Friday, December 25, 2015

Innovari: Innovations With Steel

During U.S. Steel's 1966 automotive presentation of "Innovations in Steel" to officials of the motor car industry, the Jack Brokensha Quartet and the Lenore Paxton Trio provided a distinctive jazz background for the occasion.  Their particular jazz style is high-lighted in the theme selection, "Steel Blue" which was created especially for the show as a musical tribute to U.S. Steel's concept-in-steel, Sports Station Wagon, Innovari.

We like the originality of "Steel Blue" so much that we invited the two groups to a recording session so that this album could be made for you.  We hope you enjoy it.

Recorded January 11, 1967
Detroit, Michigan

U.S. Steel really put a lot into their 1966 and 1968 Innovari & Innovan campaigns. The autos never saw production but the company sure did make a good case for their concepts.

Innovari I::

'Innovari is an experimental sports station wagon. It was innovated by U.S. Steel to show steel's unlimited design potential for automotive uses.'
'Style, stamina, and a preview of things to come.'
Innovari II::

In 1968 U.S. Steel brought back their favorite Innovari music makers, The Jack Brokensha Quartet and the The Lenore Paxton Trio with the album, Holiday Innovations. The album has fifteen holiday tunes including an original piece by Lenore Paxton and Loretta Balowski written exclusively for US Steel - Trimming The Tree At Christmas.

The foldout album cover design featured the Innovan II - this time using a taxicab concept to demonstrate the versatility and cost savings of designs in steel...'Because a taxicab has to behave like a car, and wear like a truck.'

An unusual limousine-type look: alligator-grain embossed steel sheets for the textured roof and wide easy open doors on a single stamped steel hinge.
'The 'interior styling creates a completely functional "people" package designed to provide the utmost in rider convenience, comfort and safety.'
As always, Syd Mead's  prototype illustration makes the Innovari a symbol of elegance and success. (From Mead's book, Steel Couture - Syd Mead - Futurist Sentinel.) Originally created for the U.S. Steel book, Innovations (1968).

(Images via Luis Casar on Facebook)

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