Monday, February 15, 2016

Separated Twins: 1938 Graham and 1938 Douglas B-18A Bomber

Yes, one of these "twins" isn't actually an automobile.  It's a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber built in the late 1930s.  They served in World War 2 mostly in an anti-submarine role due to being obsolete for other combat roles. Some background is here.

The B-18 was designed shortly after the Douglas DC-2 airliner, but had little in common other than wing structure and tail elements of the DC-3.  First-series B-18s featured a rounded nose, but the B-18As had the nose redesigned in a manner resembling the "Shark-Nose" 1938 Graham automobile.  B-18As reached production in April 1938, though design was probably essentially completed in 1937.

The Graham (company history here.) was styled by Amos Northup but, due to his accidental death, some details were designed by other hands.  The concept of the hood-grille ensemble was Northup's, however, and this work was probably done in 1936.

So even though the two designs were revealed late 1937 or early 1938, there is no reason to believe that one inspired the other.  What we have here is a curious design coincidence.

1938 Graham - Shannons Auction photo

Douglas B-18A Bolo

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