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Author Topic: A steampunk car  (Read 1831 times)
urgolem
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« on: December 24, 2017, 08:25:01 pm »

I have recently completed my small car models collection with the probably most fabulous steampunk-futuristic car ever made, the Buick Le Sabre 1951. Completely uchronic. Just for pleasure to share.


(right-click in the image and select "Display image" in order to see the original size)
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 12:13:47 pm »

I have recently completed my small car models collection with the probably most fabulous steampunk-futuristic car ever made, the Buick Le Sabre 1951. Completely uchronic. Just for pleasure to share.


(right-click in the image and select "Display image" in order to see the original size)

Venturing into the Golden age of Atompunk* there, a little; still very cool! Surprised it's '50s!

HP

*lack of rivets  Grin
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urgolem
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 02:59:16 pm »

Venturing into the Golden age of Atompunk* there, a little; still very cool! Surprised it's '50s!
HP
*lack of rivets  Grin

Surprised it's '50s - exactly, me too. But as I said, this car was designed in Uchronia.
No rivets, no gears, no manometers, no Victorian design aesthetic, but it's still steampunk -a new synonym for whatever futuristic shape.
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Drew P
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 03:46:39 pm »

So if looks are what it is, then it falls directly into AtomPunk.
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urgolem
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2017, 09:59:55 pm »

My purpose is only to know if steampunk is something quite well defined, with its own visual language codes. Or if anything futuristic, belonging more or less in the realm of science fiction, is, by definition, "steampunk". It seems to be the case of some posts here.
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2017, 10:18:48 pm »

My purpose is only to know if steampunk is something quite well defined, with its own visual language codes.

Not really defined at all - more 'if it looks steampunk, it is steampunk...'

Eg - if you can see brass and wood - Steampunk.

       If pistons but no steam - Dieselpunk

       Generally radioactive looking - Atompunk

       Big mohican - Punk

 Grin

A lot of crossovers - believe it!

HP
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 04:12:31 am »

There are no clearly defined boundaries, and in the end its whatever you want to define. However, Anachronism and Uchronia in general, are global umbrella terms that in my mind cover the major divisions of Steam/Diesel/Atom-punk, (among many other groups less popular like 1500s Clockpunk), which roughly correspond to the 1800-1915 Industrial Revolution / 1920—49 Jazz Age or Art Déco period (say ending 4 years after  WWII) / 1950-1970? Post WWII Atomic Age or Space Age. More or less. Your magnificent example of a 1951 GM Le Sabre concept car is definitely Atompunk with is wings in the back and imitation jet engine nozzle (and air inlet nacelle as well!), and potentially Dieselpunk since it was designed in the last few years of the 1940s.


1951 General Motors Le Sabre Concept Car
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Le_Sabre



1960 Buick (a division of General Motors) Le Sabre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_LeSabre

Note the 1951 car was not a Buick. It was never sold to the public. The car was a concept vehicle developed to showcase the new style for General Motors. The name Le Sabre was used later for the Buick Le Sabre, a different car made by Buick, a division of General Motors. The name Le Sabre was discontinued in 2005.

Quote
The General Motors Le Sabre was a 1951 concept car. Possibly the most important show car of the 1950s,[citation needed] it introduced aircraft-inspired design elements such as the wrap-around windshield and tail fins, which became common on automotive designs during the second half of the decade.

History

The Le Sabre was the brainchild of General Motors Art Department head Harley Earl.[1] The design was Earl's attempt to incorporate the look of modern jet fighter aircraft into automotive design.[citation needed] As jets replaced prop-driven aircraft in the late 1940s, they symbolized the very latest in design and engineering, and Earl had hoped to carry this concept into automobile design.

I wouldn't say that the design is surprising. Not with the speed American industry was moving at after WWII. Think of the Korean war and the appearance of the first jet fighters. That must have had an impact, culturally speaking. References to jet aircraft can be found all over the aesthetic of the 1950s and 60s. Apparently the name "Sabre" was popular among American industrial designers in those days. It wouldn't be surprising if the name was borrowed from the jets fighting during the Korean War (1950-53)

North American F-86 "Sabre" subsonic jet fighter
The plane first flew in October 1947, and was famous for its role in the Korean War,
and being the first swept-wing fighter and the first capable of matching the
performance of the MiG 15



North American F-100 "Super Sabre."
The plane first flew in 1953, and was the first USAF
jet fighter capable of supersonic flight (not in a dive).

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 09:38:21 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 09:52:39 am »

This car looks more Diesel/Atompunk to me, although the lines and curves look like Art Nouveau.
Perhaps with an Art Nouveau painting on the side panels and a different colour scheme, it could look more Steampunk.
For me, Steampunk is looking into the future, through the eyes of a Victorian Era person.
So this odd looking carriage could be a futuristic look from the 1800s.

In the 1800s, the concept of streamline vehicles was already invented.
Just look at this steamtrain:


I can imagine a half exposed running gear on the rear wheels. Perhaps small cow catchers for front bumper.
That big round taillight could be the smokestack, horizontally placed.

All said in my humble opinion. The beauty about Steampunk (and art in general) is that when one calls it Steampunk, it is Steampunk.  Wink
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 10:27:46 am »

There are no clearly defined boundaries, and in the end its whatever you want to define. However, Anachronism and Uchronia in general, are global umbrella terms that in my mind cover the major divisions of Steam/Diesel/Atom-punk, (among many other groups less popular like 1500s Clockpunk), which roughly correspond to the 1800-1915 Industrial Revolution / 1920—49 Jazz Age or Art Déco period (say ending 4 years after  WWII) / 1950-1970? Post WWII Atomic Age or Space Age. More or less. Your magnificent example of a 1951 GM Le Sabre concept car is definitely Atompunk with is wings in the back and imitation jet engine nozzle (and air inlet nacelle as well!), and potentially Dieselpunk since it was designed in the last few years of the 1940s.


1951 General Motors Le Sabre Concept Car
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Le_Sabre



1960 Buick (a division of General Motors) Le Sabre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_LeSabre

Note the 1951 car was not a Buick. It was never sold to the public. The car was a concept vehicle developed to showcase the new style for General Motors. The name Le Sabre was used later for the Buick Le Sabre, a different car made by Buick, a division of General Motors. The name Le Sabre was discontinued in 2005.

Quote
The General Motors Le Sabre was a 1951 concept car. Possibly the most important show car of the 1950s,[citation needed] it introduced aircraft-inspired design elements such as the wrap-around windshield and tail fins, which became common on automotive designs during the second half of the decade.

History

The Le Sabre was the brainchild of General Motors Art Department head Harley Earl.[1] The design was Earl's attempt to incorporate the look of modern jet fighter aircraft into automotive design.[citation needed] As jets replaced prop-driven aircraft in the late 1940s, they symbolized the very latest in design and engineering, and Earl had hoped to carry this concept into automobile design.

I wouldn't say that the design is surprising. Not with the speed American industry was moving at after WWII. Think of the Korean war and the appearance of the first jet fighters. That must have had an impact, culturally speaking. References to jet aircraft can be found all over the aesthetic of the 1950s and 60s. Apparently the name "Sabre" was popular among American industrial designers in those days. It wouldn't be surprising if the name was borrowed from the jets fighting during the Korean War (1950-53)

North American F-86 "Sabre" subsonic jet fighter
The plane first flew in October 1947, and was famous for its role in the Korean War,
and being the first swept-wing fighter and the first capable of matching the
performance of the MiG 15



North American F-100 "Super Sabre."
The plane first flew in 1953, and was the first USAF
jet fighter capable of supersonic flight (not in a dive).


   A question if I may  Mr Wilhelm. Were  The Thunderbird   ever big in the US, Central and South America?  While it was a British show, it did have a strong US  atomic age  flavour.

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 11:57:08 am »


   A question if I may  Mr Wilhelm. Were  The Thunderbird   ever big in the US, Central and South America?  While it was a British show, it did have a strong US  atomic age  flavour.




I imagine you're talking about the 1960's Sci-Fi Marionette TV show "The Thunderbirds." I think that is very much the definition of Atompunk.

Quote
We they ever big?


To be honest, I could not answer that, because while I did get to see it when I was a child as re-runs in the late 1970's in Mexico, and I don't think the show came by way of the United States, but probably straight from the UK. So I ignore how popular it was in the US. I know it was seen in Mexico.

Most of our programming in Mexico was American or domestic, but aside from locally produced TV programming, we did get a few direct shows such as Australian TV shows (eg Skippy the Bush Kangaroo  Grin ) Japanese TV Drama saries (eg Princess Comet  Roll Eyes ), etc. So it may be that The Thunderbirds are not very well known in the USA. On the other hand, I have seen re-runs or even parodies based on the show in the United States after 1990, so obviously *someone* was watching - I just don't know how popular it was... presumably in the morning TV shows. Otherwise "The Thunderbirds" in the USA is more closely associated with the US Air Force's acrobatic pilot team.

The Thunderbirds TV show intro..


