09 Oct

New Clive Cussler Book on Classic Automobiles Available October 25th

Bestselling Author Clive Cussler with his automobile collection Photo G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Bestselling Author Clive Cussler with his automobile collection
Photo G.P. Putnam’s Sons

New York, N.Y. – Clive Cussler, the undisputed master of thriller fiction and author of five New York Times-bestselling series, has long had a passion for classic automobiles: he gravitates toward everything from majestic town cars that conjure up images of evening gowns and tuxedos at elegant soirees to powerful speedsters and sports cars that showcase the cutting-edge technology of their day. Not only are these cars built for the practical use of transportation—they are built for excitement and the insatiable rush one feels when he or she hears the engine’s growl. In short, these cars are built to thrill. In BUILT TO THRILL (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; October 25, 2016; $60.00), Cussler gives readers an exclusive look into his private life and his stunning collection of rare, classic automobiles. Picking up in 1948, where his previous book Built for Adventure left off, BUILT TO THIRLL will excite Cussler fans and car collectors alike.

In striking full-color photographs and engaging commentary, fans of Clive Cussler’s five bestselling series can explore the personal automotive collection of the literary master of mechanical marvels. Readers will explore the unique history of each model and the story of how it was found and restored—not to mention notes on where some of these dazzling machines have appeared in his novels. BUILT TO THRILL captures it all—fins, fenders, and furious horsepower—and runs from the forties through the fifties and sixties.

1951 Daimler “Green Goddess” Drophead Coupe on display at the Cussler Museum in Arvada, CO Photo British V8

1951 Daimler “Green Goddess” Drophead Coupe on display at the Cussler Museum in Arvada, CO
Photo British V8

Highlighting the new book is the 1951 Daimler DE-36 “Green Goddess” Drophead Coupe, which appeared as a concept at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show that very nearly defied description. Over 20 feet long and almost seven feet wide, built on a limousine chassis, the drophead coupe in the Daimler booth tipped the scales at over 6,000 pounds. Ultimately, the concept’s jade green hue delivered a nickname – the Green Goddess – and a total of seven examples, all bodied by Hooper & Company, were built. Only four of the original seven cars are known to exist, one of which is in Mr. Cussler’s collection. Besides its enormous proportions, the car featured many unique luxury touches for its time including a power convertible top and tonneau cover and four wheel automatic jacking system. Dirk Pitt drove this “Green Goddess” in the book Cyclops.

1952 Meteor Special roadster in the Cussler Collection Photo Forgotten Fiberglass

1952 Meteor Special roadster in the Cussler Collection
Photo Forgotten Fiberglass

The Meteor Special roadster was a specially constructed fiberglass-bodied roadster with a custom frame. It was designed by Dick Jones in Southern California in late 1952; Jones was the archetypical California hot-rodder, designer and engineer. His first Meteor prototype was shown in 1953 at the Petersen Motorama in Los Angeles; it was featured by both Road & Track and Car Craft magazines. Mr. Cussler’s car is powered by a formidable four-carburetor 1952 DeSoto Firedome Hemi and it is very fast. Dirk Pitt drives the Meteor in the novel Trojan Odyssey.

1958 Buick Series 700 Limited Convertible Photo Cussler Museum

1958 Buick Series 700 Limited Convertible
Photo Cussler Museum

The 1958 Buick Limited was the heftiest, highest priced and most opulent monster ever to hit the streets in the fifties. Mr. Cussler’s example, with a Continental kit, stretches 22 feet. It is ostentatious magnificence in the first degree. The Limited was produced for only one year and eight hundred and thirty-nine were built and only about twenty are known to exist today. Visitors to the Clive Cussler Museum in Arvada, Colorado will see the Buick displayed with other gargantuan 50’s convertibles including a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, a 1958 Chrysler Imperial and a 1958 Edsel Corsair.. The museum is open between May and September, and ticket and schedule information is available at www.cusslermuseum.com

Clive Cussler has been heralded by fans and reviewers alike for his incredible ability to bring to life real-world feats of engineering, from the inner workings of a train in the early 1900s to the sophisticated submarines of present day. In BUILT TO THRILL, Cussler shares his special affection for classic cars—just like his hero, Dirk Pitt. Car enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy this beautiful and exciting addition to the Clive Cussler canon.

Article courtesy G.P. Putnam’s Sons

17 Aug

N.A.R.T.’s 60th Anniversary Celebration; Special Movie Screening in Norwalk September 28th

Paul Newman with Luigi Chinetti Jr. at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1974 Archived Photo

Paul Newman with N.A.R.T Team Manager Dick Fritz at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1974 Archived Photo

Norwalk, Conn. – On Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 PM, the New England Auto Museum will host a special one-night celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) featuring film presentations on the Ferrari team’s Bonneville speed record attempts in 1974 and the development of the Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spyder at the Stepping Stones Multimedia Gallery in Norwalk. The goal is to raise funds for the nonprofit New England Auto Museum, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a permanent facility for display and education in automotive arts and technology.

In September 1974, with N.A.R.T.’s short racing season over, Luigi Chinetti Jr., son of Ferrari legend Luigi Chinetti, decided it would be fun to go to Bonneville in an attempt to break some old speed records; some by Ab Jenkins had stood for over 35 years. To do this would entail taking three cars, and a pit crew. Having raised about $40,000 in sponsorship deals, it was a viable proposition. Two Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona’s, one as a spare car, and a Le Mans prototype 512M, were dispatched together with an eclectic mix of drivers, 2-time Formula One world champion Graham Hill, actor Paul Newman and then current N.A.R.T. driver Milt Minter joined Chinetti Jr., to discover what could be achieved under the direction of team manager Dick Fritz.

