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Mr John Samsen
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   Forward Look NON-Technical Discussions -> 1955-1961 Forward Look MoPar General DiscussionMessage format
 
60 Imp
Posted 2011-02-01 7:24 AM (#259194)
Subject: Mr John Samsen


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Hello, is Mr Samsen still visiting this site? Does anyone communicate with this man?
Really enjoyed the threads last year when he was contributing.

Tell us about the Men who created and built the Imperials please Mr Samsen !

I own a 60 Crown', and am curious about everything Imperial, especially 1960.

Steve.

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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-02-01 7:58 AM (#259197 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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I have not seen Mr. Samsen post here in quite some time. Yes, I agree,
his anecdotal insights were priceless. I could absorb that stuff all day long.

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FIN_NV
Posted 2011-02-01 12:00 PM (#259222 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Was he the follow at Carlisle last summer? He did some posting before the event.
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1956DeS
Posted 2011-02-01 12:17 PM (#259224 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen


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He has a web site, do a search. He once invited me to come to his home in Dalonaga GA but I never went. Seems he may have moved.
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60 Imp
Posted 2011-02-02 7:03 AM (#259309 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen


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Location: North Australia

My Beau showed me how to post the link below.

I pinged 'The Samsen Thread' so that those who missed it can read it, plus I wanted to read it myself (for about the tenth time)

Enjoy.


http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=29648&...
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-02-02 8:21 AM (#259313 - in reply to #259309)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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60 Imp -

Tell me/us what you find so endearing about the 60 Imperial. I like a guy who is enthusiastic about his car, and you
sound pretty enthusiastic about yours !
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Ex-finlover
Posted 2011-02-02 6:51 PM (#259358 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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I haven't talked to John in several months - but here is his website:

http://automobileart.homestead.com/Directory.html
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-02 1:58 PM (#263176 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Hey forward lookers,

Sorry I stopped following this site for a while; Been involved in many things, and my short term memory needs new spark plugs!

R.E. the '60 + Imperials;

The '60's were designed mostly by Fred Hudson, manager of Imperial studio at that time. He was coached by Exner, of course. After Desoto studio was closed, I went to Imperial, as assistant to Don Kopka, then manager. The sheet metal for the '62 models was set; I don't remember any other designers in the studio then. I designed the '62 ornamentation. The fins were actually trimmed off, and I capped them with a wide moulding. I didn't like a lot of chrome, so I put black paint in a recess of the moulding, and used this black line motif throughout the ornamentation. I came up with the round Eagle, which was well liked. And the tail lamps, which Exner liked, and nameplates. I designed an all-new Imp for 1963 based on the '63 Chrysler design, but the company couldn't afford it.
John Samsen

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-02 2:47 PM




(10 1959-1961 Imperial taillamp concept-Samsen.jpg)



(34 1959-1961 Imperial medallion concepts-Samsen.jpg)



('63 Imp fs Rendering 8x72.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 10 1959-1961 Imperial taillamp concept-Samsen.jpg (83KB - 477 downloads)
Attachments 34 1959-1961 Imperial medallion concepts-Samsen.jpg (69KB - 413 downloads)
Attachments '63 Imp fs Rendering 8x72.jpg (36KB - 339 downloads)
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-02 3:00 PM (#263178 - in reply to #263176)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Here is my wife, Tucky, beside a 1962 Imp. Not ours, unfortunately.
Do you see Gordon Buehrig's Cord in the hood and grille?
OOPS- I just noticed the vertical eagle on the grille, with the round eagle in the hood ornament- not very good design!

John Samsen...We now live near Hilton Head; we'd be happy to meet any FwLk fans! jsamsen@hargray.com

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-02 3:10 PM




(62 Imp frt, Tucky 7x72.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 62 Imp frt, Tucky 7x72.jpg (86KB - 341 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-02 5:39 PM (#263193 - in reply to #263178)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Mr. Samsen,

It thrills me to hear someone speak of these cars in the first person as you do !!!

Thank you for giving us your time here.

I gotta say, between yourself and the other designers, there must be good material
for another 50 years of car making. Can we somehow make that happen ?

The 60 Imperial was a pretty "heavy" looking design that only lasted that one year.
Do you have any insight as to the origins of that look and perhaps why it was changed
so quickly ?

BTW - that 63 profile of yours beats the pants off the production model for being sporty !
I supposed that clashed with the image that corp. wanted to extend on the Imperial line
of conservative luxury.

Welcome back!
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1960DesotoAdventurer
Posted 2011-03-03 10:11 AM (#263275 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Mr.Samsen,
Glad to see you're back too!
I'd be interested in hearing more about the 1960 DeSoto,did you work on that one?
Some of those concept sketches you shared with us here in the past were amazingly futuristic and I find it truly sad that the automotive industry abandoned that direction and lost their way in the early 60's.