Another similar Atompunk program was the 1960s American TV show "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"  Grin

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 1964 - 1968 Theme and Snippets HD Dolby
« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 12:28:08 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 01:14:34 pm »


   A question if I may  Mr Wilhelm. Were  The Thunderbird   ever big in the US, Central and South America?  While it was a British show, it did have a strong US  atomic age  flavour.




I imagine you're talking about the 1960's Sci-Fi Marionette TV show "The Thunderbirds." I think that is very much the definition of Atompunk.

Quote
We they ever big?


To be honest, I could not answer that, because while I did get to see it when I was a child as re-runs in the late 1970's in Mexico, and I don't think the show came by way of the United States, but probably straight from the UK. So I ignore how popular it was in the US. I know it was seen in Mexico.

Most of our programming in Mexico was American or domestic, but aside from locally produced TV programming, we did get a few direct shows such as Australian TV shows (eg Skippy the Bush Kangaroo  Grin ) Japanese TV Drama saries (eg Princess Comet  Roll Eyes ), etc. So it may be that The Thunderbirds are not very well known in the USA. On the other hand, I have seen re-runs or even parodies based on the show in the United States after 1990, so obviously *someone* was watching - I just don't know how popular it was... presumably in the morning TV shows. Otherwise "The Thunderbirds" in the USA is more closely associated with the US Air Force's acrobatic pilot team.

The Thunderbirds TV show intro..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFb4IVLXDss#

Another similar Atompunk program was the 1960s American TV show "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"  Grin

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 1964 - 1968 Theme and Snippets HD Dolby


Oh The Thunderbirds   were not marionettes, such profanity!!  As a small child they seemed so real.  It did take a while to realise they were puppets.    It still gets occasional re runs.  We also got  Captain Scarlet and the mysterions by the same chap. The Terror hawks were not so popular.

Skippy had us waving at every passing helicopter. [ now I'm wondering why we had so many  passing helicopters over our small beach side suburb  back then]

 Voyage to the bottom of the sea   was a  exciting journey every  Saturday. My older brother and male cousins stopped every thing  to watch.  I vaguely remember  worrying about the crew being  stuck down there.   Children's imaginations are wild.

Thunderbirds were  and remain a big influence here.   Especially our local police force.  





« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 01:16:14 pm by Hurricane Annie » Logged
Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 02:04:57 pm »

Ah! Nothing says Atompunk more than The Jetsons!

 Wink

HP
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urgolem
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2017, 05:51:48 pm »

In my humble opinion, "steampunk" is anything - and nothing other - that looks as any object, contemporary or futuristic (even for us), as if it was made with the technology AND the AESTHETICS of the Victorian era. The characteristic steampunk top hat in the Dickens style is the best proof of this.
Little Nemo is Little Nemo but not a steampunk; Buck Rodgers is Buck Rodgers but not a steampunk; The Jetsets are a sixties anticipation of next centuries but not a steampunk; and so on.
On the other hand, "Wild wild west" is clearly a kind of steampunk movie. "Back to the future" is not - with the exception of the locomotive at the end of the part III.
Even the Weta's chief designer Greg Broadmore himself doesn't consider his fabulous prop guns as "steampunk" !!
And tell me - what could be MORE steampunk ??

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2017, 07:48:57 pm »

Perhaps I should clarify. While Jules Verne's work is a dead ringer for Steampunk, it is not Steampunk, because that was the future for the Victorians. I think that is what you're trying to say.

The GM Le Sabre is not Atompunk, but if you substitute the Le Sabre with a similar car made TODAY, and in lieu of a red tail light you place a real turbine engine, then that is Atompunk.

Proto Atompunk tropes? Yes the Jetsons is the best example. Stay at home housewife wearing a flowing dress with a tiny waist and a great focus on the automated home of the future (Rosie the Robot) is a great homage to the post WWII American "cult of domesticity. " Robbie the Robot (which appeared in several movies and TV shows is another great example.

These originals are not Atompunk but they are the baseline, the main reference for Atompunk, like Verne is to Steampunk.


Not Atompunk, but one of the origins of Atompunk: Robbie the Robot in "Forbidden Planet" (1956)


Forbidden Planet - Trailer



Another fantastic example of the space-age mentality at the time is a Warner Brothers cartoon by the name of Rocket Bye Baby (1956) about a Martian baby which is swapped by a human baby. This helps explain the origin of Atompunk as we witnessed it on out own TV as re-run shows when we were children in the 70's 80's and 90s. It's like being bombarded with Jules Verne literature every morning.

