View Full Version : The Pre-War Revival Design Contest

04-02-2008, 06:16 AM

Deusenberg, Delahaye, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Auburn</st1:place></st1:city>, Isotta Fraschini, Cord…the list goes on. In the extravagant Pre-War years, small “artisan” coachbuilders churned out bespoke automotive masterpieces which represented the absolute pinnacle of luxury and exclusivity. The world’s richest and most glamorous socialites—be they tycoons of industry, Hollywood heavyweights, even crime bosses—wore their automobiles like fashion accessories to black tie galas, state dinners, and philanthropy events; each car was painstakingly handcrafted, colored, and trimmed to their personal specifications. These coachbuilt beauties symbolized an era characterized by euphoria and sheer decadence… the proverbial calm before the storm. Never since has the coachbuilding industry regained its footing among the world’s most elite consumers; stiff regulations, increasing consolidation within the automotive industry, and skyrocketing costs for design, engineering, labor, and materials have all but eradicated the market for individually-commissioned, one-off automobiles.
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However, the growing ranks of the ultra-rich all over the world represent lucrative possibilities for bespoke automobiles. Royalty, heads of industry, and their wealthy heirs—their coffers overflowing with cash—are increasingly willing to pay whatever it takes for the ultimate in exclusivity. Your task is to revive a defunct marque from the Pre-War years and design the coachbuilt car for the 21<SUP>st</SUP> Century: an automobile so fast, so expensive, so exclusive, and so obscenely beautiful that seven figures will seem too small a price. A car that, 75 years from now, will still awe and inspire, and will sit proudly on the fairways at <st1:place w:st="on"><ST1>Pebble Beach</ST1></st1:place>. No small task!


Best of luck designers! :)

Thanks to driven by design for the banner

04-02-2008, 09:57 AM
Wow! Props do Driven by Design!

I'll start mine now. This time I promise that i'll take my time and try and get it right!!

Quick question.. I want to do a Talbot I think, but in Europe the name is owned by Peugeot and was last used on Chrysler europe cars. Would that be too confusing and not exclusive enough?

04-02-2008, 02:53 PM
Nah, that will be fine.

04-02-2008, 02:54 PM
The exclusive ones are actually the Talbot-Lago, as opposed to Talbot which was part of Rootes and later Chrysler, and finally used on Simcas by Peugeot. Talbot-Lagos and Talbots are two totally different things!

04-02-2008, 10:54 PM
Haha, well then scratch that! Thanks for the clarification :)

04-03-2008, 07:38 AM
Pretty cool, maybe I'll have time for this one since I missed the last one. But then again, who knows...

04-07-2008, 02:46 AM
Started on my entry.

04-07-2008, 04:23 AM
I've started on mine, but it is so difficult to pick from just one marque to do. There are so many possibilities with this one.

04-07-2008, 09:52 AM
ok so ive scrapped my duesenberg design and sorta finalized sumfin new... holidays next week and so time prolli wont be a problem like usual.

PS. pity the contest ends 1 day b4 i get my markers :D soooo excited!!!

04-08-2008, 02:25 AM
I feel like we've done something like this before

04-14-2008, 05:13 AM
JDT rvives Deusenberg


have'nt sketched in a while, getting back into my groove...
Crits comments welcome...

04-15-2008, 02:18 PM
The revival of Talbot:


in terms of my presentation, i tried to put the car almost in the shadows as to pronounce its curvature. The car itself is finished in a light grey blue and the cabin a velvety dark red to add a beautiful contrast of colors. The front grille is finished in chrome, and modern LED and xenon headlights sit beside the grille low down like the originals. At the rear , thin, elegant LED brake lights fit gracefully along the rear bumper, two round exhaust pipes sit centrally and modestly. The car is powered by 2 choices of engines, a 3.6 V6 and a 4.2 V8. And a hybrid is also in the works, as well as coupe versions

04-15-2008, 05:19 PM
Sorry for the crappy quality pics. Scanner still not working properly and it's close to being thrown through the window...

anyway, here's my entry.