In my opinion the Forward Look cars are more futuristic than anything made since.

You were lucky to have been able to be a part of the most amazing time in history.

Edited by 1960DesotoAdventurer 2011-03-03 10:14 AM
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-03 12:36 PM (#263289 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Location: Hilton Head SC
Hey, Adventurer!

Yes, I worked on the '60 Desoto. Here are some of my sketches. They show that we were in the process of getting rid of big fins, and trying to come up with new rear end styling.





(57-60 DS 6x72 B.jpg)



(57-60 DS 6x72.jpg)



(60desoto rear.jpg)



(57-60 DS concp 2 violet 5X72.jpg)



(57-60 DS concp violet 5X72.jpg)



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Attachments 57-60 DS 6x72 B.jpg (33KB - 336 downloads)
Attachments 57-60 DS 6x72.jpg (35KB - 324 downloads)
Attachments 60desoto rear.jpg (30KB - 297 downloads)
Attachments 57-60 DS concp 2 violet 5X72.jpg (26KB - 327 downloads)
Attachments 57-60 DS concp violet 5X72.jpg (23KB - 302 downloads)
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58DeSoDodge59
Posted 2011-03-03 12:54 PM (#263293 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Did you do anything on the 59 Dodge? I have seen drawings from Cummings and Kopka, but nothing that really showed the 59 Dodge.
I love your drawings of the 59 Desoto and also the 62 Desoto. If they would have made those cars as you drew them, I would be in heaven.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-03 12:55 PM (#263294 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Since you asked about my involvement with the '60 Desoto, I'll tell my sad story...

I came up with a unique fin treatment in a sketch and rendering, and the studio manager liked it, and had me direct the modeling in clay. Exner's no.2 man, Cliff Voss, came in and went nuts over the clay. "This is it- the new '60 Desoto" he exclaimed. "Wait 'till I show it to Ex!" He returned with Exner, and made a pitch for my design. Ex smiled, and agreed. They left, and I was elated with the prospect of maybe having designed the new models myself. The next day, Ex and Cliff came in and looked at the model. "What would happen if the upper fin was moved back several inches?" Ex said. I thought to myself, it would wreck the symmetry. Ex told me to move the upper fin back, and we did. The model looked worse, to all, and when Exner saw it, he said "move the fin all the way back." We sadly did. When Ex saw it later, he told Voss "Lets not show this model". That ended the design. Ex would not go back to the original design.

John



(57 60 DS advanced 6x72.jpg)



(57 reflected fin 6x72.jpg)



(A, '57 concept for '69 Desoto by Samsen.jpg)



(B, '57 concept for Desoto by Samsen.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 57 60 DS advanced 6x72.jpg (27KB - 333 downloads)
Attachments 57 reflected fin 6x72.jpg (30KB - 321 downloads)
Attachments A, '57 concept for '69 Desoto by Samsen.jpg (19KB - 562 downloads)
Attachments B, '57 concept for Desoto by Samsen.jpg (22KB - 460 downloads)
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-03 1:14 PM (#263298 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Regarding the Dodge F'L' models;
I worked on Desotos until the studio was closed, then went to Imperial as assistant manager for abouit a year, then to Valiant/Dart studio, which was split up, and I went to Plymouth studio as assistant, which then did Valiants, and the Barracuda. I never worked in Dodge, except as a loaner to that studio in the mid sixties, when I did the Coronet front end for '66? I never knew who did what there.

John Samsen
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2011-03-03 1:34 PM (#263301 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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Hello Mr. Samsen

I'm really happy to know that we have a real designer of Mopar FL and past FL cars here in our forum. In 08/2000 to 05/02001 I stayed at Spartanburg S.C. (as an electronic engineer job exchange at the Sulzer Textile USA subsidiary company, job was to investigate warp sensor problems at a customer at Ramseur N.C.). Once I invited my mum for a week to travel around. One station at this journey was Hilton Head .

Big greetings from Switzerland

Dieter
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StillOutThere
Posted 2011-03-03 2:47 PM (#263311 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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Since the thread started talking about '60 Imperials, I was hoping to hear more about them if possible.  My interest should be rather obvious when I post the '60 pics here.  Thanks!!!



(Front_sml.jpg)



(Rear_sml.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Front_sml.jpg (90KB - 323 downloads)
Attachments Rear_sml.jpg (68KB - 323 downloads)
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-03 4:39 PM (#263331 - in reply to #263311)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Location: Hilton Head SC
Wow, what an elegant ride! It looks like a Ghia built limo, one of seventeen. Was that back window and surround moulding original equipment? Sorry I can't come up with much about the design of the '60 Imps. I was working on '60 Desotos at the time.
The '57 Imperial body/frame was facelifted many times through 1966. The cowl, windshield, pillars, and inner body panels were carried over. The '60 was a very nice facelift. The cars were big and heavy. My father had a '60 Imperial ( I got it for him on a 25% company discount). It was his favorite car, and it spoiled him for all cars after that. He loved the soft quiet ride.

