Veloce Publishing
Veloce Publishing - The Publisher of Fine Automotive Books
Homepage Advertise with us
About us
Newsletter Sign-up
Your Account
Shopping Basket
Customer Services
Contact us
How to Order and Pay
Veloce Publishing
November 21, 2017
Book Search    
Search Help
Cars, vans & trucks
Cars, vans & trucks  
Cars, vans & trucks Motorsport Repair & restoration Performance tuning & modification Special offers & bargins
Motorcycles & scooters Build your own car Caravaning & camping Reference & biography Series
Cars Vans & Trucks > Browse Books
Art Deco and British Car Design - The Airline Cars of the 1930s

Useful Links

Watch an exclusive video interview of Barrie Down talking about this book!
Art Deco and British Car Design eBook

Art Deco and British Car Design - The Airline Cars of the 1930s
We have a limited number of copies with bookplates personally signed by Barrie Down! Request during checkout.

By Barrie Down
About the Author

Paperback 144 pages 250 tall x 207mm 214 pictures (118 in colour) & 7 illustrations.

ISBN: 978-1-845845-22-3

£ 19.99 + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

Convert Currency Add to your basket
Download Sample PDF Chapter Titles Sample Text

The downloadable sample PDF requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer.


The story of British car streamline styling
Identifies the influence Art Deco had on automotive design
Thumbnail biographies of 1930s British automotive designers collected for the first time
Contemporary illustrations
High quality photographs of the surviving cars, many previously unpublished


A unique account of a radical era in automotive design. The Art Deco movement influenced design and marketing in many different industries in the 1930s, and the British motor industry was no exception.
The book is divided into two parts: the first explains and illustrates the Art Deco styling elements that link these streamlined car designs, describing their development, their commonality, and how aeronautical names were used, and is liberally illustrated with contemporary images. The second part goes on to portray British streamlined production cars made between 1933 and 1936, illustrated with colour photographs of surviving cars.


This is a book about automotive styling, in particular the streamlined styling that defined what are now known as Airline cars. During the mid-1930s the majority of British car manufacturers and coachbuilders experimented with streamlined styling. This fashion was the result of Art Deco, an international movement that influenced design and marketing in many different industries, and produced some of the most unique and visually exhilarating cars ever produced in Britain. Part One of the book explains and illustrates the Art Deco styling elements that link these streamlined car designs, and describes their development, their commonality, and their unique aeronautical names. The stories of the individual cars, their designers, and their development, are told in Part Two. Here, Barrie Down has collected examples of all the significant British streamlined production cars made between 1933 and 1936, many of them still represented by beautifully restored survivors. The book is well illustrated with over 200 contemporary pictures and colour photographs of existing cars, many of which have never before been published. This book is an instructive and visual feast for all car lovers.

Independent Reviews

'NOW AVAILABLE as a softback, this book honours the Art Deco movement's influence on British car design and the motor industry as a whole. Down does a good job of explaining styling elements that link these streamlined car designs and the reasoning behind their aeronautical names. He then moves on to the many aero-influenced production cars made during the 1930s - which made us want a 1937 Alvis Speed 25 by Lancefield all the more. That and a Bentley 4.25-litre by Carlton. And you have to marvel at the 1935 Triumph Gloria Flow-free recreated by Rob Green. This is a great read and good value.'

'This vibrant work features a good mix of period and modern photos. Fans of streamlining will enjoy this fresh perspective on pre-war British car styling.'
Classic & Sports Car

'Here's a delightful book that could fill a gap both on your bookshelf. In the first part, author Barrie Down explains the Art Deco movement and how it combined with streamlining in the 1930s to produce some of the century's most stunning cars. He then goes on to details some of those cars, with background to the designs, a critique of them, an assessment of their success and more, all illustrated in colour and black and white. Highly recommended!'
Triumph World

'It's a fascinating read, which also feature photos of the cars that have survived to this day (many of which haven't been published until now).'
Classic Car Buyer

'Author Barrie Down was an industrial designer and it shows in his thorough and knowledgable text. Readable, informative and good value.'
Classic Cars

'A most enjoyable 144-page romp through a golden age of motoring.'
Gay Classic Car Group

'The book has some lovely period pictures and adverts together with some really nice pictures of many of the known survivors. The narrative has been thoroughly researched and is in a very readable style.'

'With a mix of recent photos of many of these cars, and the more interesting contemporary photos and brochures, this is a very enjoyable look at a mid-'30s style that was different, and yet established various design elements that have been seen again over the decades since.'
New Zealand Classic Car

'Barrie Down, a man well versed in industrial design, is an authoritative narrator and has dug out a number of rare photographs.'

'It is not often these days that a new book about old cars has really new information, but this one does. Buy it.'
The Sacred Octagon

'This is both a book for those with an interest in cars and the art deco period.'
Jaguar World

'An unusual topic, covered well.'
Classic Driver

Additional Information

Models covered: Hillman Aero Minx Streamline, Hillman Aero Minx Cresta, AC Aero Saloon, Alvis Speed 20 Sports Saloon ,British Salmson Sports Saloon, MG Airline Coupe, SS1 Airline Saloon, Triumph Gloria Flowfree, Standard Speed Coupe, Standard Speedline, Standard Flying Series, Riley Kestrel, Singer LeMans Coupe, Singer Airstream, Talbot 105 Airline, Rover 14 Streamline


Also available from Veloce ...

1950s Motorsport in Colour
1950s Motorsport in Colour
Martyn Wainwright

£ 25.00

More Info
Triumph 350 & 500 Twins
Triumph 350 & 500 Twins
Peter Henshaw

£ 12.99

More Info
The Last Real Austins - 1946-1959
The Last Real Austins - 1946-1959
Colin Peck

£ 15.99

More Info
VeloceTerms & Conditions | Legal notice: © 2017 Veloce Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. | Helpdesk: +44 [0] 1305 260068