It's a Cord, and it is designed to be an all American alternative to the Rolls Royce Phantom.


04-17-2008, 12:11 AM
hey prod ur 3/4 is lookin sweet. love the angle :thumbsup:

04-17-2008, 02:35 PM
hey prod ur 3/4 is lookin sweet. love the angle :thumbsup:


I think it looks quite bad myself, it looks too sporty next to the more elegant side profile. But at least I tried a slightly different angle to my usual angle.

We'll call the 3/4 the Sport model and the side view the luxury model lol!

04-18-2008, 09:22 AM
Yeah, erm, pretty simple redesign. Keeping the spirit of the earlier cars.

04-18-2008, 12:39 PM
Did u design that or is it purely photoshop? If its surely photoshop it wont count here dude.

04-18-2008, 12:52 PM
Its based on a rough sketch, then I just rendered it in added background etc in Photoshop.. I can show the orginal sketch, but not now as I am at work. This image has suffered somewhat during the converstion to jpeg format. The large number of colours meant its a rather poor resolution to keep the file size low.

04-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Yes, it counts. Very nice render, too.

Anyone mind if I extend this a bit? I'd like to get my entry in, I just don't think I can have it finished by tomorrow as I'm pretty busy :/

04-18-2008, 06:12 PM
An extension is fine by me. I should hopefully be posting my Delage tonight.:bananadance:

04-19-2008, 01:12 AM
Had more time than I thought :D So maybe an extension won't be necessary (unless Citroeniste or anyone else needs more time).

This is my idea for a resurrection of Delahaye, who with the help of Figoni et Falaschi created some of the most extravagant and timelessly beautiful cars of the Pre-War period. Of particular note were their billowing curves and the abundant but tasteful use of chrome. I tried to modernize the look, but only just so... I wanted to maintain the integrity of the style by keeping the classic proportions (hence the massive rear overhang) and details but with just enough of a streamlining to make it relevant today. I envision V12 power with a supple 8-speed automatic transmission. It would be massive, ostentatious, and extremely individualistic. Which goes without saying that only the very wealthiest few could afford one.

Anyway, hope ya like :) Great entries, all. and again, holler if you need more time.


04-19-2008, 04:38 AM

Here is my resurrected classic: the Delage D12-480 Berline. In the 1930s, Delage was known as "La Belle Voiture Francaise" - The Beautiful French Car. I once read a quote (I don't remember from who), that said "A Rolls is the car a man buys for his wife. A Delage is the car he buys for his mistress."

I drew a bit of inspiration from the Delage Aerosport and other designs by Letourneur & Marchand as well as the work of Henri Chapron and Figoni & Falaschi. I wanted my design to evoke the elegance and sensuality of 1930s French coachbuilding in a thoroughly contemporary means.

I envision my Delage offering a choice of supercharged or normally aspirited v12 engines.

I had a hard time deciding which pre-war classic marque to choose - there are so many!
As a result, I should be able to start my own gallery soon with sketches Delahayes, Cords, Talbot-Lagos, and Dusenburgs!

04-19-2008, 09:17 AM
For some reason my scanner made the profile elevation shorter (in length) and taller than my original drawing.:confused:

04-19-2008, 10:37 AM
wow dom. that is amazing. it would make RR look cheap and unimaginative if produced!!! excellent!

the future
04-19-2008, 01:17 PM
I made some sketches of a modern elegant Cord that takes the brand spirit into the 21st century. Looking at your entries, I see that the general taste goes more in the direciton of retro (or even replica), so it would be wasted time to finish my entry. Maybe next time.

04-19-2008, 01:29 PM

This is my 2009 Duesenberg SJ. I was going to render it with markers but they haven't arrived yet :headbang: so it looks kinda unfinished. Enjoy & please C+C

04-19-2008, 03:26 PM
I made some sketches of a modern elegant Cord that takes the brand spirit into the 21st century. Looking at your entries, I see that the general taste goes more in the direciton of retro (or even replica), so it would be wasted time to finish my entry. Maybe next time.

