For more than a century, automobiles have been key expressions of contemporary art and design. And while the world is thick with the musings of art and design critics, the specialist job title “automotive design critic” is one rarely bestowed. Indeed, the title didn’t exist until the mid-1980s when Automobile magazine assigned longtime car designer Robert Cumberford to the beat.
Cumberford worked alongside legends like Harley Earl, the man who invented modern car design at General Motors Corp., and associated for decades with many of the people at the top of the industry.
“What I like about Robert is that he is above all a designer who writes and not a journalist who dabbles in design,” says Patrick Le Quément, for many years the head of design at Renault who’s credited with creating the Twingo and the original Ford Sierra. “He understands, what else can I say?”
Bloomberg asked Cumberford to pick some of the best and worst designs he’s seen. See the list below along with a snippet of his thoughts.
Also read his story here: A Front-Row Seat to 70 Years of Automotive Design