Illustration by George Bartell that appeared in Sports Car Graphic, November, 1963.
The Design Staff Library
Bookstores and public libraries are always a disappointment. We go to these places in search of inspiration, but it’s always in short supply. The transportation books usually consist of one narrow section. Any cool car design books, if there are any, have to share space with airplane books, train books, books about Harleys, and the latest car culture/rat rod/tatoo books. The last gasp of hope is expended walking thorough the bargain section on the way out the door.
Not so the Design Staff Library.
The Design Staff library was stocked with interesting books geared to the level of the car designer. Upstairs there was a locked door that served as a guardian for an impressive collection of old car brochures, photographs, and other research materials. The library also subscribed to car magazines from all over the world. So the library was a popular destination for short breaks. They were necessarily short because the library was located along the hallway that connected the production studios, the escalator from the first floor where the advanced studios were located, and the administration building. The common wall between the hallway and the library was glass from floor to ceiling. So it was like a giant aquarium as seen from the hallway. You couldn’t stay in there too much or too often. Too many hall walkers. It could be a career stopper.
One day I happen to meet a good designer friend in the library looking through some magazines. After a few minutes he said, “You can stay here all day if you want, but I’m still promotable.” And went back to his studio. I also remember this rather intimidating, middle-aged woman with a heavy German accent that ran the library. Crossing her in any way was not an option.
Magazines used to have all kinds of cool and inspiring artwork and cutaway drawings. A good illustration can often communicate the essence of something and capture the imagination of the reader better than the camera. And readers buy magazines. Designers express themselves through their artwork and are often inspired by a particular view or perspective that excites the imagination. We’ll buy a magazine for one photo or illustration. Popular illustration styles often influenced drawing styles in the studios. The Harry Bradley post on Dean’s Garage has several galleries of his magazine illustrations.
Illustrations from Sports Car Graphic magazine.
Illustrations by George Bartel that appeared in Sports Car Graphic magazine and made available as a set of prints
So what does the caption mean in English? I contacted a good friend who speaks German like a native because he is. Anyway, he said that the some of the words were difficult to understand in German let alone translate into English. It roughly means “the space (for the driver) in this efficiently small Baumm is not as small or confining.” Small as compared to some unknown something else. We don’t know what a Baumm is exactly, either.