Speed record breaking Ferrari 512M Le Mans Prototype on the Salt Flats Archived Photo

Speed record breaking Ferrari 512M Le Mans Prototype on the Salt Flats
Archived Photo

There were two courses at Bonneville: the straight-line course and also a 10-mile oval. It was the latter that was being used, with its straights of just over two miles in length, and the curves at each end that, through necessity were very long and gradual. The shorter distance records were attempted first in the 512M, and then progressively longer ones in the 365 GTB4, each record falling as the string of drivers took his turn at the wheel. It all seemed surreal, having two cars circulating in the middle of nowhere, coming in for rapid refueling, and driver change-over, and at the same time being filmed by CBS-TV. The only unfortunate thing was that the 24-hour record remained unbroken, as the 365 GTB4’s front right tire burst, affecting the suspension. A half-hour’s work to rectify the problem took the car out of the equation for breaking the record, so the team gave up the unequal struggle. After the event, Chinetti Jr. said, “It was easy to see how the old record had stood for so long.”

Denise McCluggage driving the N.A.R.T. Spyder at Sebring 12-Hour in 1967 Archived Photo

Denise McCluggage driving the N.A.R.T. Spyder at Sebring 12-Hour in 1967
Archived Photo

In addition to the Bonneville film, the program will include documentary footage by Peter Leahey about the development of the legendary N.A.R.T. Spyder. Luigi Chinetti’s influence with Enzo Ferrari was such that he convinced the factory to build a series of 10 275 GTB4/Spyders with bodies by Scaglietti which became known as the N.A.R.T. Spyders. The first N.A.R.T. Spyder was shipped to America in February 1967, just in time for the Sebring 12-hour race where it was driven by Denise McCluggage and Pinkie Rollo. They finished in a respectable 17th place and second in class behind a Shelby GT350, a good result considering that, mechanically, it was a standard production specification car. Of the ten N.A.R.T. Spyders built, the McCluggage car was the only one raced before being sold to a customer. Initially painted in pale yellow, it became even more well-known later on as the car Faye Dunaway drove in the “Thomas Crowne Affair” with Steve McQueen in the lead role. The car was resprayed maroon for the movie, with McQueen famously calling it “one of those red Italian things”.

Steve McQueen with the N.A.R.T .Spyder in “The Thomas Crowne Affair” Archived Photo

Steve McQueen with the N.A.R.T .Spyder in “The Thomas Crowne Affair”
Archived Photo

Complementing the Bonneville and N.A.R.T. Spyder film presentations, the event will include a panel of former N.A.R.T. team members who will share reminiscences on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the team’s formation in 1957. At this writing, this group includes former mechanics for N.A.R.T. Roger Colson and Francois Sicard, and it will be emceed by Jerry Cotrone, ex-Chinetti Motors employee and curator of the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center in Bedford, N.Y.

This special one-night commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the N.A.R.T. Racing Team will take place Wednesday, September 28th from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres, provided by Rive Bistro Restaurant of Westport, will be served in the hour before the show. Weather permitting, the actual Ferrari 512M that went to Bonneville will be on display in the museum’s courtyard. Location will be the Stepping Stones Museum Multi-Media Gallery at 303 West Avenue in Norwalk (Mathews Park). Sponsors of the event include Dragone Auctions, Hagerty Insurance, Pray Auto Body, Pray Achievement Center, Spacefitters Logistics & Technology Group and Rive Bistro Restaurant. Tickets will be $20 per person and space is limited to 150 attendees. Tickets can be purchased at www.neautomuseum.org

Article includes excerpts from “N.A.R.T. A Concise History of the North American Racing Team 1957 to 1983” by Terry O’Neil

N.A.R.T. Bonneville Record Runs
September 23 – 24, 1974

nart5

05 Aug

Party Hats on: Events for Chevrolet Camaro 50th Anniversary Ready to Roll

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Camaro cruising, plant tours, historic cars part of celebration

Lansing, Mich. – It may be urban lore, but when asked for the meaning behind the name Camaro, some Chevrolet managers said it was a small, vicious animal that ate Mustangs.

General Motors unleashed the Camaro name on the world 50 years ago this summer. That means the tiny beast has a big party in the making, and Chevy will stage anniversary celebrations in August during Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual rolling salute to those who love cars.

The original Camaro, codenamed Panther, was designed to battle the Ford Mustang which was shown as a concept in 1962 and then introduced April 17, 1964. Mustang was the first American “pony car” and the inspiration for a small field of affordable sporty coupes with long hoods and a wide stance that grew to include the Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, Plymouth Barracuda, and Dodge Challenger. Imports such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri further expanded the pool.

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When it was time to name Chevrolet’s Mustang fighter, a project that had been codenamed Panther, GM held a playful press conference on June 28, 1966. Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes dubbed those in attendance as charter members of the “Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World” in their first and last meeting. Then he told the world the new car would be called the Camaro.

The public got its first look at the all-new Camaro in September 1966, and the original 1967 Camaro went on sale on September 29, 1966. GM sold 220,906 in the first year. Today, it is largely a two-car battle between Mustang and Camaro, both in their sixth generation, both smaller and lighter but retaining their mission to offer affordable performance. In 2015, Mustang won the sales race handily; selling 122,349 in the U.S. compared with 77,502 Camaros, and Ford maintains its lead through May of this year with almost 53,200 sales compared with 31,865 Camaros.

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With anniversary celebrations in full swing, GM has provided a look at some of the activities coming up.

GM will offer tours starting at 7 a.m. on August 18 of the Lansing Grand River plant, where the current Camaro is built. The 45-minute tours end at 3:30 p.m. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at building the Camaro from the ground up,” said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. There will also be a car show, displays of past Camaros and a chance to talk to Camaro team members including Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser. Owners can vie for spots in a parking area for up to 500 Camaros and there will be on-site food and Camaro merchandise for sale.

When GM resumed production of the Camaro in 2009 after a seven-year hiatus, it was built in Oshawa, Ontario. Moving it to Lansing in the fall of 2015 marked the first time the car has been built in Michigan. The all-new 2016 Camaro is smaller, lighter, and more agile and rides on a new platform. It was named Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2016.

