Wednesday, 10 February 2021

1959 Ford Galaxie

Throughout the 1950s, car designers in Detroit stretched and expanded their vehicles in all dimensions while applying ever more extravagant chrome decoration.  Every piece of trim and every bodywork moulding was designed to emphasise the sense of horizontality. This brochure depended on the talents of illustrators to bring the car to life and inspire some excitement in the reader.  Photography still had its limitations - an accomplished illustrator could subtly glamourise the product with discreet exaggeration and an imaginative way with colour.  A wedding theme runs through the imagery and we see the menfolk drool over the external finish while the women are swooning over the spacious interior.  There’s a touch of Hollywood about the wide-screen visualisation that places the viewer inside the vehicle while the ethereal bridesmaids dance in attendance.  Detroit was a city of ad agencies that specialised in serving the auto industry and the illustrators they engaged would often go on to stellar careers elsewhere, armed with the depth of their experience in keeping one step ahead of the camera with their transcendent visions of automobile perfection. By launching the car as the Galaxie, Ford was capitalising on public interest in the space race - galactic space is the infinity of space. The name survived for 15 years until it was retired in 1974. 1959 Ford models would go on to win a gold medal at the Brussels World Fair for styling elegance - an unusual accolade for Detroit industry.


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