John Samsen

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-03 4:49 PM
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-03 6:33 PM (#263344 - in reply to #263331)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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OK, ... then let's talk DeSoto !

Not much changed from the landmark 57 design to 58. But how did the directive come
about to do the pinched exhaust ports with the overswept top that matches the fin tip on
the 1958 cars ?

I will always find the 57 sidesweep to be the perfection in design of that treatment. The
side profile on a 2HT matches the roofline with the sweep for such a clean and dramatic
forward "thrust", while the fin curves over at the tip in the perfect balance of "speed and
motion".

Being a 58 guy, I lament that this design was not used for 58, but we cannot have it all,
can we ?

Anyway, ... what kind of insight do you have on the development of the different side
sweep designs and the eventual dropping of them ?

Thanks for your time.
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StillOutThere
Posted 2011-03-03 7:23 PM (#263355 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Location: Under the X in Texas
Yes, my '60 Imperial was one of the initial cars built during 1960 at Ghia /Turin. This particular car was the only one of the 25 built with '60 sheet metal (over the course of '60-61) with the oval back glass and blind quarter windows as it was a special order for Nelson Rockefeller when he was governor of New York state. I'm sure your father deserved that fine ride!!!

Edited by StillOutThere 2011-03-03 7:24 PM




(3-4_sml.jpg)



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Attachments 3-4_sml.jpg (105KB - 315 downloads)
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imopar380
Posted 2011-03-03 11:58 PM (#263388 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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John, being an admirer of the 60 DeSoto, ( Owned one back in 1977 for a while) - I have a question - being that the DeSoto and Chrysler shared the same sheet metal for all those years, how closely did you have to work with the Chrysler studio stylists on your renderings? The one thing I like better about the 60 Chrysler over the DeSoto is the front end treatment - the DeSoto grille is a little busy compared to the simpler grille opening on the Chrysler. My current FL car is a 1960 Chrysler Saratoga 2 door hardtop but has a New Yorker grille.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-04 5:46 PM (#263480 - in reply to #263388)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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The Desoto studio and Chrysler studio did not collaborate on design; each designed their own models without knowing what the other studio was doing. I assumed the studio management knew what the other studio was designing, so no duplication would occur. We worked to the common body dimensions. I also felt the 60 Chrysler front and rear was a little cleaner than the Desoto.

As to the comparison between '57 and '58 Desotos, the first year of a new design was usually the "purest' as the most appropriate ornamentation usually went on it, and subsequent facelifts had to "stretch" a litle to be different, and still look good.

John
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-04 6:20 PM (#263486 - in reply to #263480)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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john samsen - 2011-03-05 2:46 PM


As to the comparison between '57 and '58 Desotos, the first year of a new design was usually the "purest' as the most appropriate ornamentation usually went on it, and subsequent facelifts had to "stretch" a litle to be different, and still look good.

John


*****************************************

Putting the "critical eye" to these two, I always felt the 57 was a bit "blunt" in its detail. The fender ornaments are
large, the cross-hood ornament is quite large, and the bumper theme of large, unobstructed ovals has lent to the oft-
times comment of "fish mouth", etc. by even contemporary critics. Given how uncommon the 58 is in comparison to
the 57, when I saw my first 58 up close and personal, I was quite taken by the finer ornamentation and the design
repetition of the fin overhang in the exhaust ports.

Both are stunning cars and considered tops by most FL car enthusiasts. I still prefer the 57 roofline with the visor
overhang, and as stated before, the side sweep is simply the zenith of such application. But I have always wondered
how they came to be.

Do you have any anecdotal knowledge of how each of these year cars' details came to be chosen for production ?

B.
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imopar380
Posted 2011-03-04 7:48 PM (#263495 - in reply to #263480)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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john samsen - 2011-03-04 2:46 PM

The Desoto studio and Chrysler studio did not collaborate on design; each designed their own models without knowing what the other studio was doing. I assumed the studio management knew what the other studio was designing, so no duplication would occur. We worked to the common body dimensions. I also felt the 60 Chrysler front and rear was a little cleaner than the Desoto.
As to the comparison between '57 and '58 Desotos, the first year of a new design was usually the "purest' as the most appropriate ornamentation usually went on it, and subsequent facelifts had to "stretch" a litle to be different, and still look good.
John


If each studio didn't know what the other was doing in terms of design, then how did they end up with the same sheet metal? There must have been collaberation at some point, it seems to me.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-04 10:18 PM (#263527 - in reply to #263495)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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First, the designers made sketches and renderings if their concepts for the grilles, tail lamps, ornamentation, etc. The Manager and assistant would select those they liked best, and usually get the input of Exner as to which designs to put on the clay.