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If robots are not your thing, Chevrolet will host “Camaros and Coffee” in Detroit starting at 7:30 a.m. on August 19. Everyone with a Camaro is invited to the Joe Louis Arena Riverfront parking lot where the first 500 cars will be staged and at 9:45 a.m. some 50th Anniversary edition Camaros will lead participants to Woodward Avenue to drive the Dream Cruise route.

And on August 20, the official day of the Dream Cruise, there will be a Camaro heritage display at the Chevrolet site along Woodward Avenue with some rare and iconic models as well as the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 and 1LE. For more Camaro history with pictures and design illustrations GM has created a special media site where enthusiasts can stay on top of event plans.

“Over the past half-century, the Camaro has fostered enthusiasm, camaraderie and memories like few other vehicles,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “It’s a passion Chevrolet takes seriously and the activities this summer are a way of giving back to those who have made the Camaro an icon.”

Source: Alisa Priddle, MotorTrend.com Photos: Chevrolet

09 May

Famous Ford Model AR “Car-Toon” Truck to be featured at the Father’s Day Car Show in Norwalk

Robert Luczum’s 1928 Ford Model AR “Car-toon” Truck   (Photo Robert Luczun)

Robert Luczum’s 1928 Ford Model AR “Car-toon” Truck (Photo Robert Luczun)

Norwalk, Conn. – There’s a special 1928 Ford Model AR Roadster Pickup that’s a big hit with both kids and adults that will be on display at the Father’s Day Car Show in Norwalk on Sunday June 19th from 10AM to 3PM.

Owner and artist Robert Luczun has spent more than three thousand hours airbrushing cartoon characters on the car, dating back from 1896 up until his newest addition of characters from the hit movie “Frozen”. The car has been a crowd-pleasing hit at many events including the New York Auto Show, Comic-Com NY, the Hilton Head Concours, the Newark Art Museum and the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA.

It has been termed a true work of art by automotive and art experts alike including Gary Bennett, Vice President of Barrett-Jackson Auctions who said “This is one of the most unique vehicles I have ever seen, it is amazing! It’s absolutely a fabulous car!”

Kids and adults love recognizing the characters on the “Car-toon” Truck (Photo Robert Luczun)

Kids and adults love recognizing the characters on the “Car-toon” Truck (Photo Robert Luczun)

The truck will be part of the collection of over 100 show cars on display at the show and the Model A Ford will be one of the show’s featured marques. Model A’s followed Ford’s legendary Model T and almost 5 million were built during its production run from 1928 to 1931. Today, the Model A is one of the most collected and beloved antique cars in the United States and around the world.

The other featured marque at this year’s show will be Alfa Romeo headlined by the Grand Marshal of the show Alfredo Gulla of Larchmont, NY, an Alfa Romeo dealer for 55 years, who is welcoming the brand’s return to the U.S. market.

In addition to Model A Fords and Alfa Romeo cars, anyone interested in showing a car at this year’s Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register HERE – it’s only $10/per car to pre-register ($15 at the show entrance). Spectator admission is free. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

04 May

Award Winning Lotus Elan S4 Sprint will be displayed at the Father’s Day Car Show in Norwalk on June 19

David Porter’s 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint (Photo David Porter)

David Porter’s 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint (Photo David Porter)

Norwalk, Conn. – Renowned local car collector and vintage race car driver David Porter will be displaying his 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint roadster in the Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk on June 19, 2016 from 10AM to 3PM. Porter, who resides in Darien, restored the car from virtually barn-find condition over a period of three years doing all the mechanical work himself. The car represents the last iteration of Colin Chapman’s Elan S4 series of cars originally introduced in 1968. The unique paint treatment on the Series 4 Sprint models was meant to evoke the Gold Leaf cigarettes livery of the company’s Grand Prix cars which had won multiple world championships. David Porter is well known at local car shows both for the Lotus and also his immaculate Jaguar XK-150S which won both the People’s Choice Award and the Coachmen Car Club trophy at last year’s NEAM Father’s Day show in Norwalk.

The S4 Elan was introduced in 1968 and can be distinguished from its predecessors by its slightly flared wheel arches, wider tires, and Jaguar tail lights. The S4 also had an aggressive-looking bulge in the bonnet to house the Stromberg carburetors. The much anticipated Sprint version was announced in 1970 at the Earls Court Motor Show, and promised more power for the 1971 cars. Ex-BRM engineer Tony Rudd was able to squeeze an incredible for the time 126 horsepower out of the little 1600 Twin Cam, labeled the ‘Big Valve’ engine. This gave the 1,500 pound Elan lively performance and demonstrated yet again the advantage of adding lightness. It bears repeating that the Elan is an extremely important car. The classic Ron Hickman design was actually the first Lotus to utilize the famous backbone chassis, and the way the car perfectly captured the essence of ’60s British motoring was recognized decades later by Mazda in their development of the original Miata. It also helped establish Lotus as a legitimate manufacturer.
David Porter’s car has been stunningly well restored and is considered an almost perfect example of the S4 Sprint model. It won its class in 2015 at the Lime Rock Historics concours and has won recognition at several other shows including the Alden Sherman Classic in Weston, CT.

The perfect car for a brisk run in the countryside (Photo David Porter)

The perfect car for a brisk run in the countryside (Photo David Porter)

Anyone interested in showing a car at this year’s Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register HERE – it’s only $10/per car to pre-register ($15 at the show entrance). Spectator admission is free. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

25 Apr

Grand Marshal Announced for NEAM Father’s Day Car Show in Norwalk

Alfredo Gulla kept the faith, welcomes Alfa Romeo brand back to the U.S.

