We would bid on these 12 icons of American car design
With the landmark Monterey car auctions and their multi-million dollar temptations in safe distance, car collectors in America can ease the grip on their wallets – and turn their attention to more affordable, but equally exciting shopping opportunities. On September 4th, Worldwide Auctioneers are holding their annual Auburn Auction at their Indiana headquarters. The catalogue includes 118 lots and covers eleven decades of motoring history. And while the occasional Bugatti, Cisitalia and Ferrari is included in the line-up – after all, they call themselves Worldwide Auctioneers – the focus of the sale is clearly on cars made in the US. Browsing the pages, one cannot help but marvel at the impressive streamliner silhouettes and Art Déco details of the Cadillacs, Duesenbergs, Fords and Packards built in the 1920s and 1930s, the American automobile’s most eluberant era. Browsing the catalogue from the 1950s onwards, aviation and space travel become the obvious sources of inspiration for most car designers, celebrating the jet age with massive wings and air intakes. One can only imagine what a feeling it must have been to grease back your hair on a Friday night, jump into your Chevy Bel-Air and take your high school sweetheart out for burgers and vanilla milkshakes in suburban 1950s America.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Buicks, Chevrolets and Fords dropped their wings in favour of more athletic and compact shapes, giving rise to the American muscle car movement. It’s the images of colourful Shelby Cobras and GTs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Dodge Chargers that almost make us smell the scent of rubber on the quarter-mile tarmac and hear the bubbling sound of big block V8s. For anyone who grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s, it’s the Pontiac Firebirds with their targa roofs and hood ornaments, the Jeep CJs and Chevy pick-ups with their cartoonishly studded tires and the all-white C4 Corvettes that remind us of hours and hours spent binging Hollywood’s most iconic action TV shows. Here are our 10 favourite US cars from Worldwide Auctioneers’ upcoming Auburn sale.