The Allure of the Automobile - High Museum - Preview

"Last year, the High's Curator of Decorative Arts Ron Labaco contacted me (Ken Gross) to help develop a new concept for an automobile design exhibition. Conceived as the first exhibition to consider the stylistic development of automobiles in the context of prominent design movements like Art Moderne and Post-war Modernism, the sections of The Allure of the Automobile will trace the evolution of the motorcar in the Golden Age, from 1930 to 1965.

To locate the cars, I drew upon my experience as the former Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles; my background as a Pebble Beach Concours Judge for twenty years; my extensive automotive literature collection; and for over 55 years, my personal research as a keen hobbyist, who has always been interested in fine cars.

Created for the privileged few, these luxurious, custom-built automobiles embodied speed, style and elegance; they influenced and were influenced by contemporary art, architecture, fashion and design. The artistry and craftsmanship shown during this era of auto-making is remarkable. Many of the automobiles that will be on display are one-of-a-kind or were built largely by hand and in small numbers.

Our lenders include many noted collectors: Bob Bahre, Chip Connor, Sam Mann, Bruce Meyer, Peter Mullin, Jon Shirley, and others. Some automobiles are on loan from automakers' company museums, such as General Motors, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, and others come from renowned museums and collections including the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Collier Collection, the Cofer Collection, and the Blackhawk Collection. "

The Examples in Allure of the Automobile

• 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow
• 1934 Packard Twelve Runabout Speedster, formerly owned by Clark Gable
• 1935 Duesenberg JN Roadster, formerly owned by Clark Gable
• 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
• 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe
• 1937 Delage D8-120S, Surbaisse, formerly owned by Louis Delage
• 1937 Hispano-Suiza H-6C "Xenia" Coupe
• 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta
• 1938/39 Porsche Type 64 Coupe replica
• 1953 Porsche 550 Le Mans/La Carrera Panamerica Coupe
• 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR (W 196-S)
• 1957 Jaguar XKSS Roadster, formerly owned by Steve McQueen
• 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
• 1961 Ferrari 250 Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, "SEFAC Hot Rod"
• 1948 Tucker Model 48 Torpedo
• 1954 Dodge Firearrow III Concept Coupe
• 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
• 1959 Chevrolet Corvette "Bill Mitchell" Stingray Prototype

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