Alfredo Gulla at his Alfa Romeo Fiat dealership in Larchmont, NY (Photo Fiat500USA.com)

Alfredo Gulla at his Alfa Romeo Fiat dealership in Larchmont, NY (Photo Fiat500USA.com)

Norwalk, Conn. – Alfredo Gulla, founder and owner of Alfredo’s Foreign Cars, dba Alfa Romeo Fiat of Larchmont and Larchmont Chrysler Jeep Dodge, has been named Grand Marshal for the second annual New England Auto Museum Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk. The event is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th from 10AM to 3PM and proceeds will support the nonprofit New England Auto Museum building and education funds.

This year the Father’s Day Show will celebrate Alfa Romeo as one of its featured marques, and Alfredo Gulla will be honored as one of the original U.S. dealers for the brand in the early 1960’s as well as for his success in regaining the franchise for its North American relaunch by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

From his dealership near the Connecticut/New York state border, Alfredo Gulla waited nearly 20 years for his beloved Alfa Romeo to return to the U.S. market. Gulla began selling the Alfa Romeo 4C two seat sports cars last year, and in 2016 will begin receiving the new Alfa Guilia sedans, recently displayed at the New York International Auto Show.

“I was always in touch with Italy and Milan, and the rumors were that Alfa and Fiat would return, so it was always ‘Wait and hope, wait and hope,'” Gulla says “It is a real pleasure to see these two brands come back to America.”

Gulla at his Larchmont, N.Y., store in 1963; for Fiat or Alfa Romeo, he says, he sold the brand, the history, the Italian heritage (Photo Automotive News)

Gulla at his Larchmont, N.Y., store in 1963; for Fiat or Alfa Romeo, he says, he sold the brand, the history, the Italian heritage (Photo Automotive News)

As a young man, Gulla immigrated to New York in late 1956 from Catanzaro, Italy — a city of about 100,000 people on the instep of the Italian boot. He found work in a small import car dealership in Larchmont, and five years later, when that dealership was for sale, he bought it.

At first, sales at what would become Alfredo’s Foreign Cars were confined to parts and service. But within months, Gulla had secured an agreement with Fiat to sell new cars. Gulla bought his first two — a Fiat 500 and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta — and began decades of selling Italian cars to people in the metropolitan New York area.

His customers included fellow Italian immigrants and their progeny, who sought a small piece of their native land. It included the famous — he sold convertibles to Groucho Marx and Henry Kissinger, for example — and the not-so-famous.

Alfa Romeo and Fiat models in Alfredo’s showroom in the early ‘60’s (Photo Automotive News)

Alfa Romeo and Fiat models in Alfredo’s showroom in the early ‘60’s (Photo Automotive News)

They were good years, for the most part. Always, Gulla says, whether it was a Fiat or an Alfa Romeo, he sold the brand, the history, the Italian heritage. “I hope, the fact that I’m Italian blends a little bit with the cars we are selling,” Gulla explains.

But Fiat and Alfa Romeo’s troubles grew in the United States as their sales fell in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By 1995, Alfa would pull out of the United States and retreat to Europe, despite the pleas of Gulla and other dealers.

Only when Fiat S.p.A. assumed control of a bankrupt Chrysler in 2009 was Gulla truly optimistic. His was among the first Fiat franchises to be awarded in 2010 when Chrysler began to sell the Fiat 500 in North America. Finally last year, Gulla’s Fiat of Larchmont was on the initial list to receive an Alfa Romeo franchise.

Even now, he is at the dealership and his nearby Chrysler store almost every day. Gulla says he believes Alfa’s return to North America will seem at first slow and regional. “But in the near future, with all the new models coming over, we will see a bigger impact for the brand.”

As Grand Marshal of the NEAM Father’s Day Car Show, Gulla is looking forward to greeting customers from years gone by as well as introducing the technological marvels of the new cars to another generation of “Alfisti.”

Adapted from article by Larry Vellequette, Automotive News

The iconic Alfa Romeo Spider celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016 (Photo: Hemmings)

The iconic Alfa Romeo Spider celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016 (Photo: Hemmings)

31 Mar

The “New” Petersen Part II: Vault’s Hidden Treasures include 24K Gold DeLorean, Sinatra’s Mustang & More

In the Petersen Vault, 24k gold DeLorean one of only three built for an American Express promotion  (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

In the Petersen Vault, 24k gold DeLorean one of only three built for an American Express promotion (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Los Angeles, Cal. – As part of its premiere in December, the newly redesigned Petersen Auto Museum reopened its legendary subterranean Vault, giving visitors a chance to tour a huge trove of rare and historic cars. Tours are limited to 20 people or less and are conducted by knowledgeable guides well versed in the museum’s history and the treasures in its collection. Access to the Vault is via a staircase to the museum’s basement, where visitors are warned in no uncertain terms that photographs are not permitted. (Photos for this article from LAist.com)

Ultra-rare Porsches: 1955 Type 356 Continental Cabriolet and 1964 “901” prototype, one of only 5 believed to have survived (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Ultra-rare Porsches: 1955 Type 356 Continental Cabriolet and 1964 “901” prototype, one of only 5 believed to have survived (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Hidden beneath the museum, the Peterson Vault offers an entire city block’s worth of automotive history, featuring more than 120 famous and infamous vehicles on display as well as the workshops where the cars are restored and maintained. On the private tour, the Petersen guide gives you an up-close look and the opportunity to learn about everything from Big Daddy Roth’s ground-breaking 1959 custom “The Outlaw” to the first-ever bulletproof presidential limo (a 1942/46 Lincoln used by FDR and Harry Truman).

First armored limo built for FDR after Pearl Harbor and restyled for Harry Truman in 1946 (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

First armored limo built for FDR after Pearl Harbor and restyled for Harry Truman in 1946 (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

From custom hot rods to elegant Art Deco-inspired rides, cars driven by movie stars on and off-screen, and even a Popemobile, there’s plenty for everyone to explore. And the Vault’s capable tour guides provide the fascinating histories and fun facts behind the collection.

