Monday, February 25, 2013
1955 Ford La Tosca
A Ford concept from 1955 was the La Tosca which was manuvered by remote control.
Its chassis is designed for quick changing of body shells.
La Tosca's main styling feature is its unusual canted fins, giving the car a wider appearance.
Inspired by modern aircraft design, the roof canopy was plexiglass and back-up lights modeled after jet tubes.
Headlights were retractable.
We’ll start with the La Tosca, which arrived in the thick of a run of jet-age bubbletop concepts such as the Mystere and the Lincoln Futura. According to Jim and Cheryl Farrell, writing in their book, Ford Design Department Concepts and Showcars, 1932-1961, it was conceived by Tremulis in 1954 “as an exercise to show students in the Advanced Studio how hard it was, even for professional designers, to design a car.” It ended up taking Tremulis and Romeyn Hammond four times as long as they projected to finish it, partly due to the then-radical canted fenders, and partly due to the radio-controlled chassis they built for the 3/8-scale model by scrounging together Lincoln convertible top motors, a power-window regulator, a power-seat unit, power-window relays and a standard car battery. (The Farrells dedicate quite a few paragraphs to the antics that ensued after Tremulis discovered that the radio-control system could operate the car more than a mile distant. The stunts didn’t win him many supporters among the Ford brass.) The La Tosca – presumably named after the Puccini opera – eventually evolved into the design for the 1958 Lincoln.