Art & the Automobile celebrates the industry’s iconic mascots and brands
The 2018 Canadian International AutoShow is pleased to announce the return of one of its most popular features, Art & the Automobile with Cobble Beach – but with a difference.
The display is entitled ‘Jewels’ – an appropriate name given the value and content of the exhibition. The collection of assembled vehicles and mascots for the 2018 Exhibit will have a total insured value in excess of $20 million dollars. While 17 classic cars will again be on display at the 2018 AutoShow, being held Feb. 16-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, all have been selected because of their distinctive mascots (hood ornaments) and badges which, in most cases, are works of art in themselves.
For example, a 1925 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost has a hood ornament called The Spirit of Ecstasy (a.k.a. The Flying Lady) that was designed by acclaimed British sculptor Charles Sykes. A 1929 Packard features an ornament called The Goddess of Speed.
“This is the fourth year that the Art & the Automobile exhibit has appeared at the AutoShow,” said General Manager Jason Campbell, “and this years’ display will take the feature back to its artistic roots. It’s always on the top of our consumers’ lists of favourite Show features, and this year will be no exception.”
As well as the automotive mascots on the display cars, the Cobble Beach organizers have arranged to have on loan a number of classic display pieces from two of the United States’ acclaimed automotive collections – The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Mich., as well as the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum. The Gilmore will have on loan an incredible collection of mascots across all marques, including a special display of priceless Laliques. The Pierce Arrow museum will be showcasing both mascots, as well as a classic Buffalo-built Thomas Flyer – a model that won the classic New York to Paris race as profiled in Hollywood’s take on the event in 1965’s comedy ‘The Great Race’.
Many of the mascots that graced the radiators and hoods of the Grand Classics, and can still be found in the emblems of many marques today, were created by leading artists and sculptors of their time, such as Rembrandt, Cartier and René Lalique. And, as is the case with the cars they represent, there is an intriguing story behind each of these – that range from the mundane to the romantic.
The humble origins of the symbol that graces one of today’s best-selling brands, for example, were said to be found in the wallpaper pattern of a French hotel room. At the other end of the spectrum, the sculptor’s model for the flowing Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament that has symbolized Rolls-Royce since 1911 was the illicit lover of a member of the British nobility, who was a prominent customer of the brand.
The intricate Archer ornament that adorned the magnificent Pierce-Arrows of the Grand Classic era is as iconic as any sculpture from centuries past, as is Packard’s Goddess of Speed. Their stories and many more will be at the forefront of Art & the Automobile IV. Located on the 700 level of the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 2018 Art & the Automobile collection is an exhibit not to be missed.
“What has set this display apart in years gone by is not just the magnificent quality of the cars on show,” explains Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Founder Rob McLeese, “but it’s the exquisite presentation, lighting and backdrops that accompany the cars that makes the display so special. This year’s showcase will be presented through the lens of one of the automotive world’s most sought-after photographers – Michael Furman – whose artistic take on these unique mascots will bring to life all the beauty, pageantry and sense of history of these iconic cars and brands.”
Tickets are now on sale for the AutoShow, presented by the Toronto Star and wheels.ca, which will be held at the Convention Centre Feb.16 to 25. Available at the AutoShow’s website, www.autoshow.ca, Early Bird tickets can be purchased today for $18 – a saving of 25 per cent from the regular price of $24 – until Dec. 31, 2017. After that, tickets will be available online at a 10 per cent saving until the show opens on Fri., Feb. 16, at the beginning of the three-day-long Family Day Weekend in Ontario.