Maine Classic Car Museum displays designs in the ’50s by Biddeford artist – Press Herald

Fishing rod Williams worked in Of detroit in the particular 1950s, when cars had been works associated with art.

Which was a good thing just for Williams, of Biddeford, since he’s an artist. It had been his job to get concepts plus ideas from designers and translate them into colour illustrations associated with what the brand new models may appear to be. The particular designs he or she worked on, to get Chrysler and Ford, were full of eye-catching details, through gleaming chrome bumpers to sharp-angled tail fins.

“I think back again in the ’50s, after Ww ii, the car companies were planning to capture the particular imaginations of all the people that hadn’t been able to get new vehicles for yrs, ” said Williams, 91. “They were looking for something which was flashy and might grab your own eye. ”

Fifteen of Williams’ pictures will become element of an exhibition titled “Rod Williams Retrospective: The Maine Boy in Detroit, ” which usually opens Sunday in the Maine Classic Vehicle Museum in Arundel and will be on look at till the end from the 12 months. Williams will be available to meet up with and talk to people at a good opening wedding reception from 2-4 p. michael. Saturday.

Williams grew up in Millinocket plus left with regard to art school in Brand new York Town after higher school. From money right after one semester, he joined up with the Navy blue in 1950 so can use the particular GI Bill of Legal rights later to continue artwork school. Within the Navy, he was designated to paint portraits associated with Navy boats to hang in admiral’s offices.

He also used his creative capability to woo a girl from back home whom he has been sweet on – Carolyn Ruth. This individual wrote her some forty letters that were within envelopes covered with his artwork. Making use of ink and watercolors, this individual created moments from the areas his ship choose to go, mainly Cuba plus around the particular Caribbean. He or she said he’d had too many additional girls eliminate him, so he wished to do some thing to make sure Carolyn would remember him. The girl did. They did marry in 1954.


A Plymouth design example by Biddeford artist Pole Williams, through the 1955s, will become element of an exhibit from the Maine Classic Vehicle Museum in Arundel. Image thanks to Rod Williams

Also in the Navy, this individual began drawing cars, for fun. An official saw the car sketches plus sent these to Cars journal. The mag did a story on Williams and his art entitled “Dream Car Sailor, ” which obtained the attention of Detroit auto manufacturers. When he got out there of the Navy in 1954, he or she was provided a career at Ford.

With Ford, he worked on iconic models like the Thunderbird and the particular Fairlane; while at The chrysler his design proposals incorporated versions of the New Yorker, the Country Squire and the DeSoto. He labored on some 300 designs altogether, as component of a team.

Williams worked from the summary of concepts or ideas which were to become incorporated straight into a style. He’d make sketches very first and later a complete color illustration. Management would review the particular sketches simply by him and others, and those they thought might function would after that be produced into clay models to see the actual looked like in 3 dimensions.

“The whole procedure was enjoyable and difficult, ” mentioned Williams. “Sometimes they wanted some changes because the design was getting aged and sometimes they desired something completely new. ”

Rod Williams’ work pertaining to Ford and Chrysler may be upon view in the Maine Traditional Car Museum in Arundel. Photo by Karen Sigler

By the particular end of the 1950s, though, Williams great wife had been missing New England and Maine. These people moved in order to the Boston area plus started their particular own business, creating artwork for companies and marketing campaigns. Certainly one of their clients in the particular 1970s was Tom’s associated with Maine, manufacturer of natural products. The particular Williamses relocated to Maine in 1999. Williams officially upon the market in 2005 but offers continued to do design work designed for some Maine companies, including Kate’s Homemade Butter.

Several of Williams’ illustrations which will be on screen include a gleaming red and black Plymouth convertible, along with tail fins and two features that look type of like jet engines jutting from the chrome front side grill. There is also the sleek DeSoto four-door sedan that has simply no barrier among the front and back door windows, so along with the home windows down, right now there is just one open room over the particular two doorways. Another is definitely an azure and white Ford Parklane station truck, with rounded tail lamps, tail fins and steering wheel wells in the rear.


The Maine Classic Car Museum is a relatively new venue, having opened in July of 2019 before closing again for 5 months when the pandemic strike. It displays about 50 cars at a time from the 200-car selection of Miles Prentice, an attorney and business person who offers a home within Maine and spends winters in California.

Prentice desired a method to share his adore of classic cars and his selection with others, so he or she partnered with Motorland, a classic car dealership on Path 1 in Arundel where he have been a customer, said Karen Sigler, the particular museum’s curator. The museum building will be located right next to Motorland, producing an one-stop destination for a wide range of vehicle buffs, through audience in order to people exactly who just really want to appearance.

The selection includes U. S. plus European vehicles, from touring cars from the 1930s and ’40s to sports cars, campers plus convertibles. One of the most unusual vehicles at the museum will be a Tucker, one of less than fifty surviving models produced in the particular late 1940s by maverick car developer Preston Tucker. The futuristic car and its eccentric maker inspired the 1988 movie “Tucker: The Guy great Dream” starring Shaun Bridges.

“Miles includes a like of cars and their own stories and as his collection increased he really wanted to share that, ” mentioned Sigler.

The particular Maine Traditional Car Art gallery in Arundel is starting an exhibit of pictures by Biddeford resident Fishing rod Williams, whom worked intended for Chrysler plus Ford within the 1955s. Image thanks to Fishing rod Williams

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