Dream Cars: When imagination soars – and some cars do, too

2009 The Transition Roadable Aircraft (Photo courtesy of Terrafugia)

2009 The Transition Roadable Aircraft (Photo courtesy of Terrafugia)

 

SANDWICH, Mass. – Heritage Museums & Gardens opens for the season April 13 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.

It 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. 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 can see the 1963 personal Corvette of GM’s Harley Earl, who is regarded as one of the pioneers in automobile design.

The 1963 Harley Earl Corvette will be one of the historically-significant concept cars on exhibit at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Mass. (Photo courtesy of Dana and Patti Mecum)

The 1963 Harley Earl Corvette will be one of the historically-significant concept cars on exhibit at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Mass. (Photo courtesy of Dana and Patti Mecum)

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 ‚Äì Reynolds
  • 1986 Chevrolet Corvette Indy
  • 1990 Corvette CERV III
  • 2009 Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft
  • 2009  Infinium Solar Car

The exhibit will also spotlight fashion with a look at how car design has reflected on pop culture and fashion over the decades. In addition to the cars displayed in the Automobile Gallery, the exhibit will extend into Heritage’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, where it will explore what today’s designers are dreaming up for future automotive designs via a multi-media experience.

1956 Buick Centurion. Collection of Sloan*Longway, Flint, Mich. (Photo courtesy of General Motors)

1956 Buick Centurion. Collection of Sloan*Longway, Flint, Mich. (Photo courtesy of General Motors)

 

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.

The exhibit ends Oct. 27. For details, visit www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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