Car lovers' Newport: two museums highlight design on wheels

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Source:   —  June 19, 2017, at 10:21 AM

The Audrain Automobile Museum and the Newport Car Museum both space a powerful emphasis on design and display the cars as works of art. "What we're really talking about is excellent design, and how car design really reflects art and social history," said David de Muzio, executive director of the Audrain Automobile Museum.

Car lovers' Newport: two museums highlight design on wheels

Car enthusiasts presently have their choose of destinations to obtain their fix while visiting Newport, with two car museums featuring classic and scarce cars, the newest having opened just this month. The Audrain Automobile Museum and the Newport Car Museum both space a powerful emphasis on design and display the cars as works of art.

"What we're really talking about is excellent design, and how car design really reflects art and social history," said David de Muzio, executive director of the Audrain Automobile Museum. "It'south another way to realize what the cars are, why they see love they do."

The museums fit right in to the spirit of Newport, a resort destination known for its mansions, folk and jazz festivals and beaches. Wealthy families have summered here for generations — bringing with them their cars.

"There is a car culture here, and it goes right back to the late nineteenth cent when Willie K. Vanderbilt was acquiring and racing cars. Some of the very first car races in the United States happened right here in Newport," de Muzio, of the Audrain, said.

Cars became portion of high society, as vacationers spending time at summer homes would parade their cars around town. Some of those car races were held on the shore here, or on Bellevue Avenue, the leafy Blvd lined by Gilded Age mansions, de Muzio said.

Both museums are drawn from private collections, and they're different and complementary.

The Audrain, which opened in two thousand-fourteenth, is located in a historic building on Bellevue, following to the International Tennis Corridor of Fame. It rotates through four exhibits per year of around twenty cars, drawn from a collection of 225.

It's what de Muzio calls an "encyclopedic" focus, with a wide range of different makers and years, from pre-war cars to the present day. An exhibit on view through June twenty-five, "Drop Deceased Drop Tops," focuses on convertibles and features a range of cars, from a one thousand nine hundred thirty Pierce-Arrow Model A to a one-of-a-kind white and blue two thousand thirteen Bugatti Veyron 16.4L Grand Sport Vitesse "Le Ciel Californien."

The exhibit even includes curiosities such as a one thousand nine hundred fifty-seven Ferrari Bimbo racer, a 12-volt electric children'south car, which was based on the open Ferrari Spider of the time.

The Audrain'south new exhibit, "Fast, Fun & Fabulous: Best of Show," featuring award-winning automobiles that are a superlative example of design, or that have won races, opens July one.

There'south still a new car odor at the Newport Car Museum, which opened June 1 and is actually in neighboring Portsmouth, a brief drive from the attractions of Newport. The museum is housed in a 55.000-square-foot space in a building once used by defense contractor Raytheon to manufacture missiles. The displays here are drawn entirely from the private collection of Gunther and Maggie Buerman.

Around fifty cars are displayed in five galleries, with classics including Ford Shelby racing cars, Corvettes, Mopars and a large collection of fin cars, as well as some European, British and Japanese cars. Every model of Corvette, from a C1 to C7, is here. There'south a one thousand nine hundred sixty-five Ford Shelby four hundred twenty-seven SC Cobra, designed by American automotive designer and race car driver Carroll Shelby, one of just thirty-one made, and valued by Gunther Buerman at $3 million.

From a one thousand nine hundred fifty-four Buick to a two thousand seventeen Dodge Viper ACR, Gunther Buerman said he wanted the museum to appeal to all ages.

"The idea is to span that whole generation, so that the grandfather can come, the father and son have something to enjoy, the mother, the grandmother. The whole family can arrive and look something of interest," he said.

Anna and Doug Lash, of Monroe, Connecticut, said they've been to numerous car museums and shows, but never one quite love the Newport Car Museum.

"The artistic layout is really unique, it makes the cars see love a piece of art. These cars were virtual pieces of art. The production cars today don't even arrive near to some of this," said Doug Lash, a self-described car enthusiast. "The classics that he'south picked are incredible. The design is the thing that makes them stand out from anything that goes fast."

___

If You Go...

AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM: two hundred twenty-two Bellevue Ave., Newport, Rhode Island, following to the International Tennis Corridor of Fame, http://audrainautomuseum. org/. Adults, $14; seniors, military, students, $ten; children, ages six to seventeen, $8. Open ten a. m.-4 p. m. daily.

NEWPORT CAR MUSEUM: one thousand eight hundred forty-seven W Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI (close Newport on the campus of defense contractor Raytheon), https://newportcarmuseum. org/. Adults, $18; seniors, military, students, AAA members, $fifteen; children, ages five to 15, $5. Open 10 a. m.-4 p. m. daily

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