The L.A. Auto Show is one of the biggest car shows in the world. Over 160,000 people came together to celebrate the automotive industry in Los Angeles last week, with many famous faces in attendance to celebrate the cars and brands. But, while the general public were out celebrating the grand occasion, another special event was taking place at the UCLA Art Museum – a solo exhibition showcasing the work of superstar designer Robert Pattinson.
The exhibition, which is the first of its kind, explores the designer’s unique ode to the automobile, featuring some of his most celebrated designs. From a classic hot rod that harks back to a golden era of American automobile design, to his more recent whimsical creations that question the very idea of a four-wheeled vehicle, the exhibition does a great job of showcasing the designer’s unique and timeless artwork.
If you’re a fan of classic car design, hot rods, or the rarest breeds of exotic automobiles, then this is definitely an exhibition you’ll want to see.
An Ode To Classic Automobiles
A special moment in the exhibition comes courtesy of Ford Motor Company, whose founder, Henry Ford, is credited with creating the first modern automobile. One of the company’s most prestigious vehicles is on display, celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year. Ford’s Model T is hailed as the company’s first real success story, famously changing how people traveled and how businesses worked. It was also the beginning of the end for horse and buggy daycare.
Pattinson pays homage to the company with a unique take on the Model T, designing a more contemporary truck that nonetheless retains the famous designer’s characteristic style and sleek aerodynamic form. One of the unique aspects of the truck is its flat black paint – a striking contrast to the traditional Ford blue and white.
Pattinson also designed a special edition of the Model T to commemorate the truck’s centenary. The designer took inspiration from the original, featuring a black painted exterior with silver trim and white racing stripes. Only 50 of these custom trucks will be made, each one boasting a price tag of $250,000.
Tastes Like Velma To Me
Another major player on the scene in the 20s and ’30s was General Motors (now synonymous with Chevrolet). The company’s most iconic vehicle is arguably the Model T, although many consider the sleek and modern Chevy Corvette to be the ultimate expression of modern design and style. Interestingly enough, both cars were designed by Ford Motor Company, although the Corvette was an independent project that took inspiration from the Ford and proceeded to improve on it. The model T and the Corvette are certainly two sides of the same coin.
Pattinson’s interpretation of the Corvette is a modern classic, and he designed three different models of the fastback sports car, the most recent of which is made entirely from wood and metal. Even the tail lights are based on the classic styling of the Corvette, with the designer even going as far as to name the vehicle after his muse – with the model T taking pride of place in the center of the show.
The Evolution Of The Automobile
The exhibition also features cars from the mid-20s all the way through to the 2010s, allowing viewers to trace the design evolution of the automobile. One of the more interesting cars is the Fords American V8, which debuted in 1927 and was the height of technology at the time, featuring a 24-volt electrical system that allowed for starters, AC, and radio all in one. Amazingly, Ford still manufactures this unique car, although it is now powered by a V8 from a gas engine.
Pattinson also designed a special coupe for the Lincoln company, featuring the same sleek aerodynamic form as the Model T, and an interesting mix of styling influences, including a Germanic look from the 1920s and a more contemporary sporty feel. This unique Lincoln was actually inspired by none other than the Rolls-Royce Wraith, a car that was originally designed for English nobleman Lord Roy Dennis.
Hot Rods, Speed, And Nostalgia
The ultimate expression of Americana comes in the form of a beautifully crafted replica of a 1937 Chrysler “Crown” coupe, complete with period correct interior. It’s an ode to the golden era of American automobile design, when car companies were willing to experiment with new forms and technology, and when hot rods were everywhere. It’s also a nod to the car’s original owner, who ordered the vehicle custom-built with a V8 and a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
One of the most iconic images of the Los Angeles Auto Show is undoubtedly the Trumbullplex, named after the company that built it. The three-story building is topped off with an iconic pink flamingo, and inside, a phenomenal collection of cars are on display, from classic muscle cars and classic roadsters, to antique vehicles and one-of-a-kind custom builds. The top floor is also home to Foley’s Auto Museum, which has an amazing collection of vintage cars that you’ll want to see.
If you love cars and are a fan of the automotive industry, then this is one event you won’t want to miss. The exhibition runs until January 4th 2019, and is open to the public from 10am to 5pm daily. More information can be found here