Fred Astaire’s 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper with silver plated interior trim (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Fred Astaire’s 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper with silver plated interior trim (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

The Vault affords the museum space to store, protect and restore their massive collection and to keep vehicles in prime condition for future exhibits. Taking the tours through the space allows visitors to peer behind the curtain and see tons of stunning and historic vehicles in what feels like somebody’s secret bunker.

Ground-breaking 1959 custom “The Outlaw” created by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Ground-breaking 1959 custom “The Outlaw” created by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth
(Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

“Even after the renovation when we opened up the third floor as a display space, we only have room for 135 cars on display in the museum,” explains the Petersen’s Executive Director Terry L. Karges in a release about the Vault. “That leaves over 300 vehicles we cannot display in the museum—all with incredible stories that need telling.”

Race cars include Teverburgh & Kirkland Bonneville special and Max Balchowsky’s giant-killer “Old Yaller” Mark III (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Race cars include Teverburgh & Kirkland Bonneville special and Max Balchowsky’s giant-killer “Old Yaller” Mark III (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Among the highlights of the tour was, of course, the gold-plated DeLorean, with just 10 miles on the odometer and one of only three built by the company for a special American Express promotion as well as Frank Sinatra’s personal 1965 Barris-customized Zebra Mustang, which has faux-zebra fur on both the interior and exterior, as well as a small TV in the console.

Frank Sinatra’s Zebra themed 1965 Mustang customized by Barris Kustoms (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

Frank Sinatra’s Zebra themed 1965 Mustang customized by Barris Kustoms (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

The Vault tour is organized sequentially, beginning with the museum’s oldest vehicles including a 1913 De Dion, a 1907 Cadillac Tourer, and a 1911 American Underslung roadster; followed by the industry evolving after WWI with such cars as the air-cooled 1924 Franklin, a front-wheel drive 1929 Ruxton Model C Roadster and practical 1932 Model A Woody station wagon. Man’s early quest for speed is embodied in the powerful 1923 7.2 liter Mercedes Targa Florio, the sleek 1929 DuPont Model G Speedster and one-of- a-kind 1927 Pedroso roadster with wicker patio-chair seats. The tour moves on to the museum’s Parade Cars built for heads of state including Saddam Hussein, Juan Peron, Leonid Brezhnev and the Pope’s specially built Cadillac as well as FDR’s first armored limousine ordered after Pearl Harbor.

Holy Cadillac! Popemobile built for John Paul II for Mexican tour in 1968 (Photo autoblog.com)

Holy Cadillac! Popemobile built for John Paul II for Mexican tour in 1968 (Photo autoblog.com)

Although a number of the museum’s “crown jewels” such as the “Round-Door” Rolls Phantom I and Steve McQueen’s XKSS are currently displayed in the public areas of the museum, a surprising number are stored in the Vault. These include the black 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta, ordered by the Ford Motor Company for Henry Ford II, it is the last Barchetta ever built and the last non-racing Ferrari bodied by Touring. Absolutely original down its white wall tires by Firestone, many of the car’s styling cues were transferred to the early T-Birds including the egg crate grill.

1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta back-to-back with its cousin 1955 T-Bird (Photo driving.ca)

1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta back-to-back with its cousin 1955 T-Bird (Photo driving.ca)

Another rare gem, the museum’s 1948 Tucker Torpedo, was Preston Tucker’s personal car donated by his family, one of only 50 cars produced. The short-lived Tucker was the most advanced car of its time incorporating safety features such as seat belts, a central headlight that turned with the front wheels and rear-mounted flat six helicopter engine.

1948 Tucker, personal car of company founder Preston Tucker (Photo Petersen Automotive Museum)

1948 Tucker, personal car of company founder Preston Tucker (Photo Petersen Automotive Museum)

The vault is also home to tons of famous movie and TV cars which are rotated into the exhibit in the main building. These include the “Thelma & Louise” 1966 T-Bird convertible, “Magnum PI’s” 1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi specially custom-fit for star Tom Selleck, the bright yellow 1971 De Tomaso Pantera which Elvis shot bullet holes in when it would not start, and the star-car 1946 Ford “Grease Lightning” from the movie version of “Grease”.

1946 Ford “Grease Lightning” from the movie “Grease” created by Barris Kustoms (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

1946 Ford “Grease Lightning” from the movie “Grease” created by Barris Kustoms (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)

There are also an amazing number of famous hot rods and customs including multiple America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winners notably the innovative 1927 Ford “XR6”commissioned by Hot Rod Magazine in 1963, the 1933 Ford “Impact” designed by Chip Foose which won in 2001 and the futuristic custom “Alien” by the Himsl Brothers winner in 1969. These share the garage with Italian-American hybrids such as Rita Hayworth’s 1953 Series 62 Cadillac by Ghia, a 1959 Corvette Italia prototype designed and built by Scaglietti and a 1953 Nash-Healey by Pinin Farina. In between are random rare collectibles including Steve McQueen’s 1952 Hudson Wasp coupe, the unique 1953 Bosley GT Mark I which sports a 55-gallon fuel tank for long distance racing and an original prototype Porsche “901” which was a test vehicle for the 911 model and is believed to be only one of five surviving cars.

1959 Corvette Italia prototype by Scaglietti which Chevrolet decided not to put into production (Photo Petersen Automotive Museum)

1959 Corvette Italia prototype by Scaglietti which Chevrolet decided not to put into production (Photo Petersen Automotive Museum)

From hot rods and concept cars to the automobiles of Hollywood, the Petersen Vault is truly fitting for a city that is one of the world capitals of car culture. It is highly recommended to stop in for a peek when you visit Petersen Automotive Museum the next time you’re in Los Angeles.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile, (323) 930-2277. Vault tour tickets are $20 and must be purchased with a general admission ticket. Children under 13 are not permitted on vault tours, sorry kids. More information and tickets can be found here.
Article compiled by Nick Ord, New England Auto Museum
Contact: nord@neautomuseum.org
Content and photos from the Petersen Automotive Museum, LAist.com & LA Times

1953 Bosley GT, one-off fiberglass sports car built in Ohio with front-mounted Chrysler 331 cu.in. HEMI (Photo Kahn Media)

1953 Bosley GT, one-off fiberglass sports car built in Ohio with front-mounted Chrysler 331 cu.in. HEMI (Photo Kahn Media)

21 Mar

Spring Break! In L.A., the sparkling “new” Petersen Automobile Museum is a must-see for car guys…and there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy!

