1955 Flajole Forerunner joins AACA Museum in time for Hershey

A new vehicle donation will soon be arriving at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum just in time for Fall Carlisle and Hershey Meet Week. Mark Hyman of Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars is donating the one-of-a-kind 1955 Flajole Forerunner to become part of the AACA Museum Collection in Hershey, Pa.

Mark Hyman of Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars recently donated the one-of-a-kind 1955 Flajole Forerunner to the AACA Museum.

As one of the most innovative cars of the 1950s, the Flajole Forerunner was world renowned stylist Bill Flajole’s vision of the future.  The Forerunner was the result of over 7,000 hours of design and construction, and more than $80,000 in build cost in 1955 dollars, a significant investment at the time.

The subject of numerous magazine articles, Motor Trend featured the Forerunner on the same cover as Ghia’s groundbreaking Gilda design study.   Sports Cars Illustrated gave the Forerunner a three-page feature article in October 1955, Mechanix Illustrated wrote about the car in September of 1955, Motor Trend magazine featured this car in September 1955 and the car was also recently featured in Octane Magazine.  The car is being donated complete with copies of the original magazines that featured its debut.

Designed and built by automotive designer Bill Flajole, then Advance Styling Consultant for American Motors, and a well-known industrial designer, the Forerunner incorporates many futuristic design elements such as its retracting tinted Plexiglas roof, headrest bucket seats and contrasting color fender coves, well before any of these items were put on a production car.  Its chassis is among the best of its day: Jaguar’s high performance 180 horsepower XK 120M with an SCCA race class win to its credit while Flajole’s studio was creating the Forerunner’s body.  The glass-fiber body employed molded-in open louvers and elaborate compound curves never before attempted in fiberglass.  Its windshield header-mounted rearview mirror foreshadows later designers’ use of periscope optics.

This important one-off automobile has been completely restored and was shown at Amelia Island in 2010.

“This particular automobile is historically important for its technological advancements and its design concepts that were truly ahead of its time” stated donor Mark Hyman.  “As a dealer of vintage motor cars, I feel strongly about giving back to the collector car community.  I am making this donation so that the car can be enjoyed by the public, rather than being part of a private collection where only a select few would have access to view it.”

The Flajole Forerunner is currently in transit and due to arrive at the AACA Museum for display by Oct. 1, 2012.  All vehicles displayed at the AACA Museum are either donated or on short-term loan from individual collectors.

The 57th Annual AACA Hershey Fall Meet and Car Show will be held October 10-13 on the Hersheypark Grounds in Hershey, PA. This 4 day event features a flea market with over 9,000 vendor spaces, a car corral with 1,000+ antique vehicles for sale and car show on Saturday.   The Hershey Fall Meet along with the Fall Carlisle Meet and Car show the first week of October provides the perfect opportunity to showcase this particular vehicle at the AACA Museum for all enthusiasts and the community to enjoy.

About Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars
Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars is an internationally known dealer of quality vintage motorcars located in St. Louis, Missouri. Hyman Ltd has one of the largest and most diverse showrooms of quality collector cars for sale in the country.  To view Hyman Ltd’s extensive inventory, please visit www.hymanltd.com.

About  the AACA Museum
The Antique Auto Museum at Hershey, a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1900′s – 1970′s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco.   This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is one of the nation’s newest and largest automotive museums.  Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles.  The Museum is located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Regular admission $10, seniors age 61 and older $9, juniors age 4-12 $7, children age 3 and under are FREE.  The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and will offer extended public hours on October 11 & 12 for  Hershey Meet Week visitors.

For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.

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