Speed, Style and Beauty: The Ralph Lauren Car Collection
March 29, 2008 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Speed, Style and Beauty: The Ralph Lauren Car Collection photo gallery. More photos here (although some are duplicates). Details of the automobiles at Motor Trend. The cars were the subject of a Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibition in 2005, and an excellent Discovery Channel documentary last October. If you missed the broadcast, you can buy the book. (There's no DVD that I can find, but watch for a repeat broadcast. Or maybe you can catch it some other way.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I went to the exhibit at the MFA. Most of the cars were restored by hand on the North Shore of Boston.

Amateur video and photos from the MFA exhibit. The "trailer" for the Discovery Channel program on the car collection. Car descriptions.
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on March 29, 2008

More amateur video from the MFA exhibit.
posted by ericb at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2008

Thanks ericb! It must have been awesome to go and see those cars "in person." In the first link gallery, I love the photo of the Ferrari steering wheel, showing how it is worn with age and miles behind the wheel. I'm glad they didn't "fix" that.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:02 PM on March 29, 2008

The stark utilitarian honesty of this one made it my favorite of the set.
posted by tachikaze at 6:05 PM on March 29, 2008

The type 57 Bugatti Atalantic Electron Coupe. I believe that 6 exist. The spine with the rivets was the only way to join magnesium panels. Turn a problem into one of the great automotive design moves of all time. I want one (but I can't have one). Darn.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 7:25 PM on March 29, 2008

One of the local television stations here in Boston (WCVB) had a segment on their daily "magazine" program (Chronicle) on the exhibit. They interviewed the restorer and (who live/work on the North Shore/CapeAnn) who has worked with Lauren on his restoring his car collection. The attention to detail and "loving" care in his craft was astounding. The television program also showed how they brought the automobiles into the museum. They were displayed on the second floor in the Upper Galleria/Gund Gallery and required some interesting maneuvers to get them there.

Chris Szwedo Productions was commissioned to create three short films for the exhibit. I wish they were available online.
posted by ericb at 7:35 PM on March 29, 2008

I wish they were available online.

Oh, wait ... here's some of the Szwedo footage - 1, 2.
posted by ericb at 7:41 PM on March 29, 2008

*They interviewed the restorer who lives/works on the North Shore/Cape Ann and has worked with Lauren and his Long Island-based curator on restoring the car collection.*
posted by ericb at 7:55 PM on March 29, 2008

Thanks for finding those videos, ericb. I'm sure some of that was used in the Discovery Channel special. The sound of that Ferrari in video #2 makes me smile. And fills me with envy. Ah well, I'll have to be content with my 20 year old Cadillac DeVille for now.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:12 PM on March 29, 2008

How disappointing. I was hoping for regular cars with little Polo horses stuck all over them surrounded by fun loving people who look like they stepped out of some Aryan youth movement.
posted by rhymer at 3:00 AM on March 30, 2008

Another celebrity car collection, on a different tack: Jay Leno's Garage.
posted by Eideteker at 12:50 PM on March 30, 2008

Even more fun than the regular exhibit was "Hoods Up Night", where the cars were displayed with the hoods up and you could peek in and see the machinery. The Bentley Blower that tachikaze linked to was particularly innovative, even the bolts looked handmade.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2008

Eideteker, that Leno link is absolutely fantastic. I loved his standup back when he was on Letterman, but haven't watched his Tonight Show more than a few times. I am a way bigger fan of Jay the car guy than Jay the host these days. You should make that link an FPP, if it hasn't been done already. It's tons of fun!

kuujjuarapik, Hoods Up Night sounds great. I love cars, and I have done my share of mechanical work, but I am not really a gear head. Regardless, I love looking at engines. One of the things I likes about the Discovery special was that they showed a lot of the engine detail. They also showed that one of the cars had to be displayed without the engine, because they didn't meet the restoration deadline.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:26 PM on March 30, 2008

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