The Studebaker Starlight coupe that was designed by Raymond Loewy is probably one of the coolest base cars you can use for a restomod project that will surely get everyone’s attention. The Starlight is a 2-door coupe with a capacity of 5 passengers. Its design creates an illusion that is going a 100 mph even though it is just sitting there, a design that created a controversy during its time. But even so, the Starlight, like all of Loewy’s creations, has withstood the test of time.
Raymond Loewy was a famous designer for both cars and railway locomotives. After New York Central Railroad released their brand new Henry Dreyfuss streamlined locomotives that were used in their New York – Chicago route, Twentieth Century Limited, New York Central’s number 1 rival, did not want to get left behind. They asked Raymond Loewy to design a locomotive that would outshine its rival. Loewy delivered and the design was way ahead of its time that it looks a lot like some of our modern locomotives. It became a very historic Art Deco steam engine locomotive.
The Pennsylvania Railroad S1 duplex locomotive designed by Loewy is one of the inspirations for the Studebaker Starlight. If you look closely, the nose resembles the Starlight’s front.
One of the reasons why Loewy’s Studebaker Starlight became controversial because it did not go along with the standard American car designs of that time. The back was longer and the rear window was rounded that created an illusion that confused people on which was the actual front of the car.
If you take out both the rear and front bumpers and add wide wheels to the Starlight, then you’ll get a car that looks very stylish. For the final touch, add a powerful engine on the hood and you’ll get a very cool custom car that will surely attract everyone’s attention.
Tony Carlini who is famous for building awesome custom motorcycles is believed to have only built 2 custom cars and one of them is this Studebaker Starlight “Black Bart”. Unfortunately, Tony Carlini has passed away but his legacy still continues through his company – Carlini Design.
This Studebaker Starlight “Black Bart” will be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson during their Las Vegas auction which will be this August 13-15, 2016. The perfect combination of Raymond Loewy’s design and the modern power and performance upgrades makes Black Bart a great example of an Art Deco classic.
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