Can cars be moving pieces of art, as well as useful vehicles? (AP)

Can cars be moving pieces of art, as well as useful vehicles? (AP)

Harley Earl, the man who started to use clay to design cars in the 1920’s, thought cars could be art. (AP)

Harley Earl, the man who started to use clay to design cars in the 1920’s, thought cars could be art. (AP)

Designers asked,

Designers asked, "Instead of making each car a simple box shape, why not make it beautiful?" (AP)

Even today, the way cars are made shows the creativity God gave us. (AP)

Even today, the way cars are made shows the creativity God gave us. (AP)

Useful . . . and Beautiful

Posted: November 1, 2017

People think Harley Earl was the first person to design cars using clay. That was way back in the 1920s. He saw cars not just as tools for use, but as creative works of art. He used clay models to help millionaires and movie stars get an idea of what kind of car he was making. As a kid, he carved model cars out of chunks of clay he found beside a creek. His clay cars looked very different from the cars on the road at the time. The cars on the road looked like boxes. But his cars had rounded edges. They would become the cars of the future. People are still using his clay-modeling method after all these years. It works!

God made people in His image. Like Him (and unlike other creatures), they love to build things whose beauty and purpose go together. A car’s aesthetic matters a lot to car companies right now. That’s because when people buy cars, the vehicles can all seem the same. “Hmm,” says the buyer. “These three cars all withstand crashes equally well. They each use about the same amount of gas per mile. When I drive them, they all feel about the same on the road. So which one is best?” The buyer checks all three price tags. Even those are similar! Designers need to make a car that stands out—and not just because it works well. The buyer needs to say, “Wow. That is beautiful!”