The automobile of 1926
Here are some nice cars. They have not been collected in these pages because of their power or endurance, speed or flexibility.
No doubt they could also claim these qualities. But it's all about chassis and engines. Chassis and engines disappear here under the garment of steel, wood or leather of the bodies. These bodies, in their diversity, are also luxurious. Their luxury, however, is not the main motive that made them choose, among many others.
These are beautiful cars. It is their aesthetics that we are invited to appreciate. Our eyes must take the same pleasure as if they were the latest models of great fashion designers.
We must be sensitive to the harmony of their shapes and their line. To their novelty too: these beautiful cars are - to speak the language of the columnists of elegance - what is more up to date in the automobile fashion of I926. Because there is a fashion for the automobile as for the toilet.
A newspaper to occupy the leisure of the summer, offered his readers an ingenious contest: he presented them twenty-six different dresses, spread out since I900 until our days, - asking them to find for each year his year.
One could indulge, with the cars, with the same game. It would be enough moreover to leaf through the collection of L'Illustration to taste this instructive pleasure. What surprises and smiles! "How did we dress like this? "Say the pretty women sheathed and short-clad today in front of the traines or sizes corset of only fifteen years ago.
Such an electric automobile of I902, daringly described as "vehicle of the future", such prize-winning specimens of the first "automobile elegance competitions" appear to us as archaic as the locomotives of the Louis-Philippe era with a "Pacific".
But evolution has not required a century: it has been accomplished, under the eyes of a generation, in a few years.
Robert de Beauplan for The Illustration of October 2, 1926.