The Chrysler and Desoto studios made full size clay proposals for a new body. One would be chosen, in this case, Desoto's, and the other studio would make their models out of the chosen body design by redesigning the parts that would not be shared. Grilles, bumpers, tail lamps, and sometimes sheet metal parts like hoods and deck lids. Sometimes they could alter common sheetmetal parts by restriking in the dies to get different windsplits, etc. It all depended on how much money the company would spend to get differences in the car lines. Plymouth and Dodge studios competed on common bodies for many years, and Chrysler and Dodge shared larger bodies.
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imopar380
Posted 2011-03-05 1:20 AM (#263537 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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So, then John you're saying that the final 1960 DeSoto Design they picked ended up as the 1960 Chrysler? Interesting. For 60 Chrysler all the sheet metal is identical to the DeSoto except for the front fenders - the section around the headlights is a separate piece grafted on to the main fender, and is different on each one, And one other piece, the sheet metal section below the deck lid has different holes cut for back up lights on each car.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-05 8:18 AM (#263557 - in reply to #263537)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Imopar,

I was talking about the '57 Desoto used as the '57 Chrysler. I'm not sure, but I think the '60's were designed from the Chrysler proposal; the Chrysler grille and tail lamps are, to me, a "purer" design, and the Desoto grille and lamps look a little contrived.

I designed the '59 Desoto rear bumper, which was modified for the '59 Chrysler. I still have the patent for it. I think the Chrysler rear quarter panels came first, and we designed the Desotos using their sheetmetal. Their design looks "purer" to me, and the Desoto tail lamps and sweep mlg. looks a litle contrived.

John

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-05 8:47 AM




(59 DS rear 6x72.jpg)



(59 Chrysler rear 6x72.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 59 DS rear 6x72.jpg (66KB - 294 downloads)
Attachments 59 Chrysler rear 6x72.jpg (55KB - 316 downloads)
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imopar380
Posted 2011-03-05 12:29 PM (#263577 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Thanks John, that clears up some ideas in my head. Re the 59 DeSoto, I think the DeSoto rear bumper is better looking than the Chrysler bumper, and re the taillights, it's a toss- up to me as to which look better. I also owned a 1959 Windsor 2 door hardtop back in the early 80s.

Getting back to the 57-58 DeSoto grilles, I prefer the small oval on the 57 DeSoto grille over the one on the 58. Also, the parking lights on the 58 DeSoto grille are not really integrated into the design - it seems to me they could have been formed to fit the lower corners of the bumper surround better than those little round lights stuck in there. The 57's park lights were nicely integrated into the outer edges of the oval.

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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-07 1:13 PM (#263779 - in reply to #263577)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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imopar380 - 2011-03-06 9:29 AM

Getting back to the 57-58 DeSoto grilles, I prefer the small oval on the 57 DeSoto grille over the one on the 58. Also, the parking lights on the 58 DeSoto grille are not really integrated into the design - it seems to me they could have been formed to fit the lower corners of the bumper surround better than those little round lights stuck in there. The 57's park lights were nicely integrated into the outer edges of the oval.



********************************************

Yeah, we 58 guys got "ripped" when it comes to those "add-on" parking lights ! They look as if someone
forgot them and at the last minute just popped some aftermarket rounds in the lower grille opening. The 57
units were very nicely integrated. I am half tempted to put the 57 parkers on my 58. It would take a really
wild hair, but if I were more into custom, I'd hang the 57 sidetrim on there too !

I went for 58 over 57 for those exhaust tips and the wedge. While the Hemi stuff has gotten easier to deal
with than it was in 1986, the wedge is such a no brainer for ease and costs.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-06 8:29 AM (#263644 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Location: Hilton Head SC
Imopar...

We are in agreement on the '57 Desoto being a nicer design than the '58. I also liked the '57 side stripe better.

Here's my wife and me next to a '62 Imp convert. at Notre Dame campus. One of the last Exner Forward Look designs. Not ours, unfortunately.

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-06 8:33 AM




('62 Imp JRS Tucky.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments '62 Imp JRS Tucky.jpg (78KB - 293 downloads)
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imopar380
Posted 2011-03-06 3:34 PM (#263674 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Nice Imperial there John, for sure. The 62 and 63 Imperials, were IMHO much nicer looking than the 60-61 models. I just can't get myself excited over the hump-back fin styling of the 60-61 Imperials, when the 57-59 Imperials, to me, were so much nicer with their integrated, smooth flowing fins. Of course by 62 they were almost, but not quite, shaved right off, but overall I feel the 62-63 styling is a lot more balanced.
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RDP
Posted 2011-03-07 11:57 AM (#263772 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Hello Mr. Samsen.
I found these pictures. Can you say something about them? Any information you might have would be greatly appreciated.




