Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 9, Porsche Type 64

1938-1939 Porsche Type 64
This is a rather unusual specimen for an exhibit - it's actually a recreation of the Type 64 chassis, based on plans of what's thought of as the first Porsche, the VW Aerocoupe. Sort of the missing-link between the VW (the Type 60) and the later Porsche 356, the body design was made by Porsche Büro after wind tunnel tests for a race car that was never built. Only three Type 64s were made, hand-shaped in aluminum by the bodywork company Reutter - only one survived the war. I consider this model to be a prime example of both industrial and streamline design in automobile manufacturing. If you squint a bit you can see the VW origin (squash a VW a bit and narrow the drivers compartment, then smooth out and extend the fenders and you're there). I like the way they have it displayed - seems to be floating in mid air (reminds you of Earth vs the Saucer Men).

Tough taking photos of the chassis - the High had it tucked into a corner so there was only about 20 feet along one edge where I could find a vantage point.

Next up, the 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 8, the Bugatti Atalante

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

This is pretty much awesomeness, personified and a very strong offering by Bugatti. Jean Bugatti designed the Atlante as a production Grand Tourer on the Type 57 chassis. This is one of about forty built before World War II which halted all production. This example was restored in 1996 to its original color scheme, placing second in its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in that year.

The placard notes: "Ettore Bugatti was a mildly eccentric and utterly brilliant Italian engineer who, from 1911 to 1939, built automobiles of uncompromising elegance and sporting competence. Bugatti's cars were expensive, temperamental, technically complex, and - in the case of this example - hauntingly beautiful."

My favorite bits on this beautiful car are the heavily distended front fenders, the rounded rear and the utterly awesome tail-pipes - we should all have 6 come out back there...

Next up, the 1938-1939 Porsche Type 64

-- John

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 7, the Delage D8-120s

1937 Delage D8-120S

French automaker Delage used Parisian coachbuilder Marcel Purtout and stylist Georges Paulin to create this fluid, streamlined masterpiece, the D8-120S. This was one of the first automobiles to be first tested using a scale model in a wind tunnel, now a common practice but unheard of in the 30s. My favorite features are the teardrop-shaped fenders, steel artillery-spoked wheels and lack of bumpers and parking lights. And we're once again treated to the Batmobile-invoking rear.

Next up, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

-- John

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 6, the Xenia

1937 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H-6C "Xenia."

There's a lot to like about this Dubonnet creation - the epitome of avant-garde streamline, the graceful curves and airplane fuselage-inspired tail lend itself well to being copied by current manufacturers' attempts at a concept car. I particularly like the sliding doors which I believe was a unique feature for the time. I first saw the rear of this beautiful creation as I turned the demising wall at the High (behind the "showcase" car) - it really just knocked my socks off.

Next up, 1937 Delage D8-120S

-- John

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 5, the Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta

Another beautiful Italian designed automobile, the Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta was one of the most sophisticated, technically advanced sports cars of its era, rivaling even Bugatti with its elegant blend of advanced styling and engineering (paraphrased from the gallery placard).

I thoroughly love the Batman-like styling and modernist sweeping curves - check out those hood lines and louvers on the sides, not to mention the fabulous oval grill. The rear wheel-covers are out-of-this world! And it has to be one of the most beautiful sedans from the rear.

Next up, the 1937 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H-6C "Xenia."

-- John

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Allure of the Automobile Exhibit at the High Part 4, the MB 540K

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special-Roadster

Built by Mercedes-Benz from 1935 to 1940, the 540K Special0Roadster the Friedrich Geiger designed car was a development to the 500K, itself a development of the SSK.

This is really a spectacular example in pristine condition. According to Wikipedia they only produced 58 of these as roadsters, so this is indeed one of the rarest cars. I love the long lines, sweeping finders, chrome accents and exposed side-exhaust piping. I also love the lines of the rear bumper - they just don't make anything as elegant...

Next up: 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta