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So you say that you’ve always wanted to design automobiles, and you’ve got some damn cool ideas about what would really look slick, more aero, more retro, or just a whole darn bunch better than a lot of the new cars on the market?

By Doug Stokes

Sat, Dec 3, 2022 07:20 PM PST

images courtesy of The Petersen and/or Yellowbrick or as noted.

Riiiiiiight … and you’d really to learn how to sketch ‘em up like Chris or Chip* ... but Art Center here in LA (really Pasadena) is booked solid (also very pricey), and the famous Rhode Island School of Design and Art Institute of Chicago campuses are located where it gets very cold this time of the year (and you’re pretty much allergic to ice and snow) so that’s out.

von Holzhausen standing next to a car being designed
From clay to car.

Well … my friends, LACar’s good friends at the Petersen Automotive Museum just over at Wilshire and Fairfax, would like to draw your attention to the fact that they (good people that they are) have just announced an on-line master class in design right here, right now, and the price is locked-in at your attention and you’re your enjoyment/understanding of the art and reality of automotive design.

In another two-syllable words: gratis.

Honestly, and all kidding aside, this opportunity for getting some great insight into the business of how automobiles look, will look, and what it really takes to bend that sheet metal and thermoplastic to a designer’s will, is a lovely holiday gift for any car nut person (and way perfectly understandable if you give it to yourself).

sketches of cars on a paper
Can you recognize that car? It all starts as simple pencil markings on a blank piece of paper.

Take a look, sign yourself up, tell the kids, your buddy from cars and coffee, and have at it with the number 3.5 pencils and french curves: Auto Design & Sketching.

By the way, when was the last time that you stopped by there in person? It really is never the same place twice, always about the subject, and always intriguing.

And ... as if to prove the point that something new in car design is really needed, the December issue of Car and Driver helpfully has laid out nine of the most exotic cars on the road today. Which, I postulate, if they were all painted the same color, would be hard to tell apart from a quick look.

image of the inner page of the December 2022 issue of Car and Driver
Part of the Car&Driver report (image of page in December 2022 issue, photo by Doug Stokes)

Form (to a point) does follow function of course, but might there be some room left for "style" here ... What do you think?

About The Author

Doug Stokes's profile picture

Doug Stokes

Doug has a long and wide-ranging history in the motoring business. He served five years as the Executive Director of the International Kart Federation, and was the PR guy for the Mickey Thompson's Off-Road Championship Gran Prix. He worked racing PR for both Honda and Suzuki and was a senior PR person on the first Los Angeles (Vintage) Grand Prix. He was also the first PR Manager for Perris Auto Speedway, and spent over 20 years as the VP of Communications at Irwindale Speedway. Stokes is the recipient of the American Autowriters and Broadcaster’s 2005 Chapman Award for Excellence in Public Relations and was honored in 2015 by the Motor Press Guild with their Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award. “… I’ve also been reviewing automobiles and books for over 20 years, and really enjoy my LA Car assignments.” he added.

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