DREAM CARS: THE ONE-OF-A-KIND CONCEPT CAR EXHIBIT AT THE HIGH MUSEUM IN ATLANTA, GA
[dropcap size=small]D[/dropcap]“ream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas.” This major exhibition of automotive design brought together 17 concept cars from across Europe and the U.S., including some of the rarest and most imaginative cars designed by Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche. Dream Cars features cars from the early 1930s to the 21st century that pushed the limits of imagination and foreshadowed the future of design.
The exhibition pairs conceptual drawings, patents and scale models with realized cars, demonstrating how their experimental designs advanced ideas of progress and changed the automobile from an object of function to a symbol of future possibilities.
Concept cars are a way for automakers, coachbuilders and independent designers to showcase and demonstrate innovative and progressive designs. Most concept cars are never intended for series production and are created as a way to explore ideas through styling and design aesthetics, as well as experiment with new technology.
Highlights of Dream Cars include:
- Paul Arzens’ “L’Oeuf électrique” (1942), an electric bubble car designed by Arzens for his personal use in Paris during the German occupation, which has never before traveled to the U.S.
- William Stout’s “Scarab” (1936), the genesis of the contemporary minivan.
- Marcello Gandini’s Lancia (Bertone) “Stratos HF Zero” (1970), a wedge-shaped car that is only 33 inches tall.
- Christopher Bangle’s BMW “GINA Light Visionary Model” (2001), featuring an exterior made of fabric.
- A full-scale (6 x 20 foot) rendering of a concept car by Carl Renner (1951).
“The concept cars presented in ‘Dream Cars’ demonstrate how design can transcend the present and offer new paths and opportunities for the future,” said Sarah Schleuning, exhibition curator and curator of decorative arts and design at the High. “While these cars were never mass-produced, they shaped the future of the automotive industry by challenging the notion of what is possible, technologically and stylistically.”
“Dream Cars” also examines how automotive design events like General Motors’ 1949-61 Motoramas influenced the industry and features three cars from these events: Firebird 1 XP-21 (1954), Buick Centurion (1956) and Le Sabre (1951). This section of the exhibition focuses on the role of automotive designers such as Harley Earl at GM, who combined styling and design aesthetics with technological advances to create futuristic renderings that imbued automobiles with a sense of glamour and fantasy.
To complement the presentation, the exhibition had a contemporary design workshop featuring the 2010 Porsche Spyder 918 concept car.
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