Home » I Really Like These Storybook-ish Drawings Of This Old Ford Van: Cold Start

I Really Like These Storybook-ish Drawings Of This Old Ford Van: Cold Start

Cs Taunusvan 1
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Every now and then I’ll encounter an old brochure where it’s less about the car that captures my attention, and more about the artistic style of the brochure. Today is one of those days! It was inspired by this 1951 Ford of Germany brochure about the Taunus van, and the illustration style used is somehow strangely soft and sweet, almost like illustrations from som quaint old storybook about a van that lived with a cobbler and they meet an elf or fairy or some shit. They’re just charming!

As you can see above, there’s a soft, painterly quality, and everything seems to have an almost, I don’t know, velvety texture to it. The body panels don’t quite seem like cold metal, to me.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Here, look for yourself:

Cs Taunusvan 5

See what I mean? The visual look makes them seem sort of…soft? The bottom one, the brown wagon, it almost seems upholstered? Like a leather sofa you can drive around. Cars have been built with vinyl exteriors before, but I’m pretty sure the Taunus was all-steel.

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The grille is interesting, too; it seems to be made from body-colored metal that’s angled to slots cut into it, with chrome trim delineating the sort-of louvers; the look is interesting and almost feels like the false grilles used on some rear-engined cars, but it’s not that– this is a conventional front engine, and that’s a functional grille. It’s just a bit odd.

Cs Taunusvan 2

Looking into the cargo area and interior, the illustration makes it still look sort of soft and inviting, almost cozy, like a cabin, perhaps. The spare tire is under the floor, which is nice in that it gives access without having to remove any cargo, but it does reduce the interior height by a good number of inches. I’d have stuck it on the rear door.

Cs Taunusvan 3

In fact, all of the packaging feels a bit archaic, really. I mean, look at this – the cargo area doesn’t even start until the halfway point of the van’s length, and that hood is a good 1/3 of the overall length. It’s not really an efficient use of space at all, and it makes you realize why vans that were starting to appear at this time, especially Volkswagen’s Type 2, did so well. Just look at the packaging differences:

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Barndoor Cutaway

Even in this very early VW van, I think also from around 1951, before VW moved the spare to a better location, you still have much more cargo room in the VW for the same basic amount of overall length. Yes, the engine and spare wheel take up room at the rear, but unlike a front hood, you can use the space above it, and it leaves a huge open cube of space for the main cargo area, which is also loadable from the side, very handy for a delivery vehicle.

Still, the Taunus has its charms, and this brochure works hard to convey that. There’s a drawing of the engine here that uses extensively one of my favorite graphic design conceits: breaking boundaries:

Cs Taunusvan 4

See how the fan blades and oil bath air cleaner and that bracket and the lower oil pan tab things all break the boundaries of that thin border? I love that shit! It makes everything feel so much more active and vibrant. It’s sort of strange and maybe even silly but I never get tired of that basic visual concept.

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Oh also, I finally looked up what the hell “Taunus” means. It’s confusingly close to “taurus” but it’s got nothing to do with astrological bulls. It’s a mountain range in Germany! Ohhhhhhhh.

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Dodsworth
Dodsworth
11 days ago

Fiberweed. It’s made of Fiberweed, Man.

Muop
Muop
11 days ago

maybe the spare wheel is in the extension of the rear axle, which allows to have a flat loading floor without empty space

DysLexus
DysLexus
11 days ago

Yep. That yellow cargo area picture sure gives off a definite Curious George vibe. I could almost see the little fellas eyes popping up over the seat while the Man with Yellow Hat is driving.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
11 days ago

I’m getting more Repo Man than storybook.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
11 days ago

If these illustrations evoke a German fairy tale, you can be sure there’s a child-eating witch in there somewhere.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
11 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Kostenlose Süßigkeiten

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
11 days ago

I’ll bet if you put a side image of a Morris Minor Traveller up against the Taunus they’d be quite similar in their proportions and use of space.

Hamish48
Hamish48
11 days ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

I thought so too – in fact at first glance that’s what I thought it was.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
11 days ago

In that top image, it almost looks like its eyes are welling up with yellowy tears, perhaps of antifreeze.

Tagarito
Tagarito
11 days ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

Ye olde days of blinker fluid, a bygone era

Leon Muks
Leon Muks
11 days ago

Sort of “Harry Potter and the Brotherhood of Longroofs” vibe in the drawings.

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
11 days ago

There are a surprisingly number of mountainous cars, Standard Atlas, several Sierras, Triumph Dolomite, all Tatra’s, Alpha Stelvio and many Alpines and of course Ford Taunus. I am sure there must be more, surely someone must have made a Himalaya. ( just remembered, there is a Royal Enfield Himalaya)

Lori Hille
Lori Hille
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Denali…

Leon Muks
Leon Muks
11 days ago
Reply to  Lori Hille

Rocky

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Alpine

Lori Hille
Lori Hille
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Subaru was once Fuji Heavy Industries.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

GMC Sierra

VS 57
VS 57
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Hodaka…

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

A pair of Stelvios would make for a nice slice of Italy in the garage – 1 Alfa, 1 Moto Guzzi.

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