LOONEY TUNES - 07 - Rocket Bye Baby by Top 100 Best Cartoons By Views - Dailymotion


So based on all of that, artists subconciously are prepared to create their own science fantasy. All you need is a little education on the historical period, from books interenet or TV:

Atompunk complete with 1950s style sexism.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 01:07:49 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
chironex
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 10:05:35 am »

My purpose is only to know if steampunk is something quite well defined, with its own visual language codes. Or if anything futuristic, belonging more or less in the realm of science fiction, is, by definition, "steampunk". It seems to be the case of some posts here.

That last point is simply due to a variation in quality and perspective; ie. the US is more of a model for Dieselpunk as they were using diesel locomotives during the interwar period, albeit not removing steam until well after the Second World War, but many countries had very few diesels until that time, due to the best place to buy them being the US and many countries not having access to American money, leading to steam ruling the rails until the late '60s (some Queensland sugar mills didn't see the last of steam until 1980) while developing countries had no choice but to keep steam for as long as possible. However, the "diesel" part does still mean something: machines that are designed with an aesthetic intended to celebrate the age of the machine, industrial design that makes things look smooth and streamlined and modern, cars that have moved on from their origins as horse-drawn vehicles with the horses removed, and aircraft that are far more sophisticated than a giant boxkite with an engine. This isn't to say that all vehicles have to be Art Deco or Streamline Moderne styled; a heavy tank is going to look like a heavy tank.
In turn, the "steam" in steampunk means something: if it looks like it belongs in the Victorian era, or up to WW1, it's generally accepted as steampunk, even though it may not have been in widespread use -like airships - impossible given the technology base of the period - like computers smaller than cathedrals which can use camera and microphone inputs, or autogyros - or things we don't have today - such as infantry directed-energy weapons and giant robots. Not all things meant to look futuristic compared to their era are steampunk because their eras are in our past; given that we are talking more than one different era. You are seriously going to suffer Metallicar Syndrome parking that at a  1920s sea-airport to attempt to take a covert trip on a flying-boat, let alone at a Neo-Gothic railway station frequented by Stirling single locos. Glencoe Models suggest that their tiny mini kit looks better posed with one of their rocketships. YMMV (as it isn't a very good kit) but the LeSabre does look a lot more like it belongs there.

Perhaps, instead of Steampunk, a more appropriate word would be Zeerust.

This car looks more Diesel/Atompunk to me, although the lines and curves look like Art Nouveau.
Perhaps with an Art Nouveau painting on the side panels and a different colour scheme, it could look more Steampunk.
The lines look very little Art Nouveau to me. More like Populux/Googie, verging on Raygun Gothic.

In the 1800s, the concept of streamline vehicles was already invented.
Just look at this steamtrain:

That's a 1930s locomotive, so isn't much of an example.

All said in my humble opinion. The beauty about Steampunk (and art in general) is that when one calls it Steampunk, it is Steampunk.  Wink

Best not get me started on that idea.
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urgolem
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 02:09:45 pm »

One of the best steampunk movies ever made.
(with a special Victorian image resolution  Wink )
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2018, 09:34:26 pm »

This car looks more Diesel/Atompunk to me, although the lines and curves look like Art Nouveau.
Perhaps with an Art Nouveau painting on the side panels and a different colour scheme, it could look more Steampunk.
For me, Steampunk is looking into the future, through the eyes of a Victorian Era person.
So this odd looking carriage could be a futuristic look from the 1800s.

In the 1800s, the concept of streamline vehicles was already invented.
Just look at this steamtrain:


I can imagine a half exposed running gear on the rear wheels. Perhaps small cow catchers for front bumper.
That big round taillight could be the smokestack, horizontally placed.

All said in my humble opinion. The beauty about Steampunk (and art in general) is that when one calls it Steampunk, it is Steampunk.  Wink

Actually Mr Chironex is correct that is a 1938 locomotive, technically Art Déco.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4468_Mallard
Quote
LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard

London and North Eastern Railway locomotive numbered 4468 Mallard is a Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive built at Doncaster, England in 1938. It is historically significant as the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives at 126 mph (203 km/h
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2018, 09:40:45 pm »

One of the best steampunk movies ever made.
(with a special Victorian image resolution  Wink )

There's no question that a 20th Century cinema representations of Jules Verne's works are very Steampunk. Yet the original books are not because that was 19th Century Sci-fi proper.
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urgolem
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2018, 10:00:06 pm »

Yes - to bring alive the Jules Verne's imaginary universe by means of the contemporary media tools is a pure steampunk.
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