Auto sketches from Detroit’s golden era you were never meant to see

An upcoming documentary, “American Dreaming,” focuses on a crew of relatively unknown—at least by name—heroes of mid-century America, the car designers at swaggering American brands like General Motors, Chrysler, AMC, Studebaker, and Packard. These people were responsible for stunning feats of American mid-century modern design, finned Cadillacs, aggressive AMCs and clean Fords, as crucial to the creation of an American aesthetic as Frank Lloyd Wright houses or Bill Blass suits. But unlike the design sketches of architects or fashion designers, the early artwork of car designers was routinely destroyed by…

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