(chrysler1957a.jpg)



(chrysler1957b.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments chrysler1957a.jpg (29KB - 327 downloads)
Attachments chrysler1957b.jpg (35KB - 297 downloads)
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-07 1:36 PM (#263783 - in reply to #263772)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Location: Hilton Head SC
I have never seen those pictures before, and am sure I didn't see the proposals at the time. The large single headlamps suggest that this mockup, and the other two peeking in the photo, were proposals for the new 1957 lineup that were not chosen. BTW, I think the front end really sucks! I was told when I entered Desoto studio that Exner had made proposals for each of the 1957 car lines in his private advanced studio, and that the proposals made by the studios were chosen by company execs over those Ex designed. Assistant manager Jack Koenitz was given credit for designing the 1957 Desoto, which the '57 Chrysler was made from. What surprises me is that these weren't clay models, but mock-ups with windows and rear glass (probably acrylic). They seem to be painted clay color, which was done to real cars, for comparison with clay models. I thought all proposals at that time were in the form of full size clay models. This mockup is shown in the old outdoor viewing area that we called the "stockade" with its wooden fence. Goes to show that we had a lot of secrecy between studios, and didn't know much about what other studios were working on.

Also, Exner had separate rooms where the full size clays were developed by studio managers and their assistants. Board designers didn't see the clay work in their own studios, but were isolated, and just made concept sketches for the manager to get ideas from. Elwood Engle changed this system, and then designers directed clay development, as it was done at Ford and GM.

John Samsen



Edited by john samsen 2011-03-07 1:53 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2011-03-07 3:25 PM (#263795 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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John, your implication is that the above Chrysler/Imp rendition might just be one of Ex's own designs for the
1957 models?

He had the weight to have his own ideas be put into steel, for consideration.

These pics (low sun angles and leafless trees) were probably taken in FEB/MAR(?) but would they have been taken
in 1954 or 1955??




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soiouz
Posted 2011-03-07 3:43 PM (#263797 - in reply to #263795)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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d500neil - 2011-03-07 3:25 PM

These pics (low sun angles and leafless trees) were probably taken in FEB/MAR(?) but would they have been taken
in 1954 or 1955??



They are dated November 11 1954, according to the book "Designing America's Cars - The '50's", in which they appear.

There's also a good bunch of design clays, mockups and drawings from the Desoto studio in this book. I'll scan them a little later today and post them here for Mr Samsen to discuss if he wants to. I'd love to get his opinions on them.
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-07 4:29 PM (#263812 - in reply to #263797)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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I heard that the '57 models were pushed up a year, with only around two years development time, and engineering didn't have time to work out all the bugs, like fender hoods trapping salt and mud and rusting through. And, the 301 V8 engines sludged up and wore out in less than a year- I had one in a Fury hardtop. If the designs were chosen in late '54 or early '55, as the pictures indicate, this would be about right.

John
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d500neil
Posted 2011-03-07 4:44 PM (#263814 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Note the high mounted rear view mirror, on this prototype, too.

John, Ex was a major fan of exposed wheel wells, so I wonder if this car's semi-enclosed wheel openings would
have been a personal design feature of his?

The side molding and the closed top of the wheel openings were obviously executed to high(low?-)light the
length of the design---any recollections about the possibility that the 57's might have had enclosed wheel openings?




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soiouz
Posted 2011-03-07 6:54 PM (#263831 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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Here are the Desoto design clays, mock-ups and drawings found in the book "Designing America's Cars: The '50's".

I would love to get Mr. Samsen's comments on them.

Here's Desoto's take on the same concept as the Chrysler one from November 1954 a couple of posts above:


Working on the 1957 models:


This Dodge/Plymouth/Desoto wagon is interesting:


Apparently, this was a proposition for the 1958 facelift:


These were all propositions for 1959:


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RDP
Posted 2011-03-08 10:52 AM (#263913 - in reply to #263831)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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soiouz - 2011-03-08 12:54 AM

Here are the Desoto design clays, mock-ups and drawings found in the book "Designing America's Cars: The '50's".


Thanks David, very interesting pics!
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-15 8:11 AM (#264698 - in reply to #263831)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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About the statiion wagon in the above photo.....

John



(56 Plym Cabana.7x72.jpg)



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RDP
Posted 2011-03-15 12:30 PM (#264732 - in reply to #264698)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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john samsen - 2011-03-15 2:11 PM

About the statiion wagon in the above photo.....

John


like this



(60Plym.jpg)



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sparky7
Posted 2011-03-15 5:24 PM (#264754 - in reply to #264732)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen


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About the station wagon design . . .

