This morning Ruth and I went to the Portland Art Museum to see its current show. Called “The Shape of Speed”, it features 17 cars and 2 motorcycles that are best described as rolling sculptures. They were lovingly created between 1930 and 1942 and are mostly from either private collections or auto museums. All of them are rare and beautiful. This presentation has been created because this museum mounted a wildly successful auto show in 2011 called “The Allure of the Automobile”.
The orange vehicle is a 1937 Airomobile. Only one model was built. Paul Lewis drove it all over the United States for 45,000 miles trying to stir up interest in its manufacture and failed.
The silver beauty is a Tatra. They were made in Czechoslovakia. The humpback, which you can’t see, contains a V-8 engine. Only 167 of this model were made and the company ceased production in 1939.
The black Delahaye in one of 11 made; 7 survive. This one driven in Algeria was found in 1992. A collector bought it for about 60 British pounds.
The Bad News. This exhibit closes on September 16, 2018, and will not travel. If you happen to be in Portland between now and then, love art deco, and find 1930’s designs like these 3 outstanding, go see it.
The Good News. You can get on the Portland Art Museum’s website and at least learn something about this sensational show before it closes. There is a catalogue, so if you’re a serious collector you can probably get one sent to you. They aren’t expensive and are not available on Amazon.