I don't think that's necessarily the case. The contest is about our individual interpretations of a chosen brand, not necessarily a throwback. Take a look at Vexed&Glorious' and Opp-Lock's entries, for example. Many of my initial sketches were, like yours, much more modern in shape. But when I finally settled on Delahaye I tried to remain as true to the original style as possible simply because I found it elegant and expressive, not because I necessarily had to make it retro.

I'd encourage you to post your idea, the more diversity the better!! :)

the future
04-19-2008, 05:42 PM
This is the new CORD - the revival of one of the greatest marques in automotive history. The new CORD is a comfortable and luxurious four-seater convertible built for the design and technique enthusiast. The question was "how would the constructors of the original CORD design a car today?" Timeless and elegant Continuing the spirit of CORD automobiles from the 1930s, the new CORD is designed to stay modern for decades and combines a minimalistic design with Art Déco elements. Inspiration was taken from luxury yachts, Bang&Olufsen sound systems as well as contemporary architecture. The traditional swept-around chrome bands, the wing-style side mirrors and the circular matt finished aluminum rims create a luxurious appearance. Technology and Comfort The new CORD features a long wheelbase to maximize interior space, thus allowing comfortable travelling for four adult passengers. The canvas roof is retractable and equipped with a rear window made of glass. Power comes from a 6l-V12 and is transferred to all four wheels.


04-20-2008, 01:16 AM
Sorry for the late entry.. was only able to get the line drawing down for the general shape, ran out of time for 3/4 view, shading, etc.

This is my Delage D9 coupe, a direct competitor in the ultra-luxury coupe segment which includes the Aston Martin DB9, Bentley Brooklands and Rolls-Royce Phantom coupe.


P.S. Go Citroeniste, my new corporate partner! ;)

04-20-2008, 02:55 AM
This is the new Duesenberg, though I am mad at it because of the thick lead. Comments PLEASE

04-20-2008, 05:59 AM

Glad to see that participation really picked up toward the end. Thank you all for the terrific entries, the voting thread will be up shortly.

Best of luck to all!! :)

04-20-2008, 06:17 AM
Once again, thank you to all entrants for the great participation and wonderful ideas. The variety of marques and consequent diversity of design directions was impressive. Time to pick your favorites. Voting is the same as usual; 10 points divided among your four favorite entries. Incomplete or incorrect votes will be disqualified; for more information, consult the voting rules here (http://www.carspyshots.net/showthread.php?t=2363). Best of luck to all, and thanks for voting!

Here are the entries in the order received (thumbs, not a gallery, hope that's ok) :

VexedandGlorious - JDT/Duesenberg
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/9831/vexedandgloriousvn6.th.jpg (http://img143.imageshack.us/my.php?image=vexedandgloriousvn6.jpg)

mrfdesign - Talbot Lago
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/5606/mrfdesignqo1.th.jpg (http://img151.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mrfdesignqo1.jpg)

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/6100/prodigybk5.th.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/my.php?image=prodigybk5.jpg)

DesignLord - Talbot Lago
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/6411/designlordzz0.th.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/my.php?image=designlordzz0.jpg)

DoMiNo - Delahaye
http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/2297/delahayemc6.th.jpg (http://img139.imageshack.us/my.php?image=delahayemc6.jpg)

Citroeniste - Delage
http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/3426/citroenistecombinedgw6.th.jpg (http://img185.imageshack.us/my.php?image=citroenistecombinedgw6.jpg)

Opp-Lock - Duesenberg
http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/7510/opplockba1.th.jpg (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=opplockba1.jpg)

the future - Cord
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/3505/thefutureyj0.th.jpg (http://img143.imageshack.us/my.php?image=thefutureyj0.jpg)

rodgerdodger - Delage
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/8889/rodgerdodgerfz4.th.jpg (http://img143.imageshack.us/my.php?image=rodgerdodgerfz4.jpg)

NelsonDesign - Duesenberg
http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/6211/nelsondesignzs6.th.jpg (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=nelsondesignzs6.jpg)

As always, let me know of any broken/missing links. Good luck and thanks for voting!