Flowing steel ribbons around the Petersen Automotive Museum represent motion, elegance, aerodynamics and speed (Photo Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Flowing steel ribbons around the Petersen Automotive Museum represent motion, elegance, aerodynamics and speed (Photo Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles, Cal. – The façade of the former department store on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue housing the Petersen Automotive Museum has been wrapped in sporty “hot-rod red” aluminum and caged by hundreds of shiny stainless-steel ribbons. Like a flashy sports car, it’s impossible to miss.

Proponents of the Petersen’s eye-catching new shell, designed by New York’s Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, say the flowing steel ribbons represent motion, elegance, aerodynamics and speed, traits on full display inside the museum. “L.A. is the car capital of the world, and Wilshire Boulevard is the main street,” says Peter Mullin, the Petersen’s chairman of the board. “We may be a little biased, but we feel it will be one of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles. You’re not going to drive by it and forget that you saw it.”

The original main floor exhibit entitled “Streetscape”, dioramas that were a mainstay of the museum for its first 20 years, has been replaced with soaring new galleries devoted to automotive artistry. Visitors can discover the most artfully-designed vehicles ever built, often regarded as “rolling sculptures” and explore how the automobile has been used as a canvas for artistic expression. The exhibits will be rotated and exchanged periodically much like in traditional fine art museums.

Poised at the entrance, the Petersen’s concours-winning 1927/34 Rolls-Royce Phantom I with aerodynamic coachwork by Jonckheere (Photo Bob Seidler/ justbritish.com)

Poised at the entrance, the Petersen’s concours-winning 1927/34 Rolls-Royce Phantom I with aerodynamic coachwork by Jonckheere (Photo Bob Seidler/ justbritish.com)

Welcoming visitors at the entrance level Grand Concourse is the museum’s massive 1927/34 Rolls-Royce “Round Door” Phantom I, a multiple major concours winner, beautifully re-restored by museum founders and benefactors Robert and Margie Petersen. Mr. Petersen, founder of a publishing empire which included Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazines had one lasting vision to build an educational museum to honor the automobile. The Petersen’s initial $16 million gift made that possible, and the 300,000 square foot Petersen Automotive Museum opened on June 11, 1994 in partnership with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In March 2000, they formed the Petersen Automotive Foundation with an additional $25 million gift to make the museum an independent entity.

Museum chairman Peter Mullin’s Bugatti Type 37C Atlantic displayed in the Grand Salon as part of the “Artistry of the Automobile” exhibition (Photo drivingline.com)

Museum chairman Peter Mullin’s Bugatti Type 37C Atlantic displayed in the Grand Salon as part of the “Artistry of the Automobile” exhibition (Photo drivingline.com)

Proceeding into the museum itself, the cavernous Grand Salon features “French Curves”, European coachbuilders’ artistic renditions, many on loan from Mr. Mullen including his nearly priceless Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic coupe and works by French coach building masters including Figoni & Falaschi, Chapron and Vanvooren. An adjacent gallery, also devoted to art and the automobile as a canvas for artistic expression, features BMW’s famous art cars adorned with work by talents such as David Hockney, Alexander Calder and Matazo Kayama.

BMW’s first art car, a 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder, which was actually raced at LeMans in 1975

BMW’s first art car, a 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder, which was actually raced at LeMans in 1975

Also on the ground floor, the old Petersen had a ‘50’s drive-in style Johnny Rockets hamburger restaurant, to be replaced in the spring by a stylish new bistro run by the Drago brothers, owners of celebrity hangout Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills; the upgrade represents some of the broader changes made at the museum to portray a more contemporary look and feel.

Twenty-five new galleries on three floors are packed with interactive technology telling three overarching stories about the automobile: its history, its industry and its artistry. On the second floor, visitors can explore the diversity of automotive design and technology and see cars that have been modified for speed and efficiency.

Lightning McQueen, star of the film “Cars”, welcomes kids to the Industry floor

Lightning McQueen, star of the film “Cars”, welcomes kids to the Industry floor

The Industry floor is all about Pixar. This is where visitors can park the kids for the majority of the day. At the center of the gallery is the Cars Mechanical Institute, where after snapping a photo-op with a life-size Lightning McQueen, the crew can be unleashed into the Discovery Center. Little ones love racing toy cars around the racetrack play table, while the older kids can use light tables and tablets to draw and decorate cars from the Pixar films.

Kids at play in the Discovery Center themed with Pixar “Cars” characters (Photo Shahrzad Warkentin/Red Tricycle)

Kids at play in the Discovery Center themed with Pixar “Cars” characters (Photo Shahrzad Warkentin/Red Tricycle)

From there, visitors can head to the center kiosk and check out the CARSpad Experience. Junior car enthusiasts receive bright orange covered iPads that they can use to navigate their way around the gallery, featuring exhibits on Vehicle Manufacturing & Design and Custom Cars, as Mater guides them in designing their own virtual race car. It’s where little tech fans and young gear heads alike will thrill with the “how things work” learning adventure.

