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Industrial designer Robert E. Bourke attended Chicago Art Institute and started as a staff designer for Sears, Roebuck in 1935. In 1940 Virgil Exner hired him as a Studebaker staff designer. In 1944, Raymond Loewy’s independent Studebaker design studio in South Bend was working on the 1947 post-war Studebaker. Bourke refined the design with dramatic wrap-around rear windows. Bourke headed Raymond Loewy Associates Studebaker operation from 1949 to 1955. The 1950 Studebaker was a dramatic design with a huge chrome, aircraft-like nose that became known as the “bullet-nose.” For 1953 Bourke designed the Commander Starliner Hardtop and the similar Champion Starlight Coupe with assistants Randy Faurot and Holden “Bob” Koto. The Starliner Hardtop became known as the "Loewy Coupe” or "Bourke Coupe.” A blend of European and American design, longer, wider and lower than previous models, in 1953 the Museum of Modern Art called it “a work of art.”
1953 Studebaker Starliner Hardtop
The enduring 1953 Studebaker Commander V-8 Starliner Hardtop designed by Bob Bourke for Raymond Loewy Associates.
Holden "Bob" Koto Design
An early working design by Holden "Bob" Koto for the Starliner Hartop.
Bullet Nose Front
1950 "bullet nose" Champion Coupe front view.
Bullet Nose Rear
1950 "bullet nose" Champion Coupe rear view.
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