04-20-2008, 11:29 PM

04-21-2008, 01:16 AM
DesignLord -4
Citroeniste - 2
Domino- 1

04-21-2008, 01:45 AM
wow!!!! great participation!!! :beer::dancebob::bananadance::bows:


04-21-2008, 02:36 PM
This was harder than usual to vote as I love all the entries! The quality of all of these ideas were awesome and very varied.

So my decisions are based purely on the brief "design a modern pinnacle of automotive luxury based on a nameplate from the distant past"

You'll have to forgive me as I don't know (and haven't researched) all the pre-war nameplates, so I can't judge how well you've all incorporated your chosen brands design cues.

4 = Opp lock. Automotive luxury is the theme, and this fits the brief perfectly. I love the design, and those headlights are awesome. EDIT: This may not be a sedan, but it's the most practial and largest of all the 2 door entries.
3 = Citroeniste. I wasn't sure about this at first. "Lancia Thesis" I said out loud. But it fits the brief well and looks awesome.
2 = DoMiNo. As always, if these contests were about skill then you'd walk away with the title. I also think your design is the best here. So why have I only given you 2 points? Well if this is to be the pinnacle of automotive luxury, then it has either got to be a sedan or a supercarish Bugatti type thing IMO. While this car is beautiful and stunningly good looking, the revived Delahaye couldn't survive very long with the very low numbers a car in this niche would sell. Rolls Royce couldn't have the Drophead coupe for example without the Phantom.
1 = Rodgerdodger. An awesome design, but again as with DoMiNo's I really do feel that this niche wouldn't be big enough for Delage to survive long term. DoMiNo's just pipped yours because of the sheer beauty of it, but I like your design almost as much.

As for the rest, as I said - I found voting very very hard and I kept changing my mind as to who got the points.

Mrfdesign - I love your Talbot Lago. I very nearlly did a talbot lago myself. The problem I have with your design is.. it's a tad small i think. You couldn't charge more than $40k for it, it looks not much bigger than a beetle cabrio. So as the theme was all about luxury, i'm affraid you get nil points from me.

04-21-2008, 05:31 PM
Outstanding work as usual! I think you might have surpassed the flamboyance of F&F and gone straight after Saoutchik with this Delahaye! It's a very expressive design :thumbsup:

3- Opp Lock
Dusenburgs were always among the most massive and imposing high-performance automobiles of their era, and you have that down! Imagine seeing that coming up rapidly in your rear-view mirror! I would be very interested to see how you would treat this in color. Great work!

2- Rodgerdodger
Definite Aerosport cues in the belt/window treatment. Retro, yet still modern, its proportions remind me of the 350Z, but it is very elegant.

1-The Future
A very clean design, recognizable as a Cord, yet not retro. I like the way you handled the convertible top.

Great job everyone!

04-21-2008, 09:09 PM
6 - DoMiNo , u deserve to win this because your entry has knocked every other entry out of the water, its on another level. I cannot fault one thing.
2 - design lord, i like its stance it looks very big and mean
1 - Citroeniste , nice looking car, the render is alright too
1 - Prodigy , interesting take on an american RR

04-21-2008, 10:11 PM
4 - DoMiNo
3 - Citroeniste
2 - the future
1 - rodgerdodger

driven by design
04-22-2008, 12:19 AM
As much as I'd have liked to have participated in this contest, I really didn't get the time to, and it seems that any effort I might have made to create an entry would have been wasted because all of these entries are so much better than anything I had in mind. I am amazed that my contest theme generated such incredible results ... I kinda thought nobody would participate! The interpretations of classic swept fender design are surprisingly varied. I honestly don't think I'd have stood a chance ... most of my designs came off being too modern to me, and now I feel creatively stunted compared to the flexible imaginations of all you guys. :)

