Raymond Loewy - Weight is the Enemy

In 1947 Loewy developed the Studebaker Champion, in 1953 the famous Starliner followed. The elegant, very European active coupĂ© clearly differed from the stew of Detroit’s car-forge. It was much ahead of the times and is regarded as style-stamping for later American sports-cars like the Ford Thunderbird or the Chevrolet Corvette.

In 1963 Loewy introduced the Avanti, again a landmark of automotive design. The most remarkable sign of the coupé with a fiber glass car body was the missing radiator cowling, furthermore the openings were hidden for the water cooling under the bumper. Under the bonnet a 4.7 litres V8 with 240 HP mobilized the Avanti to a top speed of 118 mph.

With the name Avanti the famous slogan “Weight is the Enemy” is tied together. Loewy for many years advanced the view that American cars were too shapeless and heavy — the engines extremely disproportionated, resulting in a needlessly high mileage. Particularly the baroque forms with the typical chrome-florid radiator cowling were a thorn in the eye of the designer.

Detroit’s automobile manufacturers at that time of course saw it different. And with the exception of the international oil crisis, Detroit remained by the view that the consumer has a never ending need in excessively big cars.