In 1958, Madison, Wisc., meat packing company Oscar Mayer introduced a vehicle that became an iconic symbol of the company: the Wienermobile. The thing was so popular that in the late 1980s, they built nine more of them.The same year, Milwaukee, Wisc., machine tool manufacturing giant Allen-Bradley was in search of identity; the designer of the Wienermobile came to the rescue, designing the famous A-B logo for the firm. But that was not the first—in 1935, he did the same thing for Cutler-Hammer, Miller Brewing (their soft cross logo in use to this day), and in later years, others.
As long ago as 1941, the same designer created a prototype snowmobile that accurately anticipated the configuration of machines that came along more than a decade later. In 1942, he developed designs for streamlined three wheel cars, in 1947 came the design for the Globester scooter, Evinrude Sportwin outboard motor and in 1949, the tank badge and other design elements that appeared on the first generation of Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide motorcycles.In his career that spanned more than four decades, he designed or oversaw the design of everything from the first wide-mouth peanut butter jar (1933), to flying boats (Evinrude Heli-bout 1961), snowmobiles (1965 Evinrude Skeeter) race cars (Excalibur Hawk 1962), the Briggs and Stratton hybrid/electric car (1979), kitchen appliances, buildings, lawn mowers, you name it.Who was the genius of industrial design who could cross all product lines so successfully? Milwaukee’s Brooks Stevens.When Willie G. Davidson graduated from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, his first industrial design job was not with Harley-Davidson, but rather was working with the same designer who created all the things mentioned above and many more.In his book, “100 Years of Harley-Davidson,” Willie G. tells of the start of his career as a designer with Brooks Stevens Industrial Design.“Fortunately, Brooks Stevens Industrial Design, a company that had a consulting relationship with Harley-Davidson, was headquartered in the Milwaukee area. Brooks hired me and I was able to cut my professional teeth doing design work on everything from furniture to outboard motors.“This included work on automotive projects like Studebaker and Willys. On the two-wheel side, I did design work on Cushman scooters. I also moonlighted for Harley-Davidson.”By 1963, Willie G. Davidson joined Harley-Davidson and the creation of a formal design department within the Motor Company would soon begin. The rest, as they say, is history.To learn more about industrial designer Brooks Stevens, check out: “Industrial Strength Design-How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World,” by Glenn Adamson (Published by The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA & London, England and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. ISBN: 0-262-01207-3.)Special thanks to Rebekah Morin and the staff at the Milwaukee Arts Museum for the use of the following:
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!