DesignLord - 4
Wonderful presentation. I came up with a conceptual Bentley design some time ago which I imagined looking extremely similar to this Talbot of yours, but I didn't have the ability to render it as you have at this wonderful angle. Even though the front end reminds me an awful lot of a Morgan Aero, the profile is quintessentially Talbot. Truly impressive.

citroeniste - 3
I admire how this looks to emulate the swept fender look that is now increasingly in vogue among many manufacturers. Most of the designs here have some form of stylish fender design, but yours has a uniqueness to it that seems a bit like a Maserati, but more posh. I think the DLO and shoulder came down a bit too low on your profile sketch, however.

rodgerdodger - 2
While this is a simple sketch, your proportions are such that I can interpret what you envisioned. Definitely brings to mind the motif of the Bentley Continental, wherein the bulging shapes of yesteryear are smoothly integrated into the profile, rather than being separate design elements from the body.

Domino - 1
This is certainly among your finest works, if not the finest, in my opinion. I hate to give you last billing, but you also know I have to skew the vote to handicap you a bit. :devil1: This Delahaye is sensational, and instantly reminded me of one of the fat-fendered retro flying cars from The Fifth Element. Wonderful homages to the original designs abound on here. The perspective is dramatically exaggerated, yet perfectly balanced. The reflections are fantastic, and I love the chrome accent along the top of the sweeping fender. My only gripe, as before, is that we didn't get a front end shot. Everyone else had one, so it's disappointing to only get to see this thing in all its glory from the back. Please make a front end sketch and post it, at the very least!

the future
04-22-2008, 01:52 PM
We didn't have so many requirements this time - it was about drawing a highly exclusive "car that, 75 years from now, will still awe and inspire", and - of course - this car should revive a pre-war marque
5 - DoMiNo A gorgeous car - with its extreme shape and roundings it's so alluring that it's almost obscene. It is equally opulent like the original Delahaye cars and it would stand out on the road. There are lots of lines everywhere which may take a bit from the elegance of pre-war cars, but the absence of trendy design elements from today would keep it modern for many, many years. Apart from the covered rear wheels and the curved boot and fender line, the car looks up to date, so that it can hold respect to the original Delahaye cars.
2 - DesignLord How can one best revive a Talbot? By making a Talbot. You can't go wrong with that, although the original cars will always be preferred over any retro-copies. I'm impressed by the flamed surfaces, and there is nothing that stands out to irritate the eye. Just like on the Talbot Lago. But I'm not sure if this would be the automotive pinnacle of today...
2 - VexedandGlorious Duesenbergs were hand-built unique exemplars, mostly top-luxurious limousines. Your entry seems to be more like a trimmed-down high-performance roadster. I still give you this point because I prefer your design above other ones: there is a lot of continuity in it, the shapes of the design elements fit together, and the proportions are okay (besides, Duesenberg did really make real sports cars, they just aren't so typical for the brand). The absence of a windscreen makes the bonnet look even longer, plus there is the "big headlights" theme, so there is still a twist of Duesenberg in it.
1 - rogerdodger It's obviously an evolution of the Delage Aéro, so you did a good job on that. But have a look at the Aéro and the cars of that time, and then have a look at your Delage and the cars of today. It's just not so intriguing as it could have been, also because you seem to have made it more ordinary.

mrfdesign Looks like a replica to me and just too small to be a drop dead luxurious vehicle.
PRODIGY Cords were fast, absolutely future-oriented cars (FWD, retractable headlamps etc.), so I don't understand how you could have combined a Cord with the ultra-conservative, "feudal" Rolls-Royce. *shiver* ;)
Citroeniste Doesn't look as sporty as Delages used to be, with the upright grille, the low belt-line, the high side windows and that C-pillar.
Opp-Lock The trucky grille works, but the proportions, mainly the lack of space between front wheels and front doors, plus some "sporty" details let it appear too sporty and not elegant enough, it's more like a muscle car.
Nelson Design The front looks too baroque for the rest of the car. The "rest of the car" is a four-seat coupe à la Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. If you had called it a Delage, I would have understood your car better.

