Peter Wozena 1914 —
Wozena “with a keen eye for color and sharp attention to detail”
PETER WOZENA b.1918 – 2006
Wozena grew up in Detroit and graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1937. He worked as a clay sculptor of automobile bodies at Briggs Manufacturing Company. Wozena’s design talent was recognized by General Motors when he became one of the winners of the Fisher Body Craftsmen’s Guild in 1939. He was assigned to the Pontiac studio before war broke out. Pete served in the US Navy and designed bombsights and various military hardware. Returning the GM in 1946, his skills were used designing detail elements in the Cadillac Studio such as the tail lights for the 1948 Cadillac and the fins for the 1950 model. Wozena is also credited with designing the popular Vista-Cruiser roofline available on 1964-72 Buick and Oldsmobile station wagons.
Peter Wozena’s Jet- and rocket-inspired designs were extremely popular during the immediate postwar era. The Peter Wozena Cadillac proposal from 1959 was created at the height of the craze and features jet-tube inspired taillights, dual fins, and a reverse slanting rear window. In the official proposal, Wozena drew two rockets in the sky above his Cadillac proposal, making an obvious connection between the two.
He spent much of his career in advanced styling generating wild and offbeat desgns most often submitted as watercolors enhanced by ink, and colored and graphite pencils. Wozena retired from GM in 1974.
Works by Peter Wozena have been shown at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in ‘Future Retro: Drawings from the Great Age of American Automobiles” April 21, 2005 - Monday, July 18, 2005
and are illustrated on the BFA online site, Toyota Museum and at the Nagoya Museum, Japan;
the Petersen Automotive Museum, Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA; and Detroit Public Library, Skillmanbranch housing the National Automotive History Collection, "Drawing Power: Motor City Ad Art in the Age of Muscle and Chrome."
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