Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Art of the Car

The Kansas City Art Institute held its annual "The Art of the Car" Concours this weekend and as custom for the past three years, I went to browse the cars on display and contribute to the worthy cause. All proceeds from the concours go for scholarships to the Institute. As in past events, a wide variety of cars made it to the show, everything from a 1919 Pierce Arrow that was used by Woodrow Wilson while President to a tiny 1950's King Midget, a very basic kit car that was somewhat popular for a time.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Wilson's 1919 Pierce Arrow. The picture does no justice to the size of this machine.

The detailed powerplant of a 1959 Aston Marton DB III

Rare 1948 Olds Series 66 wood bodied wagon. Few of these partially hand made wagons were made.

French/Russian Coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik was famous for his swoopy bodies on Talbots, Delahayes, Pegasos and even a Cadillac or two. This is a 1950 Talbot-Lago.

The clean, sleek 53-54 Bourke-Loewy Studebaker got all gummed up for 55, but was still light years ahead of the competition.

Studebaker, using the service of Raymond Loewy and his talented staff, kept turning out sleek and moden designs... that just didn't sell. This 1963 Avanti (as the 55 Commander above) still looks modern today.

Nothing says SMILE! like a 1950's Buick!

1940 Cantrell Bodied Packard. The wood on this car is immaculate.

Rare beauty from the golden age of stock car racing. Ford built about 750 of these aerodynamically enhanced Torinos for racing. Most were raced, but at least 500 had to be built for sale to qualify. I had never seen one in person before.

From the smaller end of the spectrum came this 55 Nash Metropolitan. Sentimental favorite for me, as I learned to drive a column shift on one of Chuck Gooden's many Metros. I think the one I drove was yellow and white. There were 3 Metros at the show.

Hotter than hell at the show, but it always is so that was nothing new. 206 some cars were in the show. I didn't stay to hear the best of show winner, chosen as a people's choice award. But I bet the Pierce got it. The KC Star has a few more pics, here.

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