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Fabric-covered cars: motor engineering and fashion

Sykas, Philip A (2019) Fabric-covered cars: motor engineering and fashion. Aspects of Motoring History, 15. pp. 3-15. ISSN 2631-5610

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Abstract

Fabric coverings for cars were a short-lived phenomenon of the 1920s to early 1930s. Designed to reduce weight, give flexibility, and supress noise, fashion also played a role. The inventor Leopold Ward trialled printed textile coverings coated with transparent varnish in 1924, and changeable silk was even seen offering an irridescent sheen. But the desire for curvaceous vehicle shapes and improvements in nitrocellulose paints meant that by 1929, fabric exteriors rapidly declined in popularity and production.

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