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Cars and Girls: The fastest girls of the 70s

Werner Eisele
Cars and Girls
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Sex sells - even then

S ex sells is a pleasant, often effective marketing ploy that produced the freshest, cheekiest and most frivolous flowers in the early 1970s. Almost every product was advertised with it. Just think of the tire manufacturer Pirelli, who upgraded the 'legs of your car' with a tight mini-skirt girl in the print advertisements.

Everyone was tempting, with the exception of Porsche

The 'love of the automobile', as Volkswagen claims it today, was anything but platonic at the time, but rather sensual and extremely erotic. At the major automobile exhibitions, almost all manufacturers attracted the mostly male journalists and visitors with attractive models and into the cars - not only the thoroughbred sports car brands, but also Mercedes, Opel, Ford and British Leyland. 'Except Porsche,' remembers photographer Werner Eisele from Stuttgart, 'they never had girls on their stand'.

Eisele should know. Since the early 1970s he has been a regular visitor to the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows, where he captured the latest series models and styling studies on his Kodak films and cameras. Eisele, however, found the girls at least as attractive as the new car creations: 'Although the photos were rarely printed by a magazine, I also photographed the pretty standing girls. And for the styling studies and individual designer items, I often used color instead of cheap black and white films.'

Taste of the big wide world

Today these photos, and especially those that Eisele produced on his own for press offices and magazines, send us on a surreal, transcendental journey through time like a well rolled joint. We see mini skirts, knitted dresses, knee boots, flowing taffeta hairstyles or wigs - and a lot of naked skin freed from Sissi kitsch. Then come the memories: Woodstock, Schoolgirl Report, Eight Hours Are Not a Day, Dalli-Dalli, Afri-Cola, Uschi Obermaier and Peter Stuyvesant, whose legal smoking pleasure promised nothing less than the 'taste of the big wide world'.

Eisele's new photo book 'Cars and Girls' shows this wonderful, sensual-naive taste from back then in an almost fatally high dosage, which, after the 'Formula 1 Legends', is again in a congenial collaboration with the young man from Stuttgart Editorial and corporate designer Wolfgang Seidl was born. Only theimportant information 'Ask your doctor or pharmacist before leafing through' is missing. In 'Cars and Girls' we encounter numerous fair girls and 20 provocative pin-up duos, most of whom have appeared in automobile magazines. As removable double pages, they brought some joy to dreary garages, workshops and youth rooms.

Porsche with first order

Eisele received the first order to upgrade new cars with pretty girls for official press photos from Porsche: 'Huschke von Hanstein wanted attractive photos for the 911 Women who shouldn't appear too daring. That changed with the new VW-Porsche 914. Here Hanstein wanted fashionable clothes, short skirts and hot pants. '

The first photos of the fresh paint smelling , mid-engine coupés delivered directly from Wolfsburg were created like many other productions in the Stuttgart area. The baroque pleasure palace Solitude, for example, saw more than a dozen young, fresh and crisp mini-girls over the years, whom its builder, Duke Carl Eugen, would have had the greatest pleasure in.

Defined skirt length

The next clients were Mercedes, Lancia and Fiat, who, like Porsche, favored the fashionably elegant type of woman. However, Mercedes wanted international locations like Geneva or Paris and precisely defined the length of the skirt: 'Not shorter than just below the Kie,' recalls Eisele. These much more modest photos appeared as press features, especially in fashion magazines such as Madam and Vogue. However, car journals preferred photos without girls for their news pages with the latest fair news and styling studies.

Today we are pleased that the curious and artistically working photographer not only photographed the cold bodies at the motor shows, but also - as in the 'Formula 1 Legends' - dedicated himself to the girls, the people.

The guidelines were simple and clear

Eisele did this particularly devotedly for the magazine series 'Autos und Mädchen'. This was probably also due to the attractive cars. Exclusively hot-blooded sports cars from Chevrolet, De Tomaso, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes, Morgan and many more rolled in front of his lens. 'The requirements of the magazine,' says Eisele, 'were simple and clear. The girls should be casual with the cars. They shouldn't sleep, they said. And they were allowed to have something wickedly naive, hippie-like about them.' p>

The girls were photo models from local agencies, which at that time were still called 'Künstlerdienst'. Eisele and his clients had 'rolled over mountains of set cards' in order to find the right models, which the photographer fondly remembers: 'The girls were very committed and infinitely versatile with minimal effort. A brightly colored scarf or headband was enough - and already had I'm a pretty hippie girl, yoursThey always brought their own wardrobe. '

Models capable of suffering

And they were capable of suffering. Clauspeter Becker wrote about the Abarth girl Juliane Biallas at the time, who 36 years later wrote' Cars and Girls ' retexted: 'We felt like villains. The air was a good 30 degrees colder than Juliane. Especially since she wasn't wearing much more than goose bumps under the mini dress. Certainly that was not an easy job, because she had to put on a good face to a bitterly angry car that, loaded with technical sex, gives little, delicate girls no chance. '

Oh, what good times those were, when the girls, the bodywork and even the technology were allowed to be sexy. No childish jumping jack told us about the advantages of a sophisticated all-wheel drive system. And the 'love of the automobile' was still intimate, direct and physical. Hand on heart: You can really love a modern SUV?

Cars and Girls, Collection Rolf Heyne, ISBN 978-3-89910-289-5, 58 euros.


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