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Posts Tagged ‘car museums’

Pick A Piece Of History?

Smithsonian asking public to vote on which cars to display.

by on Dec.28, 2010

The Tucker sedan is one of eight models that could wind up on display at the Smithsonian.

We’ve all made that list of which books (or CDs or movie stars) we’d want to have if stuck on a desert island.  But if you thought that choice was tough, here’s the real challenge: which two cars would you put on display to represent the American automotive industry?

That’s the question curators at the Smithsonian Institution were asking themselves when they began preparing a new exhibit for the National Museum of American History.  They’re ducking the issue by turning the question over to the public, asking them to vote as part of what they’ve dubbed the “Race to the Museum.”

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The folks at the Smithsonian have narrowed the choices down to eight models that cover most of the first century of the American auto industry – indeed, offering up an 1880 steam-powered trike, built in Massachusetts, that significantly predates the 1896 Duryea that most experts cite as the start of U.S. automotive manufacturing.

Another early offering is the 1894 Balzer, a primitive 4-wheeler that was the first automobile to navigate the streets of New York.  It was built by a Tiffany-trained watchmaker.

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Classic Cars, Modern Influence

High Museum shows 18 cars that influenced modern design.

by on Mar.30, 2010

This 1953 Porsche 550 LeMans was successful both on and off the track.

By the 1930s, motor vehicles had already proven their utility so the first stylists in Europe and North America began shifting their focus to more expressive design — leaving behind what turned out to be an indelible impression of the automobile as art.

A new exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta highlights 18 unique vehicles built between 1930 and 1965 that reflect a period often seen as a “golden era,” but which has continued to have an enormous influence on the look of modern automobiles.

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“This exhibition will showcase the greatest feats of engineering and luxury design from 1930 to 1965, when cars became synonymous with success, power and wealth,” says High Museum director Michael E. Shapiro. “Created for the privileged few, the luxurious, custom-built automobiles embodied speed, style and elegance, and influenced art, architecture, fashion and design.”

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