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Automania At New York’s MoMa Is In Full Swing

Cars can be art too!

Leo Shvedsky 
September 28 2021
Museum of Modern Art 

The effect that cars have made on the world of art and design cannot be understated. Cars and car manufacturers have been on the cutting edge of design for over a century and have left an indelible mark on the world's overall aesthetic. Now, some might say, yeah, well, you’re theTUNDRA. The concept cars you see at car shows every year are cool, but they're not art. To which we say, not so fast!

It isn’t just the cars we’ll never see roll off the production line that are worthy of mention by the snobs in the New York art world. In fact, the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) is in alignment with us. Their Automania exhibit has kicked off and will be going on until January 2nd. There you can check out some of the most impactful cars and design specs over the last 100-years or so. But, in case you can’t make it to New York City in the next few months, we wanted to give you a taste of what’s on offer.

Museum of Modern Art 

The French Citroen DS 23 was the result of 12 years of development. Given that it was introduced during the 1955 Paris car show, which would put the beginning of its development around the height of World War II. When revealed the car was like nothing anyone had seen. The highest-selling car in the world at the time was the Chevy Bel Air.  

Nothing against the Bel Air, but the Citreon with its sleek headlights, low profile, and bubble cabin was like something out of science fiction at the time. Citreon had 12,000 orders for the car on the first day of the car show alone. They had 80,000 by the end of the car show. The only other car to beat that figure is the Tesla Model 3 sixty years later. Even looking at it now, it’s hard to imagine that it was designed as a consumer car at the same time people were riding around in cars that still looked like horse carriages.

Museum of Modern Art 

The Porsche 911 is the ultimate sports roadster. In the eighties, it was one of the iconic images of upward mobility and unabashed excess in America and around the world. It is also the basis for every single 6-cylinder sports roadster since then. Most were all four-cylinder at the time.  

Quick trivia, if you don’t already know, the 911’s designer Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche was the grandson of the designer of the VW Beetle. Many of you will know him as Herbie. Well, it is also on display at this exhibit. In fact, the first photo in this article is the Beetle’s steering wheel.  

Museum of Modern Art 

Even for those not into F1 racing, there is little doubt that most would recognize the Ferrari F1-90 (641/2) racing car. In 1990 this demon of a go-cart took 6 wins in 16 races. It was the first F1 car to have a traction control system, which changed the sport in ways that some consider controversial. Even now it’s illegal in the sport to have a true traction control system.  

If we had a penthouse villa on the Upper East Side of Manhattan we’d probably be at this museum first and last thing just to get a glimpse of these gems!



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