In the studio B&W photo, it looks like the car they started with is --more or less-- a Dodge 4 dr. HT, with a wagon roof line added.

Unfortunately it looks as if John's wagon concept is rendered on the side of the car facing away from the camera, as you can see by the hint of that prominent fin showing through the glass. . . .

Sparky



(DesotoDesign_crop.jpg)



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Attachments DesotoDesign_crop.jpg (38KB - 399 downloads)
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d500neil
Posted 2011-03-07 7:40 PM (#263835 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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The 57 DeSoto styling rendition is seen, in the background of David's first images, above here.








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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-08 12:15 PM (#263922 - in reply to #263835)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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After seeing the latest pictures of '57 clay models, the clay proposals RDP shows are probably clay models, and may be alternate designs presented by the styling studios. I am surprised by the glass; usually windshields and backlites were clay, until the dsign was chosen, then plaster casts were made and acrylic sheets were melted into the casts. After that, changes could not be made. The corp. must have had a lot of money to spend on the '57's, to have plastic windshields and backlites installed on the clay models of proposals. As I said, we designers weren't allowed into the clay rooms, so didn't know how the designs were progressing. I don't give Exner many stars for his management methods.

The first photo is a clay '62 Desoto proposal (glad it wasn't chosen!) it is all clay. Later, as the company was tighter for money, fewer palstic backlights were used on models.

Second picture is a '57 sketch for '60 Desoto by Dave Cummins. Then a Dodge sketch.

The rendering by Bill Lucas of a Don Kopka design shows similar design to the above photos shown by RDP.



A lot more historical styling concepts can be seen at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/art-findsusa.html
and at http://CollectibleArt.net

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-08 12:44 PM




(1962 desoto E 5902 1.jpg)



(2 1957-60 Desoto concept-Dave Cummins 6x72.jpg)



(3 1957-60 Dodge concept-Dave Cummins6x72.jpg)



(Kopka desoto 54 8x72.jpg)



(5 1957-1960 Imperial concept-Cummins.jpg)



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Attachments 1962 desoto E 5902 1.jpg (103KB - 450 downloads)
Attachments 2 1957-60 Desoto concept-Dave Cummins 6x72.jpg (33KB - 367 downloads)
Attachments 3 1957-60 Dodge concept-Dave Cummins6x72.jpg (28KB - 353 downloads)
Attachments Kopka desoto 54 8x72.jpg (62KB - 357 downloads)
Attachments 5 1957-1960 Imperial concept-Cummins.jpg (32KB - 468 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-08 1:03 PM (#263929 - in reply to #263922)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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john samsen - 2011-03-09 9:15 AM

The first photo is a clay '62 Desoto proposal (glad it wasn't chosen!) it is all clay. Later, as the company was tighter for money, fewer palstic backlights were used on models.


**********************************************

The best proposal for the 62 DeSoto was to not build them. DeSoto had the positive distinction
of being able to "die with their boots (fins) on". The thought of a DeSoto K-car or any other post-
69 DeSoto is nauseating.

Half the charm of driving a DeSoto is the name ..... one of those "old" cars that people can't
really remember well (if at all).


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d500neil
Posted 2011-03-08 4:43 PM (#263954 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Hmmm; a Styling Department (pen/paper), working individually on the various aspects/areas of the cars,
and Studio Managers & Assistants (clay modeling).

And, Bean Counters (accountants/planners) who tried to ensure that inexpensive components were installed which
would interchange among the models (especially on the wagons across-the board) as much as possible.

It's a wonder that any unified design ever got out of the factories.

How were the clay models destroyed?

Did a bunch of guys with trowels go at the models, to recover as much of the clay as possible?

The renditions couldn't have been put into furnaces, to melt off the clay?



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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-08 5:16 PM (#263964 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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D-500neil,

The modelers scraped off all the clay they could from the plywood and lath bucks, hopefully removed stray staples, etc. from it, and it went back into the ovens to be softened. Bucks were recycled, and used again.

In later years, clay models were often covered with Di-noc, huge sheets of vinyl decal material which was spray painted in automotive enamels. Chrome parts were covered with aluminum foil. The clay modelers were amazing sculptors!

John

Edited by john samsen 2011-03-08 5:26 PM




(clay buck 7x72.jpg)



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Attachments clay buck 7x72.jpg (45KB - 416 downloads)
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2011-03-08 9:56 PM (#263992 - in reply to #263964)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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john samsen - 2011-03-09 2:16 PM

D-500neil,

The modelers scraped off all the clay they could from the plywood and lath bucks, hopefully removed stray staples, etc. from it, and it went back into the ovens to be softened. Bucks were recycled, and used again.

