Bill puts the Spear in Wm Spear Design...


    Okay, you asked for it...here I am...The Sage of the Page: The King O' Pins and President for Life of Wm Spear Design. If you need more soap opera try this.

    But, to hell with soap opera, lets talk about DESIGN! Design, (the way things look and perform) should be an important part of your life. Ever wonder why our country looks increasingly like one huge trash heap? It's because there is a gigantic failure of taste. We are drowning in a sea of kitsch: dishonesty, falseness and sentimentality, If you look around you in modern America it is almost impossible to find anything around you that isn't sickeningly sweet, ripped off or trying to be something it isn't. (If you are really interested I can heartily recommend "KITSCH: The World of Bad Taste edited and partly written by Gillo Dorfles. Universe Books 1968 SNB 87663 106 5).


    There are lots of examples of good and bad design that I could throw around, but, I wanted to keep it kind of personal, and since I am going through a sort of second adolescence viz. rolling stock and other means of personal transport or locomotion, I thought I would choose some examples in this category to discuss. If I have time, I will attempt over time to go into more detail with each of these as I have with the Bantam.





The St. Lawrence River Skiff

    Without much doubt the finest rowboat ever "designed". Part whale boat, part gig, part guide boat, part canoe, no one can really say how this particular shape and configuration came into being except that it arose out of a clear consensus of the people who rowed them.


The Ford 8N Tractor

    Not just the design of N series tractors, but the actual tractors themselves are still putting in a whole lot of active and useful service all over the world 60 years after they were introduced (and absolutely revolutionized rural life in America). It's without question the best tool I have. Before you plunk down $40,000 for a fancy new Kubota, check out the local farm auctions. You can still buy any part for one right over the counter in any real farm town in the USA.


The Land Rover

    No, not the Range Rover or any other of those over-complicated devices. Except for the Volkswagen, the LAND Rover has had the longest continuous production run of any automobile.


The Jaguar E Type

    Malcom Sayer was the principal designer of four of the most beautiful and evocative cars ever made: One after the other. The Jaguar C Type, D Type, E Type and XJ-13. They never saw a wind tunnel.He developed them all from some secret and lost series of aerodynamic numbers he had developed, Except for the E Type they were all strictly racing cars, and it is not even certain in my mind that he even cared what these cars looked like. Form follows function, yes, but it is rarely as physically beautiful as this.


The American Bantam

    Alexis de Sahknoffski somehow was able to make a tiny car look proportional and civilized. I'm still trying to figure out how after 60 years! And it was Bantam who invented the Jeep, a finalist in the "Car of the Century" contest.

Special Wm Spear Supplement "Page Within a Page"
The American Austin/Bantam: including a proposal to revive.



The Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Roadster

    Not too much, just enough: the essence of elegance. This was a Raymond Lowey (remember the Coke Bottle?) treatment which turned a slightly dowdy English four seater into an elegant glass slipper fit for a Princess (really!)

Special Wm Spear Supplement"Page Within a Page"
The Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Roadster


    Oh, you're not a materialist? You think that you are not what you have but what you do? Okay. Here are a few things I like to do.



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