Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 16, the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

This was one of my favorite cars in the show - the iconic Corvette Sting Ray concept car. This convertible boasts a 327-cubic-inch (5.4 L), fuel-injected V-8 of 375 hp (280 kW), and was built on a 1957 Corvette SS chassis (the SS was built as a Le Mans contender but the AMA banned manufacturer-sponsored racing so it was used as a test-bed only). Many of the features of the '59 influenced the '63 model. It was also a technical test bed for several features, including the four-speed manual tranny, the de Deon rear suspension and use of aluminum. This car is simply stunning!

Next up, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Comp./ 61 Short-wheelbase Berlinetta

-- John

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 15, the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

I can't believe that the '57 Brougham actually made it into production, but at $13,074 — twice the price of any other 1957 Eldorado and slightly more than the Rolls-Royce "Silver Cloud" model of the same year, my thought is that there probably weren't very many made. The most outstanding feature to me is the brushed stainless-steel roof - move over John Delorean! This four-door hardtop also came with rear-hinged rear doors, an air suspension, probably the first ever power seats and just about every feature that GM offered at the time - it even had small bottles of perfume. I also love the bits of chrome used throughout and the slightly understated fin (if you're familiar with later years you'll know what I mean!).

Next up, the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.

-- John

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 14, the Tucker Model 48 Torpedo

1948 Tucker Model 48 Torpedo

Looking more appropriate on the set of "Mad Men" than as part of this group of Modernist Automobiles, we continue with another US manufacturer in this entry, the Tucker Model 48 Torpedo. To be honest, I knew very little about this car and history before watching the Jeff Bridges movie "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" released in the late 80s - a fantastic movie by the way and well worth watching. But then again, any movie that also has Martin Landau playing a role is worth watching, right? In any case watch the movie if you want to learn more about this really special car, that had many feature innovations that we totally take for granted today only 30-40 years before the rest of the automotive world caught up to make them commonplace. My apologies for the lack of a whole body shot - the way this car was tucked (pun intended) against the wall prevented me from getting one, especially with the crowds of people.

Next up, the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham.

-- John