"CARS: Freedom, Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything" by British writer Stephen Bayley is published by Conran Octopus Ltd / Octopus Books USA and is defined as "a love letter to th 86 most beautiful cars ever made."
It presents a chronological study of achievement in car design – from the 1908 Ford Model T to the1961 Jaguar E-Type to the 2003 BMW 5 Series.
The book is available both in the UK – hardcover slipcase (£75) and pocket-sized (£12.99) editions – and since November 2009 also in the US, hardcover slipcase edition only, at $65.
From the official Press Release:
This is not a book about compression ratios – this is a book about freedom, style, sex, power, motion, color, and design. CARS is about culture and, in many ways, a beautiful and timely swansong to the heyday of an industry that is fast running out of fuel.
The subtitle of CARS borrows from Tom Wolfe’s The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby . “Cars mean more to these kids than architecture did in Europe’s great formal century, say, 1750 to 1850,” wrote Wolfe. “They are freedom, style, sex, power, motion, colour – everything is right there.”
Stephen Bayley, award-winning British car journalist, design authority, and self-proclaimed culture guru presents a spectacular, chronological study of achievement in car design — from the 1908 Ford Model T to the 1961 Jaguar E-Type to the 2003 BMW 5 Series. Each car has a story and each makes a statement as to the national character of its country of origin; American flair, German technical supremacy, French chic, English antiquarianism, Japanese ingenuity, Swedish responsibility, and Italian sculpture.
With wit and humour and a keen sense of culture and history, Bayley marvels at the inventiveness of car designers and heralds the power of cars to represent and influence the culture, dreams, and collective spirit of the times.
The 86 cars he has chosen are commercial designs produced for the driving public and were not rarities or limited productions at the time they appeared on the market. Each car did, however, make a significant contribution to car design and raised the bar.
400 stunningly glamorous black-and-white toned photographs by Tif Hunter highlight form, shape and detail, both body and interior – every curve, nuance, and iconic emblem.
Bayley wanted the cars to be treated as architecture and to be photographed in a uniform way, as if they were buildings with an elevation and details.
Photographer Tif Hunter built a travelling studio to create the effect of an "infinity box", a white space without visual reference. The extraordinary, almost three-dimensional lustre was painstakingly achieved by using a color process printed in monochrome. All the cars were shot throughout England; with the exception of the BMW 328, which was photographed at BMW’s Museum in Munich.
- CARS: Freedom, Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything
- By Stephen Bayley –
Photography by Tif Hunter
- Publication date (US): November 2009
- 384 pages,
- ISBN: 9781840915044 – Hardcover/slipcase – Price: $65 (US)
- ISBN: 9781840915358 – Pocket-sized: £12.99 (UK)
About the Author
Stephen Bayley is one of the world’s best known commentators on modern culture and design, and cars are on of his many passions.
He has written extensively on automobiles and automobile design for 25 years for both car companies and numerous publications. He was awarded PPA Columnist of the Year for his car column in (British) GQ.
As a design consultant his clients include: Ford, Absolut Vodka, Volkswagen, Audi, Foster Associates, BMW, and the V&A Museum, among others.
Former Chief Executive of the Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design, he is an outspoken commentator on art and design, contributing frequently to numerous publications, appearing on radio and television, and lecturing atmuseums and universities all over the world.
His numerous books include Design: Intelligence Made Visible with co-author Terence Conran, published by Conran Octopus. He lives in London.
(Source: Octopus Books USA)