Concept Car of the Week: Arthur Radebaugh & the Bohn concepts (1947-49)

Arthur Radebaugh and the Bohn concept

In the late 1940s, artist and advertising man Arthur Radebaugh produced a series of futuristic artworks for automotive and aircraft parts manufacturer Bohn Metals based in Detroit. The results were stunning 

Bohn Metals was an old-line Detroit ‘heat-and-beat’ shop specializing in parts for automotive and aircraft applications. The company emerged in the 1920s when Bohn Foundry bought or merged with other smaller, specialised concerns. The Bohn foundry was near the old Packard plant in Detroit and the company’s parts were widely used in Motown cars for a generation. 

Seeking to establish a greater profile within the automotive and aeronautical industries and beyond, Bohn commissioned a long series of advertisements illustrating all sorts of future vehicles and environments, that drew on the power of wartime production, Bohn’s unique capabilities and the brimming optimism of postwar America.

The artist commissioned to produce the advertisements was veteran artist and advertising man Arthur Radebaugh, who worked to create a new futuristic scenario each month, which would then be placed in industry journals and the occasional popular magazine. Radebaugh was an early adopter and expert at airbrush renderings of all types, and was much in demand. His skills brought in many commissions in many commissions for his employer, the New Center Studios, a large pre-‘Mad Men’ era advertising firm located in Detroit. 

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