CHARLES BRABIN

Automobiles photography

Modern vehicles may be safer and more fuel efficient than ever before but the elegance and styling of those from previous decades is hard to match.

The American automobile industry traditionally led the world when it came to car design: there are the fins and thick, curving chrome which began to appear in the 1950s, reaching extreme proportions by the 1960s; there are the long, flat, sharp-cornered boots and bonnets – or trunks and hoods – of the 1970s; later came the compressed, less fuel-thirsty designs of the 1980s.

Tastes have changed, parking spaces have shrunk and the pressures of petrol costs and safety requirements have become ever more important design factors. Streets are no longer adorned with long sedans but are instead lined on both sides with compact cars, parked end-to-end. With the inexorable progression of rust and wear and tear of time gradually sending more classics to the scrapheap, photographs represent a way of preserving the curves, lines, intricate details and overall looks of the beautiful cars and trucks which no longer wallow and murmur along the streets.