Here’s a fascinating look inside Chevrolet’s research facilities circa 1936. This is an era when the shapes of cars came from pencils wielded by designers operating on intuition, not market research or computer simulations.
In order to promote their design savvy, General Motors and Chevy developed a rather interesting water-based contraption to illustrate the benefits of streamlining.
They then put together this short video to show how this, and some primitive wind tunnel technology, is translated into automotive design. It’s also hilarious to hear of some of the supposed benefits conferred by their styling choices: