R.H. "Bob" Gurr

Click on the photo to the left to open an Acrobat (.pdf) file of an interview with Bob Gurr scanned from Collectable Automobile, October, 1998. It’s great reading and offers a candid appraisal of what it was like working as a designer for Ford in the early ’50s under George Walker. Read about his great experiences at Disney. If you missed it, go through the illustrations in a previous post of Bob’s book, Automobile Design, published by Post Publications in 1955. Thanks to Geoff Hacker of Forgotten Fiberglass.

A few of the images from the Bob Gurr’s Collectable Automobile interview.


Student work at Art Center School in the early ’50s.

This was a proposal for the 1956 Lincoln Continental created while working under George Walker.

Student work at Art Center School in the early ’50s.


From Bob’s Art Center days.


Illustration published in Automobile Design.


As a kid I remember going to Disneyland year after year yearning to be tall enough to be able to drive the Autopia cars by myself. I also remember standing in long lines to get behind the wheel. When the ride was first installed, there was no center rail. So the cars had to be steered between the curbs. It was frustrating to be behind someone who couldn’t avoid constantly crashing into the curbs slowing all of the cars that followed. On the other hand, if nobody was in front of you, it was a great time going as fast as possible around the ride’s miniature freeway system. Coincidentally, that’s me on the right standing on the circle #5 in the plaid shirt. Not really.

Catamaran design

I received these images from Bo Zolland of Viztech of a catamaran model based on Bob Gurr’s yellow car design published in his book, Automobile Design.

  1. Bill Porter

    Bob Gurr’s book, AUTOMOBILE DESIGN, had a huge influence on us aspiring car designers who were in school in the late 1950s. Although it showcased the car design scene in Southern California, several of the “car guys” I knew at Pratt Institute in New York had copies of this book. We were wowed by the superb rendering skills of Art Center students such as Ron Hill and Dick Tatge. Their knowing touch with pencil and brush revealed an understanding of forms and surfaces that was first rate even by Pratt Institute standards, well known at the time for its emphasis on the principles of design.

    Bill Porter

  2. Bob Gurr rules! His designs are as classic as they are timeless. I am a longtime fan of his work. You might also like to check the yellow car in 3d, also modeled by me.

  3. Bob Marcks

    Bob Gurr was about a year ahead of me at Art Center, so I had his student work for inspiration, and his expertise really impressed me— still does! It was great to see his student work again after 60 years.

    Note the side elevation of his blue car; it’s typical of his unfailing knack for creating appealing designs. Between Bob and Art Fitzpatrick’s Lincoln-Mercury ads in that early ’50s time frame, they were the two people whose illustration techniques I aspired to emulate. Another thing I just noticed, I believe that that particular background led me to create a similar one in illustrations on a Dean’s Garage post of mine.

    While still reminiscing, when I joined Ford I lived in the rooming house where Bob lived. When we went out for dinner together one night; I mentioned that I’d like to find a Lincoln Continental. Bob pointed across the restaurant to a Lincoln product planner, Harry Miller, and said that he had one for sale (photo of similar one on my Dean’s Garage post).

    After Ford, I saw him just once, in California later. He was driving a Citroen DS-19, with a GRRRRR (or very similar) license plate.

  4. Bob Gurr, is coming out with a new book next year (2012) I am helping him publish it!
    Ape Pen Publishing will be pre selling the book very shortly. Bob is such an awesome guy!!!!

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