Learning how cars are built at the CARSpad Experience (Photo Shahrzad Warkentin/Red Tricycle)

Learning how cars are built at the CARSpad Experience (Photo Shahrzad Warkentin/Red Tricycle)

For kids in the tween and teen set (or just a video-game loving Dad), there’s the Forza Motorsport Racing Experience, an Xbox gallery equipped with 13 gaming simulators inviting guests to virtually race on tracks in Daytona, Le Mans and many more. Participants can race against the clock on the popular arcade-style game for a chance to get their names on the Lap Time scoreboard. Wait times can be up to 30 minutes and drivers must be approximately 5 feet tall in order to reach the pedals. First thing in the morning or late afternoon are the best times to go to beat the line.

“Rio de Janeiro” scene from the Forza Motorsports Racing Experience (Image Microsoft Corp.)

“Rio de Janeiro” scene from the Forza Motorsports Racing Experience (Image Microsoft Corp.)

On the History floor, visitors can explore the multi-faceted history of the automobile and the love for it through the generations. There’s the collection of Tinseltown cars that has been a main draw of the museum since it opened 20 years ago. “Mr. Petersen had a passion for Hollywood and automobiles,” museum collection manager Dana Williamson has said of museum founder Robert E. Petersen, who died in 2007 and whose love of cars can be traced to his founding of Hot Rod magazine in 1948. “He particularly liked the connection between Hollywood cars and the stars that owned them.

Tribute wall honoring museum founder and major benefactor Robert E. Petersen

Tribute wall honoring museum founder and major benefactor Robert E. Petersen

Visitors to Cars of Film and Television will see a 1951 Chrysler-built Camera Car, one of two given to the RKO movie studio owned at the time by Howard Hughes, Walter White’s dilapidated 2004 Pontiac Aztec from the TV show “Breaking Bad” and the 20-foot-long sinister black Batmobile piloted by Michael Keaton in the1989 and 1992 “Batman” movies. Other highlights include the 1961 “Herbie” VW Beetle, the 2016 Aston Martin DB10 featured in the latest James Bond film, “Spectre,” and Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS.

1951 Chrysler Camera Car, one of two built for RKO Studios

1951 Chrysler Camera Car, one of two built for RKO Studios

This last car is among the museum’s most prized acquisitions. Only 16 of the cars were built before the Jaguar factory had a catastrophic fire, and in 1959 McQueen implored his wife (the main breadwinner at the time) to buy it for $5,000. McQueen vehicles are commanding sky-high prices at auction, so the car is worth at least eight figures, the museum says.

Also in the museum’s possession from Steve McQueen’s collection are a 1952 Hudson Wasp coupe, one of the sleekest American cars of its day, and two historic motorcycles, a 1927 Indian Big Chief and a 1912 Indian Single. These vehicles reside in the museum’s hidden basement “Vault”, which will be the subject of the second part of this article.

Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS, one of the museum’s most prized acquisitions

Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS, one of the museum’s most prized acquisitions

When the old Petersen closed in late 2014, it had seven flat-screen TVs. It now has more than 160 types of screens, including 35 interactive touchscreens and an 8-by-20-foot LED billboard. Some of the 47 projectors play clips from films behind the cars that were featured in them.

Museum managers and its interior design team traveled to 32 museums around the world to study automotive-related exhibits and find out which features best resonated with patrons. Education and outreach became a big part of the museum’s mandate which is to be the center of automotive thought in California and beyond.

Next week: Part II “The Vault” reopens at the new Petersen

Article compiled by Nick Ord, New England Auto Museum
Photos by Nick Ord unless otherwise indicated; Contact nord@neautomuseum.org
With content and images from the Petersen Automotive Museum, L.A. Times & Red Tricycle

 

More Cars of the Petersen:

1958 Corvette XP87 Stingray concept car, part of the “Precious Metals” exhibit in the Bruce Myers Family Gallery

1958 Corvette XP87 Stingray concept car, part of the “Precious Metals” exhibit in the
Bruce Myers Family Gallery

1955 Mercury D-528 Beldone concept car, part of the Concept Cars and Art exhibit in the Gruss Foundation Gallery

1955 Mercury D-528 Beldone concept car, part of the Concept Cars and Art exhibit in the Gruss Foundation Gallery

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ Tubulare Zagato race car, part of the Motorsports exhibit in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ Tubulare Zagato race car, part of the Motorsports exhibit in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery

1951 Mercury “Hirohata” coupe by Barris Kustoms, part of the Customization exhibit in the Enthusiast Network Gallery

1951 Mercury “Hirohata” coupe by Barris Kustoms, part of the Customization exhibit in the Enthusiast Network Gallery

1967 street legal Ford GT-40 Mark III, part of the High Performance Road Cars exhibit in the Chuck Wegner Gallery

1967 street legal Ford GT-40 Mark III, part of the High Performance Road Cars exhibit in the Chuck Wegner Gallery

11 Mar

Klingberg Festival Director Mark Johnson to speak at next NEAM Speakers Event in Westport April 2nd

Mark Johnson opening the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014 (Photo Hartford Courant)

Mark Johnson opening the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014 (Photo Hartford Courant)

Westport, Conn. – On the heels of another well-attended Speakers event in February, the New England Auto Museum will follow up with a presentation by Klingberg Festival Director Mark Johnson on Saturday, April 2 at Dragone Classic Gallery & Showroom in Westport.

The third and last of the winter series scheduled to begin at 11 AM will highlight Connecticut’s storied past as the cradle of the U.S. automotive industry. Companies like Corbin from New Britain; Pope-Hartford, Columbia and Kelsey-Motorette from Hartford; Frisbee and Compound from Middletown; Cameron from New London, Stamford and Trumbull — and, of course, Locomobile from Bridgeport — all helped to establish American dominance in the early days of the automobile. At the turn of the 20th Century, Connecticut and the surrounding region was home to the innovators and pioneers such as the Duryea brothers, Andrew Riker, Col. Albert Pope and Hiram Maxim who collectively invented virtually every element of what is today’s modern car.

(Archived Photo)

(Archived Photo)

In New Britain, Connecticut on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend June 18th, 2016, more than 350 of the finest automobiles made between 1900 and the present will descend upon the city for the 24rd Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival at Klingberg Family Centers on Linwood Street. Thousands of people are expected to attend, and cars will come from eight states.

Last year’s show featured more than 50 vehicles manufactured between 1900 and 1915 featured in the pre-war section, including steam and electric cars. Nine were manufactured in Connecticut, including a 1914 Trumbull Coupe, made by the Trumbull Motor Car Co. of Bridgeport; a 1905 Columbia Brougham, an electric car made by Pope Manufacturing in Hartford; a 1900 Locomobile Steamer as well as the oldest-known surviving model of the “Hartford” also made by Pope until 1915.

Wayne Carini and his late father Bob Carini at the 2014 Klingberg Festival (Photo Klingberg Festival)

Wayne Carini and his late father Bob Carini at the 2014 Klingberg Festival (Photo Klingberg Festival)

At his presentation on April 2nd, Mark Johnson, Klingberg Festival’s Director will discuss plans for this year’s show scheduled for June 18th which will feature TV personality Wayne Carini of Velocity’s “Chasing Classic Cars” as Grand Marshall along with Wayne’s daughter Lindsay Cushing. Wayne and his family share this honor in recognition of Father’s Day and the importance of families and this year will pay tribute to Bob Carini, Wayne’s father, who also served as Grand Marshal for several years and sadly passed away in January 2016 and will be greatly missed. Wayne’s passion for cars started when he was a child working alongside his dad on such classics as Duesenbergs, Lincolns, Packards and Ford Model A’s. Then, at just 9 years of age, he experienced a life altering event: he went for a ride in his first Ferrari. This set him on a career journey dealing with all types of vintage automobile collectors throughout the world. In addition to his popular TV show, Wayne Carini is involved in and regularly attends many different car clubs and events to get young people involved in the car collector hobby. He believes that without young people’s involvement, the car collector tradition will disappear. Wayne supports the Automobile Restoration Program at Klingberg’s Raymond Hill School.

George Dragone introducing author Pat Foster at Feb. 27 Speakers event (Photo New England Auto Museum)

George Dragone introducing author Pat Foster at Feb. 27 Speakers event
(Photo New England Auto Museum)

Tickets for the Speakers event featuring Mark Johnson will be $15 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the museum’s web site www.neautomuseum.org. Refreshments and a light luncheon will be provided as part of the program. The Dragone Showroom is located at 176 Post Road West in Westport, Conn. Weather permitting, owners of classic and special interest automobiles are welcome to display their cars in Dragone’s spacious parking area.

Source: New England Auto Museum

Hagerty Regional Manager Will Corr set up at Dragone’s Westport showroom (Photo New England Auto Museum)

Hagerty Regional Manager Will Corr set up at Dragone’s Westport showroom
(Photo New England Auto Museum)

02 Mar

Alfa Romeo & Model A Ford to headline the 2nd Annual Father’s Day Car Show on Sunday, June 19th at Mathews Park in Norwalk

Spectators and classic cars at the 2015 Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk (Photo New England Auto Museum)

Spectators and classic cars at the 2015 Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk (Photo New England Auto Museum)

Norwalk, Conn. – On Sunday, June 19, 2016 New England Auto Museum will again present a Father’s Day Car Show on the lawn of Mathews Park in Norwalk, site of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. The event will be held from 10AM to 3PM and will offer hundreds of unique cars to view. Admission to the event is free to spectators; a donation will be voluntary and any proceeds will go towards the New England Auto Museum’s building and education funds. The New England Auto Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Great food and refreshments will be provided all day by the Port 5 Naval Veterans along with music and prizes from Car Tunes Classics, trophies for People’s Choice, Best in Show and more.

Spectators can come out and enjoy an afternoon of classic cars in all shapes and sizes, talk with the owners, be a judge and select their favorite car, grab a bite to eat and even visit the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum and tour the historic Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, right next door. It’s a great afternoon for Dad and the whole family!

New this year, the Father’s Day Car Show will feature two celebrated automotive marques: from Europe will be Alfa Romeo automobiles including pre-war and post war models and from America the Model A Ford of which almost 5 million examples were produced from 1927 to 1931.

The iconic Alfa Romeo Spider celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016 (Photo: Hemmings)

The iconic Alfa Romeo Spider celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016 (Photo: Hemmings)

Founded in Milan as A.L.F.A. in 1910, Alfa Romeo has been involved in auto racing since its early beginnings and boasts the world’s title for most racing wins of any automotive marque in history. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Alfa Spider which gained fame in the blockbuster 1967 movie “The Graduate.” Now owned by the Fiat Chrysler organization, the brand has returned to the U.S. market, last year with the exotic 4C sports car and coming this year a new sports sedan, the Guilia Quadrifoglio equipped with a 500 hp Ferrari-derived V-6 engine.

2017 Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio (Photo: Car and Driver)

2017 Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio (Photo: Car and Driver)

The Model A Ford is beloved by collectors for its simplicity and ease of maintenance as well as being fun to drive. It is one of the most collected marques in the country and boasts of five owners clubs in the state of Connecticut alone. The Model A was the second huge sales success for Ford Motor Company after its predecessor the Model T, and was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle, and gearshift.

1928 Model A Ford, almost 5 million built up to 1931(Photo: Wikipedia)

1928 Model A Ford, almost 5 million built up to 1931(Photo: Wikipedia)

Anyone interested in showing a car may pre-register online at the New England Auto Museum website (after April 3rd); it’s only $10/per car. Spectator admission is free. Prizes will include awards for the Peoples’ Choice; the Mayor’s Choice, Best in Show and many more. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

2015 Best in Show winner ’64 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII owned by Ryan Ledwith (Photo New England Auto Museum)

2015 Best in Show winner ’64 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII owned by Ryan Ledwith
(Photo New England Auto Museum)