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Old 09-04-2020, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
Just for some insight.
In 1920s, General Motors dealerships were complaining to the corporation that shoppers were making noises about all cars beginning to look alike, with implications about the viability of new car sales. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
In 1926, General Motors embraced design-obsolescence as official corporate policy, whereas, all cars would have a different 'look' each year, every year.
It was like BAYER HEROIN to the buying public, and since GM was the largest automaker at the time, any company hoping to compete in the market would have to buy into the 'law of the Paris dressmaker', as Alfred P. Sloan expressed.
Ever since, and to this day, the exterior design of automobiles has been driven by 'styling', not technology.
In 1963, another real nutcase, by the name of Walter Korff, presented at the annual SAE Congress, advocating for real aerodynamics, as Alex Tremulis had advocated at the close of WW-II, and Carl Breer had going into WW-II.
H. Schmude ( sp?) of GM countered Korff with the counter-argument that, if all cars were designed 100% aerodynamic, that wouldn't they all look alike and the designer have nothing to do?
We're still at this impasse today.
Foreign competition and CAFE standards have forced incremental aerodynamic improvements over the ensuing decades, at least for the US market.
This is the context of Julian Edgar's experience that there's so little in the extant literature, which might direct attention towards 'template' automobiles that, if they did find public acceptance, would spell the end of styling and the end of the aerodynamicists who work under them.
You won't see Boeing or any other aerospace company roll out a new fuselage each year. Or a new nuclear submarine hull. Rectal suppositories. Or boutique, designer ammunition.
I suppose someone who believes in some pretty odd car aerodynamic theories was bound to also be a believer in a conspiracy theory about a lack of aerodynamic progress.
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