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“The Allure of the Automobile” and the art of car design at the High Museum

Forget transportation issues when you go to see the High Museum of Art’s “The Allure of the Automobile.” This display of classic and vintage vehicles is about design. Here’s an excerpt from my AJC review.

“The designs of the ’30s are all the more astounding when you think of the cars driven by the hoi polloi at that time. The upright, boxy Model T and Model A Fords hark back to horse-drawn carriages. The sleek, sinuous lines and parallel-opening doors of the 1937 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza, which looks straight out of ‘The Jetsons’ or a James Bond film, have more in common with airplanes.
The aerodynamic shape designers preferred had something to do with speed and sport, but it also reflected the zeitgeist. Synonymous with modernity and its ever-faster pace, the streamlined forms were all the rage, even for objects that didn’t move at all.”

The aerodynamic curves of this Pierce-Arrow reflected the zeitgeist of the Machine Age.

The post-war period saw a preference for sportier models like this Dodge Firearrow.

The glamorous Bugatti above, which looks like one of a pair of bespoke spats, was like the rest of these high-end autos, the incarnation of its owner’s wealth, power and taste.

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