Mother’s Day was the perfect day to use our new family membership to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta; I’ve been itching to check out the Allure of the Automobile exhibit since it opened in March. Believe me, I was not disappointed.
Initially I whrrled the story on my iPhone, assuming that would be the extent of my capacity to document a museum exhibit; however, I saw a gentleman with a DSLR snapping photos. I stalked followed him until I was able to make out the sticker on his shirt—Photo Permit—and then I had to ask. You would too, right? Apparently it was okay to photograph this exhibit.
Being the good mother that I am (don’t laugh), I remained calm throughout the rest of the exhibit with my family, and then convinced my husband to take them to the kids room (very cool, interactive art and play area, and yes, I am justifying my actions) so that I could get my camera. Motivated, I somehow managed to leave the building, take the elevator back and forth to the van, snap about 90 photos, and make it back to the play area in 25 minutes. Whew!
It’s not everyday I can stand, camera in hand, and photograph a chunk of history.
I’m not one to go around talking about how sexy cars are, but these were hot.
It was fascinating reading about their histories, too. The plaque for this 1935 Duesenberg JN Roadster said:
This dashing roadster was as gift to Clark Gable from his wife, Carole Lombard. After she died tragically in 1942, Gable left the Duesenberg in Canada and ordered that it never be seen in California while he was still alive.
Notice it still has California tags? Maybe the originals, registered in Gable’s name?
A 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow:
This 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster was owned by Baroness Gisela von Krieger, a woman who was once named one of the “10 Most Beautiful Women in the World.” She immigrated to America, taking the Roadster with her on the Queen Mary.
The story goes on to say that she died in poverty, never selling the car.
An 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B Touring Berlinetta:
Every kid who saw this car said it was a hover craft. ;-) It’s a 1938/39 Porsche Type 64 Coupe replica, appears to be floating in air, and looks like the photo was taken underwater.
There was a saying about this car, something to the effect that you were “driven in a Rolls Royce, drove a Bugatti, and gave your mistress a Delage.” I thought the wheels were kind of cool and took this photo showing my reflection. Self portrait?
This 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe was one of my favorites. The seats were ostrich and I loved the huge steering wheel. I can see why this would be the one you wanted to drive.
This 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was very low and sleek, something like Bond, James Bond would drive. This was one of my favorite shots because of the walking woman’s silhouette in the background.
This 1957 Jaguar XKSS Roadster, is so tailored it wears its own belt. Formerly owned by Steve McQueen, it has a special dashboard compartment that he designed for holding his sunglasses.
There was some kind of cover over the passenger’s seat of this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR (W 196-S), allowing room only for the driver. I assume it’s removable.
The next two far exceeded my pay scale in hipness. The first was a 1961 Ferrari 250 Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, “SEFAC Hot Rod;” the second, a 1953 Porsche 550 Le Mans/La Carrera Panamerica Coupe, was like the car James Dean drove when he died.
There were lots of lovely blues towards the end of the exhibit, like this 1954 Dodge Firearrow III Concept Coupe.
There was even a Tucker, a 1948 Tucker Model 48 Torpedo, to be exact.
I loved these last two, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette “Bill Mitchell” Stingray Prototype.
If you want more specifics about some of the cars themselves, check out this review I found at wired.com.