Dream Cars

Special Display in Massachusetts

Larry Jewett - March 20, 2013 09:42 AM


1956 Buick Centurion
Collection of Sloan*Longway, Flint, MI

Photo courtesy of General Motors

1963 Harley Earl Corvette

Courtesy of Dana and Patti Mecum

2009 The Transition Roadable Aircraft

Courtesy of Terrafugia

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On April 13, Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, opens for the season with its 2013 Special Exhibit - “Driving Our Dreams: Imagination in Motion” - which will pay homage to the great car concepts and designers who pushed the boundaries of automobile design and technology.
The display will feature 16 of the most exceptional and historically-significant concept cars from across the nation. This is the first time this collection of unique cars, which hail from the country’s top automobile museums and private collections, has been displayed together. “Driving Our Dreams” will emphasize the design process behind great concepts of the past, like the Firebird II, and the cars of tomorrow, like the Terrafugia flying car.  This is an interactive exhibition for all ages and all demographics, and will provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the glamorous and innovative world of automotive design.
Many of the featured concept cars were showcased at GM’s Motorama extravaganzas during the 1950s.  Unlike prototypes, concept or “dream cars” were meant to test the limits of technology and design, and to build excitement among consumers. Most never made it to production, largely because they would have been too expensive to mass-produce. From the 1956 Firebird II to the Infinium solar-powered car, these cars exemplify the far-reaching boundaries of automobile designers’ imaginations. Car enthusiasts will especially delight in the 1963 personal Corvette of GM’s Harley Earl, who is regarded as one of the pioneers in automobile design and the father of the Corvette.
The exhibit will also spotlight fashion with a look at how car design has reflected on pop culture and fashion over the decades. Giant images featuring such icons as Sophia Loren, Mick Jagger, and Steve McQueen will add to the exhibit. Designer tools and interactive stations where visitors can create design mood boards and style and post solar car drawings will also engage visitors in the design process.
“This is one of the most remarkable exhibitions we’ve had the pleasure of showcasing,” said Ellen Spear, President & CEO of Heritage Museums & Gardens. “The intersection of fashion, design, style and technology is reflected in these rare and inspiring concepts- many of the ideas of 50 years ago are just being incorporated into cars today.”
To complement the exhibit, several prominent leaders in the auto industry will visit Heritage to participate in a lecture series throughout the exhibit.  Lecturers include documentary producer Bill Stephens; TV personality and auto expert Wayne Carini; noted restoration expert Kevin MacKay; Dr. Carl Dietrich, aerospace engineer and CEO/CTO and co-founder of Terrafugia; Bill Porter, former General Motors designer and authority on twentieth century automobile design trends; and Dr. Michael Knodler, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
A complete schedule can be viewed at “Driving Our Dreams” Imagination in Motion” opens on April 13 and closes on October 27, 2013.  It’s included with admission.  This exhibit is sponsored by Arbella Insurance Foundation, Bonhams International Auctioneers, Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines and Reliable Carriers.
Automobiles to be featured in Exhibit include:
•         1927 LaSalle
•         1953 Buick Wildcat II
•         1953 Lincoln X100
•         1954 Hudson Italia
•         1954 Plymouth Explorer
•         1956 Firebird II
•         1956 Buick Centurion
•         1962 Corvette
•         1963 Harley Earl Corvette
•         1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza SS
•         1973 Chevrolet XP898
•         1974 Chevrolet Corvette – Reynolds
•         1986 Chevrolet Corvette Indy
•         1990 Corvette CERV III
•         2009 Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft
•         2009  Infinium Solar Car