1954. This car lay dormant for many years before being rebor n as the Batmobile in the Batman TV series, first shown in 1966. With today's automobile manufacturers engaged in a constant battle of one-upmanship regarding design innovation, the major international motor shows tend to focus more on what is new and what is evolving. There has been a marked shift from extravagance to practicality, with the emphasis fir mly on alter native fuels and compact vehicles. By 2030 more than 60% of the world's eight billion people will live in urban areas, which will place enor mous pressure on a public infrastr ucture already buckling under the growing demand for transportation. Some automotive makers have responded by addressing the need for personal mobility through a radical change in the way we get about, particularly in cities. Cars such as the EN-V (Electronic Networked Vehicle) are two- seat electric vehicles designed to alleviate the issues of traffic congestion, parking, emissions and affordability. Kevin Wale is President and Managing Director of the GM China Group that has co developed three variants of the EN-V to be shown during Expo 2010 in Shanghai. "The EN-V reinvents the automobile by creating a new vehicle DNA through the convenience of electrification and connectivity," he says. "It provides an ideal solution for urban mobility that enables future driving to be free from petroleum and emissions, free from congestion and accidents, and more fun and fashionable than ever before." And with a new generation of 'fold-up' cars also on the horizon, the dawn of another motoring era is about to break. 1951 Le Sabre Photo edvvc Above; The jet aircraft-inspired 1958 Firebird III Photo General Motors Left: The 1954 Lincoln Futura Photo Ford Life on the move Above: 2005 Holden Efijy, based on the FJ Holden Photo carsaroundadelaide Right: EN-V Photo General Motors 37 June /July 2010
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