04-24-2008, 12:52 AM
First, the votes:

4 - Opp-Lock - A bold, striking shape that brings the Duesenberg marque into modern times. Despite being a simple line drawing, I find the presentation to be fresh and dramatic, and it makes me want to see the rest of the model lineup!

3 - Citroeniste - Beautiful evolution of classic Delage styling, brought soundly into the 21st century. Looks like a formidable competitor to contemporary Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin vehicles. I even like the blue color of the 3/4 sketch.. could be a classy signature color for the brand! Let's put our designs together and revive Delage ourselves! :naughty:

2 - Design Lord - Of the two Talbots here, yours seemed to blend classic and contemporary styling elements in balance to create a vehicle that could easily be sold in today's market - I see some Morgan Aero 8 in the front end, but handled in a much more elegant way than Morgan did! Your presentation is very nice too!

1 - DoMiNo - Another beautiful presentation, and a worthy vehicle to carry the Delahaye name. However, many of the baroque-leaning styling elements make this look more replicar than an actual attempt to bring the marque into modern times. But it is beautiful nonetheless!

And an honorable mention:

the future - Your effort is a notable one, particularly your treatment of the open top and the fantastic interior! I even liked the logo.. unfortunately, it may be too visually similar to Audi's four rings.. because on my first viewing of your drawing, my eye immediately went to the wheel centers, which appeared to have Audi logos in them, and the only thing I was able to see afterward was the R8-like overall shape of your design. Perhaps a bolder grille/hood treatment or less Audi-like door and greenhouse shapes would help make this more uniquely Cord. I admire the fact that you made a concerted effort to modernize the marque, more so than anyone else here (including me!), and I think that is a major part of what this contest was about. :)

Another great contest guys! Thanks for the votes! :woot1:

the future
04-24-2008, 03:49 PM
Rodgerdodger, thanks for your comments. It's interesting that you came up with Audi. When I look again at the parts you mentioned, I definitely see what you mean. Here I have made a collage for you - it contains all of the objects that led to my final design:


- original Cord: "soul" of the car (highly exclusive, ultra-modern, innovative, fast)
- original Cord: car type (compared to the average car of the specific era)
- Aston Martin DB9: combination of luxury and modern design
- Bang&Olufsen: minimalistic design
- luxury yachts: roof line and window line
- Burj-al-Arab (Dubai): combination of parallel lines and curved lines
- luxury yachts: ship bow --> creased nose
- original Cord: grille treatment
- Bang&Olufsen: CD holder --> wheel center
- original Cord: winged logo
- Bang&Olufsen: font style

04-26-2008, 03:18 AM
DesignLord - 2

VexedandGlorious - 4

DoMiNo -3

rodgerdodger - 1

great entries everyone.

04-27-2008, 09:07 PM
the future- 4

DoMiNo- 3

Opp-Lock- 2

rodgerdodger- 1

04-28-2008, 06:15 AM

A big thank you to everyone who voted and provided thoughtful commentary. This was a terrific contest in terms of overall participation and in the level of quality and creativity displayed by the entries. Let's keep up this level of participation in future contests!!!

Here are the final standings:

DoMiNo - 38
DesignLord - 20
Citroeniste - 19
Opp-Lock - 13
RodgerDodger - 9
the future - 7
Vexed&Glorious - 6
mrfdesign - 2
NelsonDesign - 0

Again, thanks so much your votes, thoughts, and critiques. I'll have a poll up for contest topics shortly, so get your pencils ready!! :thumbsup: