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)

22 Jan

Change of Speaker for New England Auto Museum Winter Speakers Series Event in Westport January 30th

Dragone Classics Gallery & Showroom, 176 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut

Dragone Classics Gallery & Showroom, 176 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut

Westport, Conn. – The New England Auto Museum announced that because of an unforeseen scheduling conflict, writer and car expert Eric Evarts will be replacing Jim Motavalli as the scheduled speaker on Saturday, January 30th at Dragone Classic Gallery & Showroom in Westport; first of a series featuring well-known automotive writers and experts. Each event will be held on Saturday morning commencing at 11AM and a light luncheon will be provided. Specifically the events have been scheduled as follows:

Writer & Car Expert Eric Evarts

Writer & Car Expert Eric Evarts

January 30 – “CARS OF THE FUTURE: SMART, SAFE & SUSTAINABLE”
Freelance writer Eric Evarts has been writing about energy, the environment, technology, transportation, business, and consumer affairs for 25 years. He spent 15 years covering business, advanced technology, and the auto industry for The Christian Science Monitor spending the past 10 years at Consumer Reports writing about cars, fuel economy, pollution, and alternative fuels, and the latest developments in transportation and technology. He can tell readers how to get the best deal and avoid buying a lemon, whether it’s a used car or a bad mortgage. He currently works as a freelance writer for AAA, Nature, and a new consumer website, thewirecutter.com

Other scheduled Winter Speakers Series events are as follows:

February 27 – “CARS OF THE PAST: STORIED INDEPENDENT AUTOMAKERS”
Author Patrick Foster has written numerous books on almost all the independent U.S. automakers that have disappeared from the scene including Packard, Studebaker, and AMC.

April 2 – “THE EARLY DAYS OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN CONNECTICUT”
Klingberg Vintage Motor Festival Director Mark Johnson will talk about plans for this year’s event including participation again this year by Wayne Carini, as Grand Marshal.

Each Speakers Series event will include a technical session hosted by restoration expert and historian George Dragone focusing on one aspect of classic car preservation and maintenance. The January 30th seminar will feature representatives from New England Dry Stripping of Trumbull, Conn. providing tips and insight on their area of expertise. Tickets for each event will be $15 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the museum’s web site www.neautomuseum.org. The Dragone Showroom is at 176 Post Road West in Westport, Conn.

05 Jan

New England Auto Museum Announces Winter Speakers Series in Westport Beginning January 30

Dragone Classics Gallery & Showroom, 176 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut

Dragone Classics Gallery & Showroom, 176 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut

Westport, Conn. – The New England Auto Museum announced the formation of a Winter Speakers Series to take place at Dragone Classic Gallery & Showroom in Westport featuring well-known automotive writers and experts. Each event will be held on Saturday morning commencing at 11AM and a light luncheon will be provided. Specifically the events have been scheduled as follows:

January 30 – “CARS OF THE FUTURE: SMART, SAFE & SUSTAINABLE”
Freelance writer Eric Evarts has been writing about energy, the environment, technology, transportation, business, and consumer affairs for 25 years. He spent 15 years covering business, advanced technology, and the auto industry for The Christian Science Monitor spending the past 10 years at Consumer Reports writing about cars, fuel economy, pollution, and alternative fuels, and the latest developments in transportation and technology. He can tell readers how to get the best deal and avoid buying a lemon, whether it’s a used car or a bad mortgage. He currently works as a freelance writer for AAA, Nature, and a new consumer website, thewirecutter.com

Writer & Car Expert Eric Evarts

Writer & Car Expert Eric Evarts

February 27 – “CARS OF THE PAST – STORIED INDEPENDENT AUTOMAKERS”
One of America’s best-known automotive writers is historian/author Patrick Foster – a dedicated researcher who has spent more than 30 years studying various aspects of the automotive industry, has also been writing for automotive magazines for well over a decade. He has appeared on several radio and television talk shows and also the documentary “Women and the Automobile”, produced for television, in which Foster explained the significance of the Nash Metropolitan, a car designed primarily for women.

Pat has written numerous books on almost all the independent U.S. automakers that have disappeared from the scene including Packard, Studebaker, American Motors and many others. Pat is a feature writer and columnist for Hemmings Classic Car magazine, writes for Automobile Quarterly and Collectible Automobile, and has a column in Old Cars Weekly.

Author Patrick Foster with his restored 1967 Rambler Rogue

Author Patrick Foster with his restored 1967 Rambler Rogue

April 2 – “THE EARLY DAYS OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN CONNECTICUT”
Hartford does not claim to have made the first automobile but does claim to have started the automotive industry,” This statement was made by pioneer auto designer and engineer, Henry Cave, who worked with Daimler Motor Company, Locomobile and with George B. Seldon to design, develop and demonstrate the first Seldon patent car. The 24th Annual Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival in New Britain, CT on June 18th, 2016, will feature many automobiles manufactured in Connecticut including examples from Pope Hartford, Columbia, Corbin and Locomobile and is in fact the largest gathering of these early “brass era” cars in the country. Klingberg Festival Director Mark Johnson will talk about plans for this year’s event including participation again this year by Wayne Carini, host of “Chasing Classic Cars” on VelocityTV, as Grand Marshal with his dad Bob and daughter Lindsay.

Mark Johnson at the opening of the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014

Mark Johnson at the opening of the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014

Each Speakers Series event will include a technical session hosted by restoration expert and historian George Dragone focusing a one aspect of classic car preservation and maintenance. The January 30th seminar will feature representatives from New England Dry Stripping of Trumbull, CT providing tips and insight on their area of expertise. Tickets for each event will be $15 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the museum’s web site www.neautomuseum.org. The Dragone Showroom is at 176 Post Road West in Westport, CT.

Source: New England Auto Museum

Pope Hartford back in the day

Pope Hartford back in the day

15 Dec

Holiday Gift for Truck Lovers: New Book on the Complete History of International Harvester Trucks

Just released book on the history of International Harvester Trucks

Just released book on the history of International Harvester Trucks

Milford, CT – Get the entire history of the best trucks on the road just in time for holiday giving. The International Truck and Engine Corporation have built the trucks that have been a staple of both agricultural and industrial trucking for over 100 years. International Harvester Trucks: The Complete History tells the complete story of the light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks, vans, and station wagons built by International Harvester during over a century of history, starting from the company’s early days, through its first truck model in 1907, and right up to the present. The focus is firmly on the trucks themselves including collectible machines such as the Travelall and Scout. Author Patrick Foster, of Milford is one of the world’s premier transportation historians. His accessible writing style, illustrated with hundreds of never-before-seen archival photographs, makes this book the best examination of one of the world’s most prolific truck manufacturers. The book is widely available at book shopping sites including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and copies signed and numbered by the author can be purchased at www.oldemilfordpress.com

Patrick Foster is one of America’s best-known automotive journalists. He has been writing for more than 25 years and is a dedicated historian and author with a broad experience in the automotive industry. His work has appeared in numerous automotive magazines and he has regular columns in Hemmings Classic Car and Old Cars Weekly. Patrick has written 17 books about the American automobile and has two new books coming out this year including The History of International Harvester Trucks and George Romney-An American Life. He’s won numerous awards and was honored with the Lee Iacocca Award for excellence in automotive writing.

Author Patrick Foster with his restored 1967 Rambler Rogue

Author Patrick Foster with his restored 1967 Rambler Rogue

Patrick Foster is a popular banquet speaker and also conducts seminars on automotive history. Recently Pat appeared at the Studebaker International Meet in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and at “Meet the Authors” at the National Automotive History Collection in Detroit. Pat is scheduled to speak as part of the New England Auto Museum Speakers Series in late-February 2016. Actual date and location of this event will be announced early in the New Year.

Courtesy Olde Milford Press

Patrick Foster with his book on American Motors in Milford, CT

Patrick Foster with his book on American Motors in Milford, CT

01 Dec

Lime Rock Park Announces 2016 Schedule, Discounted Holiday Ticket Pricing

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LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Lime Rock Park has announced their 2016 Event Schedule, providing links to the Christmas and holiday discounted general admission ticket pages, and this link to the online Lime Rock Merchandise Store.

2016 Schedule: Four major spectator events (up from three in 2014 and 2015)

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May 27-29, Pirelli World Challenge on traditional Memorial Day Weekend
Pirelli World Challenge (GT, GTA, GTS, GT Cup), world debut of SCCA Pro Racing United States F4 Championship series, and the Seventh Annual Royals Garage Sunday Car Show.

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July 22-23, Northeast Grand Prix IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar & Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
WeatherTech championship: Prototype Challenge, GTLM & GTD; Continental championship: Grand Sport & Street Tuner. New for 2016 is the return of the GTLM class (good news for the Corvette fans in the Northeast, and they are legion). New factory efforts by Ford (the new GT), Lamborghini, Lexus and Dodge have joined the fray. NEW for IMSA 2016: Teens 16 and under admitted FREE with accompanying adult.

lrp4September 2-5, Historic Festival 34 & Sunday in the Park Concours
250 vintage and historic race cars, 1,200 concours and collector cars, iconic Honored Guests and special collections. Each year’s Festival is always highly anticipated. The theme, honored guests and special collections will be announced closer to the event.

lrp5September 24, Ferrari Challenge North America Trofeo Pirelli presented by Singha Beer.
The Ferrari 458C Evo is a terrific racing machine. A squadron of them at full chat at Lime Rock is not to be missed.

General Admission Tickets: One example of how big the Christmas and holiday discounts are: Would one rather pay $54 for a Pirelli World Challenge Weekend ticket now or $75 in May? Yep, that’s what we thought…

With much of Lime Rock’s major renovation project (“Road to 60”) complete, Lime Rock Park is expecting an exceptional season in 2016.

More information at www.limerock.com

Article & Photos courtesy Lime Rock Park

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