In later years, clay models were often covered with Di-noc, huge sheets of vinyl decal material which was spray painted in automotive enamels. Chrome parts were covered with aluminum foil. The clay modelers were amazing sculptors!

John


***********************************************

Wow ! How did I make it this far in life, being interested in cars like I am, and NOT know that these
wood "bucks" supported that clay body mock up ???

Is there a rolling chassis under that "box" ?

I am stunned that this "detail" has gotten past me all this time !
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Windsor59
Posted 2011-03-08 5:37 PM (#263974 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Hi John Samsen!
Do you know anything about Windsor 1959 X300 (high performer car) was going to be produced by Chrysler though it was shut.
I've been looking at older posts but can not find the thread about what we knew then. A cartoon image appears in the book Chrysler 70 years
Maby one here remember the post?
Thanks
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Greg P.
Posted 2011-03-08 9:24 PM (#263989 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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Dear Mr. Samsen,

I attended your talk at Carlisle last summer and was enthralled and honored to be there.

Thank you so much for posting on this thread. I think I speak for many of us when I say the information that you have provided is absolutely priceless. You’ve already provided answers to questions that I’ve had for years but assumed were lost forever.

I’ve been a fan of the Forward Look cars since I was a kid. I was born in 1962 so they were already out of “style” by “my” time but that never meant a thing to me. To me, the Forward Look represents a unique period in time where style and stylists ruled Detroit and where cars were truly art forms on wheels. Art that reflected the times. Such a period will not likely ever happen again.

I was blown away by the drawings of your “reflected fin” Desoto. Wow! What a shame that car was never built. If it had been, I believe it would be an icon of design 50 years later. I want one!

I’ve owned a ’57 Desoto, ’61 Plymouth, a couple of ’64 300Ks and now a ’61 Newport. All have their particular unique appeal to me.

I do agree with you that the ’57 Desoto is arguably the most beautiful incarnation of the forward look. I was fascinated to learn that it was the Desoto design that was chosen for Chrysler. I had always assumed that it was the other way around.

I hope you will continue to share your insights with us. Let me say that no detail of your memories is too small or inconsequential. I have an insatiable love for the detail, the trivia, and all that stuff when it comes to these cars. Some times I look at a single part, like a mirror, a door handle, or a wheel cover, and wonder who designed that and what is the story behind it? And know I’m not alone.

Can you share anything about the ’61 Chrysler?


Edited by Greg P. 2011-03-08 9:32 PM
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john samsen
Posted 2011-03-08 10:40 PM (#264000 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



"The Original Source"

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Joakim,

I never heard of the Winsor X500. Sorry!

Doc, the clay armatures (bucks) had steel frames, and to move them, car jacks, like used in service garages, picked them up front and rear, and they were pushed by hand or pulled by small tractor-like vehicles.

Some bucks were built with removable roofs so that instrument panels could be modeled inside. The clay bucks had to be solidly supported, so that accurate dimentions could be taken off by measuring scales held on the aluminum "bridges", which could be moved on the rails surrounding the buck. When the new Ford styling building was built in the early '50's, steel and concrete foundations down to bedrock were put in the floors beneath the rail platforms. At Chrysler, the platforms were laid on top of the concrete floors, and were not as solid as those at Ford and GM, but it doesn't look like this was detrimental to the bodies produced.

Here are a couple details I designed:

And Desoto styling studio 1956, no full size clays!

My work station, Plymouth studio...just noticed- I'm still using the Dazor lamp on my drawing table here in South Carolina. And, my old air brush, sable paint brushes, etc. When we left the company, they gave us a box to take what we wanted of our tools, old sketches, etc.

John



Edited by john samsen 2011-03-08 11:01 PM




(59 DS cover.jpg)



(62 Imp ornament.JPG)



(56 Desoto studio 8x72.jpg)



(dwg station 6x72.jpg)



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Attachments 59 DS cover.jpg (62KB - 299 downloads)
Attachments 62 Imp ornament.JPG (45KB - 290 downloads)
Attachments 56 Desoto studio 8x72.jpg (46KB - 304 downloads)
Attachments dwg station 6x72.jpg (35KB - 293 downloads)
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djMikulec
Posted 2011-03-27 8:18 PM (#266171 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Samsen's posts, it's been like going back in time. Quite insightful. And I do have a question for him that I hope fits in... I pose it here because the car, the '63 Newport seems to have several styling features that were at the least inspired by Exner's Forward Look era, namely the grill, headlamp treatment and the inset rear bumper with the surrounding trim highlighting. My question... the rear of the car seems to have been an afterthought and doesn't quite seem to match the rest of the car's lines. And, at top rear of each quarter panel are partial indentations, as if something else had been planned, perhaps an Imperial style tail-lamp treatment or even fins? I recently made a deal for one of these cars, she's a true survivor and am naturally curious as to it's design history and inspiration.

