NEWPORT, Herbert J. (1907-91)
Design No. 429. Jan. 19, 1939
Detroit: January 19, 1939. Colored pencil, pastel and gouache on black construction paper. Signed and dated with an inscription: "Design No. 429. Jan. 19 1939." Image size (including text): 11 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches. Framed. 20 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches.
Minimal pre-war concept car by Herb Newport
Herbert J. Newport, Jr. (1907-1991). Herb Newport went to work at Duesenberg in the 1920s. From 1932-35, he was the Chief Designer. During this period he designed Duesenbergs for Clark Gable and for Gary Cooper. After leaving Duesenberg, Newport opened his own design studio and worked as a consultant for Nash, Chrysler and others, branching out into all sorts of industrial design.
This design was probably done for Hudson (despite a label of a previous owner that suggests it was a design for Nash), as it bears more resemblance to the 1939 and 1940 Hudson Terraplane convertibles than it does to the Nash convertibles of that time.
The drawing has a couple of unusual features, one being the headlight at the nose of the hood, complemented by small parking lights where headlights would usually be found. The other unusual feature is the rather threatening egg tooth in the middle of the front bumper.
The design is conveyed in a most dramatic fashion, in simple red, white and gray lines on a deep black construction paper, underlined by a thicker red line that contains the title, date and signature and a logo "Styling for Industry". This was the period in which "streamlining" and "ultra-streamlining" came into fashion, and one is reminded of the effects of a stream on anything that sits in its path long enough.