As the nation slowly begins to open back up in stages during the pandemic, art is back on the forefront. More than ever, we depended on our cars during this challenging time. I don’t know about you, but despite most other areas of my life being virtual, taking a drive was still a “normal” I could rely upon.
In Charleston, a world-renowned event, Spoleto is usually in full swing, bringing thousands to the Lowcountry. This year the event is virtual – it began on May 22 and there are different virtual virtuosos to enjoy.
In keeping with the spirit of art, culture and masterpieces, I give you a few examples of “artful” autos. Art feeds the soul and despite the current circumstances, the human spirit and ingenuity remain resilient.
1995 BMW Art Car
The BMW 850 CSi, 1995 by English artist David Hockney, was turned inside out to make it transparent through a “unique perception.” Hockney said: “The car has wonderful lines which I followed.” It was never driven and was solely for exhibit.
1956 Buick Centurion XP-301
The 1966 concept car wasn’t meant to be driven. Instead, it was built to be admired and it still is. It has been exhibited in various museums such as The High Museum in Atlanta and in the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan.
1947 Norman Timbs Special
A restoration expert, Gary Cerveny, found this car in a California desert junkyard in 2002. Left to rot, kids played on it and it was mainly ignored until he discovered this piece of historic art. The body was in one piece and Cerveny completely rebuilt it. The car engineer, Norman Timbs, built the beauty getting inspiration from his background in airplane design and from a German race car.
1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car
With an aluminum body and retractable roof, the car didn’t have any door handles, but they did open with a push of a button. Built during the height of the Art Deco period, Alex Tremulis was the designer and a total of five examples were produced, each with their own unique color. One is at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
Who wouldn’t want to drive this beauty? So much personality and it’s a collectible. It has a V8 engine, weighs two-and-a-half tons and can go up to 120 mph. In 1957, the car introduced cruise control and gas-filled shock absorbers. Back then, it sold for $7,401 and because of that, the big-fin convertible had low sales. You can pick one up now for anywhere between $120,000 to $176,000. One sits in majestic splendor in the GM Heritage Center. Take a look at original data book here.
Be safe out there.