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  #1  
Old 06-24-2011, 02:50 PM
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Default Squarebird designer question

I am reading the August 2011 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. On page 66 is an article about Alex Tremulis. Quite interesting - had to do with the Tucker, for example.

It goes on to say he went to Ford in 1952 and eventually was "given responsibility for redesigning the two-seat Thunderbird".

My knowledge of the design of the Squarebird is very modest, limited to books like Bill Boyer's and so on.

Does anyone know the extent of Mr. Temulis' role in the Squarebird? Was he part of a team or should we think of him soley as the source? Any info appreciated!

(he has a bio at http://www.tuckerclub.org/html/tremulis.php )

John

Last edited by JohnG : 06-24-2011 at 09:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2011, 09:27 PM
Alan H. Tast, AIA Alan H. Tast, AIA is offline
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During the period that the '58-'60 was in design, starting in mid-late 1955 through the late '50s, Tremulis was in the Advanced Styling studio, working on futuristic concepts from which ideas could be gleaned for projects that were more production-oriented. I need to go back through my research library and notes to get a more-objective understanding from his contemporaries about his involvement with production design during the late '50s regarding T-birds, but most accounts are that Tremulis was more responsible for the '60 full-size Ford design, which would have begun around the time the '58 was hitting production, and assisting with '61 T-bird design.

I think what you would find out is that the design work was more of a team effort, with designers often collaborating and sharing ideas and concepts (to a certain degree) by the time a car hit the production design phase and less of an egotistical "it's solely mine" affair. Tremulis had an attitude that clashed with other designers - along with the '60 Ford's poor sales performance and lack of public acceptance, both combined to his being forced out of Ford Motor Company some time in 1960 or 1961.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:02 PM
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Default Squarebird designer question

For even more information regarding Alex Tremulis go to the Technical Resource Library (TRL) and scroll down under the Magazines & Periodicals. There you will find the link to the Thunderbird Illustrated articles regarding the Tbird and Alex Tremulis and his work with them. I put that information up months ago.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2011, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H. Tast, AIA View Post
...Tremulis had an attitude that clashed with other designers - along with the '60 Ford's poor sales performance and lack of public acceptance, both combined to his being forced out of Ford Motor Company some time in 1960 or 1961.
This happened a lot. Even Harley Earl's design staff shared his ideas over at Buick.

FoMoCo was owned and operated by the Ford family. It was their money at stake. Body Design was kept under full security and the 'family' kept close tabs on new designs before they invested in expensive dies and tooling.

The truth is, most of the designers went to the same design school and they knew of each other. Another important fact is, designers fashioned car designs after WWII airplanes and jets. Hood ornaments looked like an airplane, huge tail lights looked like jet engine exhausts, wheel spinners looked like propellers, and fenders had gunsights.

Because 'the family' worked and partied with Body Design Managers, a popularity balancing act took place with careers at stake. The goal was to make as much profit as possible for Ford Motor Co., but it didn't always happen (who were the Edsel designers?). Car sales always won favor and those design managers ALWAYS took as much credit as they could even though they never stroked one line of design.

Ford also used 'contract' designers. Many times if their designs won, Ford Design Managers would hire them into the fold. It's a win-win situation; established Ford designers erred on the side of cautious and conservative changes to avert blame for fallen sales, but newly hired 'contracted' employees claimed their designs for the Body Design Group. Bottom line... everyone keeps their job.

Personality and politics is everything, on a corporate level. Seven times in seven years, Henry Ford II turned down the Mustang project. Iacocca worked with designers in secret, after hours, and sometimes away from Ford Motor Company. Remember again, Ford lost their butt on Edsel during this time. Finally Ford said to Lee, "It better work." Meaning, Iacocca's job was at stake (but so was Ford's investment). Iacocca won the most popular car in the world but Henry II still fired Lee because of personality differences. Internally, it was evident too. Lee's office was in Redford Township, many miles away from World Headquarters and Dearborn.

Body Design Teams emerged, mainly for self preservation. New safety and government standards, and aerodynamics, dictated dramatic changes in the way new cars look. Fins, spears and sharp wings were gone from all car designs. Lighter cars meant smaller cars and smaller engines. Gasoline prices, availability and fuel economy directly affected fleet designs (CAFE Standards).

So, '50's car designers were encouraged to fashion beautiful creations. They staked their career on each success or failure. Today, most cars look the same and I have never heard anyone ask, 'Who designed the 2011 Taurus or Crown Vic?' Bring back 'driving excitement' and beautifully designed pleasurecrafts. - Dave
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2011, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
This happened a lot. Even Harley Earl's design staff shared his ideas over at Buick.

FoMoCo was owned and operated by the Ford family. It was their money at stake. Body Design was kept under full security and the 'family' kept close tabs on new designs before they invested in expensive dies and tooling.

The truth is, most of the designers went to the same design school and they knew of each other. Another important fact is, designers fashioned car designs after WWII airplanes and jets. Hood ornaments looked like an airplane, huge tail lights looked like jet engine exhausts, wheel spinners looked like propellers, and fenders had gunsights.

Because 'the family' worked and partied with Body Design Managers, a popularity balancing act took place with careers at stake. The goal was to make as much profit as possible for Ford Motor Co., but it didn't always happen (who were the Edsel designers?). Car sales always won favor and those design managers ALWAYS took as much credit as they could even though they never stroked one line of design.

Ford also used 'contract' designers. Many times if their designs won, Ford Design Managers would hire them into the fold. It's a win-win situation; established Ford designers erred on the side of cautious and conservative changes to avert blame for fallen sales, but newly hired 'contracted' employees claimed their designs for the Body Design Group. Bottom line... everyone keeps their job.

Personality and politics is everything, on a corporate level. Seven times in seven years, Henry Ford II turned down the Mustang project. Iacocca worked with designers in secret, after hours, and sometimes away from Ford Motor Company. Remember again, Ford lost their butt on Edsel during this time. Finally Ford said to Lee, "It better work." Meaning, Iacocca's job was at stake (but so was Ford's investment). Iacocca won the most popular car in the world but Henry II still fired Lee because of personality differences. Internally, it was evident too. Lee's office was in Redford Township, many miles away from World Headquarters and Dearborn.

Body Design Teams emerged, mainly for self preservation. New safety and government standards, and aerodynamics, dictated dramatic changes in the way new cars look. Fins, spears and sharp wings were gone from all car designs. Lighter cars meant smaller cars and smaller engines. Gasoline prices, availability and fuel economy directly affected fleet designs (CAFE Standards).

So, '50's car designers were encouraged to fashion beautiful creations. They staked their career on each success or failure. Today, most cars look the same and I have never heard anyone ask, 'Who designed the 2011 Taurus or Crown Vic?' Bring back 'driving excitement' and beautifully designed pleasurecrafts. - Dave

Nothing have changed. Nothing. This is still, on the spot, true in todays Design departments. I work at one, but we know that all the others are also run by politics.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2011, 03:45 PM
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Ray and I discussed this just yesterday, Anders... Even the US military is highly motivated by politics and personalities. You gotta be a 'good ol' boy' for your career to advance.

I hate to bring this into the equation, but UNION memberships were designed to trump favoritism, nepotism, and all other stupid discriminations after a trial (usually 90-day) period. Everyone involved sat down at a table and they all agreed things would happen based on SENIORITY, not good looks.
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