And I love the instrument panel's wrap around design, layout and round gauges. Very cool.

 

 

 

 

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Chrycoman
Posted 2011-03-27 9:39 PM (#266182 - in reply to #266171)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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djMikulec - 2011-03-27 8:18 PM

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Samsen's posts, it's been like going back in time. Quite insightful. And I do have a question for him that I hope fits in... I pose it here because the car, the '63 Newport seems to have several styling features that were at the least inspired by Exner's Forward Look era, namely the grill, headlamp treatment and the inset rear bumper with the surrounding trim highlighting. My question... the rear of the car seems to have been an afterthought and doesn't quite seem to match the rest of the car's lines. And, at top rear of each quarter panel are partial indentations, as if something else had been planned, perhaps an Imperial style tail-lamp treatment or even fins? I recently made a deal for one of these cars, she's a true survivor and am naturally curious as to it's design history and inspiration.

And I love the instrument panel's wrap around design, layout and round gauges. Very cool.



Yes, the original design, as done under Virgil Exner, was to have been a 1962 Imperial with curved side glass, front windshield similar to what was used on the 1962-63 Plymouths and Dodges, and taillights harking back to 1955-56. Earlier Mr. Samsen showed an illustration of what was to be the 1963 Imperial, basically Exner's 1962 design cleaned up - cowl and windshield from 1960-62 Chrysler, taillamps faired into the body and no more side curved glass. The trim on the front fender was used on the 1963 Chrysler New Yorker. When you compare the original Exner 1962 Imperial, with Mr. Samsen's 1963 Imperial and the production 1963 Chrysler you can how the car's design progressed from start to finish.

The small rear window is another item carried over from the Imperial while the round headlamp doors on the 1963 were derived from the Imperial's move away from the separate headlamp units on the 1961 Imperial. And just as the original 1962 Imperial was to bring back the tailights of 1955-56, the instrument panel of the 1963-64 Chrysler was an update of the 1955-1956 DeSoto panel.

For 1964 the the rear window was enlarged and small fins added to give the car a more square appearance from the side - getting away from the sloping rear decks on the original series 'S' designs.
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Chrycoman
Posted 2011-03-27 10:07 PM (#266189 - in reply to #266182)
Subject: RE: Mr John Samsen



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The photos -

The first is the original design in July 1959 for 1962.

The second is the one by Mr. Samsen in 1960 for 1963, as submitted by him in an earlier post.

You can see the difference in the front windshield and cowl along with the flat side glass. The 1960 rendition has the fender lines integrated with the body and flowing through from front to rear. The rear sloping deck is still there with the Imperial tailliamps more integrated with the body. The roof line is virtually identical to what the production 1963 New Yorker had.




Edited by Chrycoman 2011-03-27 10:10 PM




(1962 imperial - Jul-59.jpg)



('63 Imp fs Rendering 8x72.jpg)



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Attachments 1962 imperial - Jul-59.jpg (76KB - 556 downloads)
Attachments '63 Imp fs Rendering 8x72.jpg (36KB - 404 downloads)
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RDP
Posted 2012-12-15 10:49 AM (#351297 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Early Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager???





(86768798345768583g7jh.JPG)



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mopardave
Posted 2012-12-15 3:20 PM (#351329 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen


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That's quite an education in car design.
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55CRL
Posted 2012-12-15 3:44 PM (#351334 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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Looking at Mr. Samsens rendering for 63 Imperial I can see the roof and C-pillar design was reused on the 65-66 Dart hardtops.

Edited by 55CRL 2012-12-15 3:45 PM
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RDP
Posted 2013-05-25 1:58 PM (#377096 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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.



(375039_486059534797328_201938144_n - K1.jpg)



(375039_486059534797328_201938144_n - K2.jpg)



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Attachments 375039_486059534797328_201938144_n - K1.jpg (58KB - 409 downloads)
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dlvh
Posted 2014-05-21 12:02 PM (#441748 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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I'd love to see more of these from the 57-60 Plymouth line. Are those somewhere to be found?
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RDP
Posted 2022-06-09 1:03 PM (#622009 - in reply to #259194)
Subject: Re: Mr John Samsen



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It's not Mr. Samsen's work, but I think it fits that thread.

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2022/06/03/mid-century-automotive-d...

https://www.meseniors.com/2021/09/09/the-benefits-of-bearing-down-my...





(Plymouth - Rod Williams (1).JPG)



(De Soto - Rod Williams (1).JPG)



(Chrysler - Rod Williams (1).JPG)



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Attachments Plymouth - Rod Williams (1).JPG (59KB - 49 downloads)
Attachments De Soto - Rod Williams (1).JPG (61KB - 45 downloads)
Attachments Chrysler - Rod Williams (1).JPG (109KB - 51 downloads)
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