Sunday, December 26, 2010

Want to Go Riding in My Car?

At the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, a current exhibit is titled "Automotivated, Streamlined Fashion and Automobiles." It pairs fashion and cars in an excellent retrospective.

The prevailing fashion for women at the time of the invention of the automobile was highly unsuited to traveling by this new-fangled mode of transportation. As cars became ever more sleek and elegant, fashion followed suit.

You'd better get dressed up when you head out in a fancy car:

This is the perfect get-up for all kinds of weather. 
The goggles are perfect for old cars that did not have windshields.
The leather helmet is terribly chic.

Here's a more upscale look for a more modern car.

Razz-ma-tazz, and all that jazz.

I don't think I'd want you and that thing on your shoulder in my ride.

Apart from the special clothing exhibit, the collection of automobiles at the Petersen museum is really impressive. Historic cars, in mint condition, will take you back to your childhood and that of your parents and grandparents.

One of my favorite cars in the exhibit was the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible:

This car measures 225 inches in length and weighs 5,060 pounds. Look at the back white side-wall tire and see how low the chassis is sitting to the ground. Dig those rocketlike tailfins in back and the chrome detailing.

Gorgeous cream and blue leather interior here. Note some of the custom details in this particular car: the matching blue phone built into the front console and the place for the crystal ashtray in front of it, and the built-in spot for a liquor decanter and two shot glasses in the back. Oh boy, this was before MADD, for sure.

In case you are wondering, the hood of this vehicle looks about the size of our king-sized mattress. It is truly gigantic! Of course there is a 345 horsepower 8-cylinder engine in there, so it has to be huge.

The museum also has a superior collection of motorcycles. Two in particular impressed me.

This is the 1904/5 FN four-cylinder motorcycle--the first one that was mass produced according to the signage on the display. It is very clever looking in a steampunk kind of way. I could definitely enjoy riding around on that.

The second motorcycle that was totally cool was a OOAK handmade skeleton cycle. Think I'll wait until Halloween next year to show you photos of that one.

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