Dr. Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) developed this inexpensive rear-engine small car called the Type 32, or Kleinauto, for the NSU Company in Germany in 1932. It was based on an original small car prototype Porsche had developed, but never produced in 1931 for the Zündapp Works, a motorcycle firm. Porsche had just in 1931 opened his own automotive design firm with his son, Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche II (b. 1909) , but already had a long and distinguished career of innovative design. Born in Austria, he was hired in 1898 as a designer by Ludwig Lohner, owner of a carriage factory in Vienna, who wanted to produce an electric car and was interested in Porsche's idea of placing the electric motors directly inside the wheel hub, thus eliminating chain and belt drives. The resulting car was the Porsche-Lohner Chaise, which won a grand prize at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900, and made Porsche famous. In 1903, Porsche combined a gasoline engine with an electric motor in what he called a "Mixt" car for Lohner. The engine powered a generator which fed electricity to the motors in the wheels. Nicknamed "Aunt Eulalia", the car was a hit with celebrities like Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. In 1906, Porsche became an engineer for Austro-Daimler as a technical director and board member, and joined Daimler in Germany in 1923 where he remained until he was dismissed, when Daimler merged with Benz Cie in 1926. In 1929 he took a key position with Steyr Works in Vienna, but the company soon collapsed financially. Three of his NSU small car prototypes were built in 1933, and they were refined, through a commission by Adolph Hitler, into three VW 3 prototypes in 1936, which were successfully tested by the Nazi SS. Hitler's specifications included a cost of DM990 (US $396), a speed of 100 kph (60 mph), and 40 mpg fuel consumption.
The Crown Rider Reach Series Trucks were designed by David Tompkins, IDSA, Frank Wilgus, Nilo-Rodis and David B. Smith, of Richardson/Smith, Inc and Harold Stammen and Jerry Pulskamp of Crown Controls Corporation. The design embodied the pioneering concept of the rider standing sideways for enhanced visibility; the one-hand joystick control of lift, direction, and speed; and the corporate “look” of Crown products that continues today. The design won one of the first IDEA awards in 1980, and was named by IDSA as a “Design of the Decade” in 1990. Since retiring from Fitch PLC—with which Richardson/Smith merged in 1989—David Smith has continued to work with Crown Equipment, extending a long-time relationship dating back to 1960. In 1995, IDSA honored Tom Bidwell, executive vice-president of Crown Equipment Company, with a Special Award for “notable results; creative and innovative concepts; and long-term benefits to the profession, its educational functions and society at large.”
In 1924 Chrysler became the last successful new car company start-up in the US for over 70 years. The company was founded by Walter P. Chrysler, who had left General Motors in 1920, and was designed by engineer Carl Breer (1883-1970). Denied space in the 1924 auto show by the leading manufacturers, Chrysler introduced his new car in a nearby hotel lobby. The model featured improved 4-wheel hydraulic brakes, which first appeared on the 1921 Duesenberg, but were plagued with leakage problems. The new car was an instant success. Within a year, Chrysler was considered one of the "big three," along with Ford and GM, together building 80 per cent of all US cars. In 1928, Chrysler Motors introduced the Plymouth, and established an Art and Color Department headed by industrial designer Herbert V. Henderson, following the lead of General Motors, who had established a similar department headed by Harley Earl the year before. But Henderson's group had little to do with body design. In 1931, The Chrysler Building was built in New York, becoming the tallest building in the world for a few months before the completion of the Empire State Building. Well-known body designer Raymond Dietrich (1894-1980) joined Chrysler as a consultant in 1932, becoming unofficial head of the Art and Color Department, then the official head from 1934 until 1940. In 1934, the Chrysler Airflow, designed by chief engineer Carl Breer and his staff engineers Fred Zeder and Owen Skelton, introduced leading-edge aerodynamic styling, innovative weight distribution and unitized body construction. While the too-advanced design was a failure in the market, it had significant future influence in automotive design.