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Atlanta Dream Cars – 1935 Bugatti 57S Competition Coupe Aerolithe Wears Gorgeous Elektron Magnesium Panels

This Bugatti’s name really rolls off the tongue quite nicely – even without much car for the accents and the pronunciation. Perhaps that is because the principles of speed competitions, swoopy two-doors and lightweight, low-drag machines are so important today. Those last two really nail the brilliance of this one home. Light and smooth was the goal of this shape, in an era when most cars (and drivers!) would be terrified above 30-mph. This car could easily double that, and perhaps go on to about 75-mph before the tires and brakes became a serious liability. My apologies that these photos …

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Atlanta Dream Cars – 1951 General Motors LeSabre XP-8 Struck Gold With Yank Tank Ethos of 1950s

I usually formulate a rough outline of what I want to say about a car while cropping and straightening out the photos beforehand. In the case of this 1951 LeSabre, I wish you could have seen my face recoil in horror at all the tacky, gaudy details on this car up close. Thus, my theory was initially that the LeSabre showed General Motors the good and the bad of design. The good is that it can excite you in ways that will open wallets and checkbooks by the millions. The bad is that certain elements would need to be explained …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Is Rocket Nose and Tailfin Bliss

This 1959 Cadillac Cyclone is really a light-hearted take on the dream cars ethos. Here is a car with giant nose cones like a rocket, tail fins as well as aileron side stabilizers out back. Hidden lamps are so far from prominence that they slink under the hood nearly a foot behind the black rocket-bra-like protrusions ahead of the machine itself. Sexiness was key to this shape, which also has tail-lamps in a bright machined shroud — looking like they could also blast out hot propellent as they light up red under braking. 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Of course, there …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Is Aero Convertible Coupe

I can hear your thoughts right now, saying… “How is that giant brick of a car an aero coupe?” It really is. Versus its contemporaries, the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt was quite innovative in many ways — mostly having to do with shrouding and aero-smoothing any turbulence-inducing surfaces. 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt – INNOVATIONS — This meant the entire front grille of the 1930s Chrysler Airflow had to go, in favor of a mouth-breather setup wherein the engine gets its cooling air from below the front bumper. 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt — Shrouding also extended to the headlamps, where were one of the …

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Atlanta Dream Cars – 1955 Chrysler Streamline X Gilda by GHIA is Turbine Aero Ideal

Man, when your iPhone comes home with better photos than your Nikon — you know you were in the wrong settings. Very, very strict photo protocols were in place at the Atlanta High Museum of Art’s Dream Cars installation — which is a shame, really. It turns out, after speaking with the very kind, smart and helpful media liaison upon my return to Charleston Monday morning — that the concern was not about photos of the cars at all. No one told he gestapo of hourly blue-coats, however, who were incredibly irritating. In fact, the entire photo ban was to …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1970 Ferrari 512S Modulo by Pininfarina

As wild as Ferrari production cars are – you might notice that the brand releases almost no pure concept cars. Why? Because people want to buy them off the auto show floor! And so Ferrari must be exceptionally careful about what they show the public, especially if the car itself is too wild to ever be sold. One of the great concept Ferrari’s of all time is the 512 S Modulo. It takes the same ultra-aerodynamic goals as the Lancia Stratos HF Zero to an altogether different conclusion. But while the Lancia Stratos HF Zero looked vaguely production-feasible, this 512 …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1970 Lancia Stratos HF ZERO by Bertone

1970 Lancia Stratos HF ZERO by Bertone The Dream Cars exhibit this summer at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is a thrilling ride through automotive history that every car lover will adore. The collection might be far smaller than most auto shows, but the impact of every car will leave your feet cemented to the floor. And your jaw? It will often be on the floor as well. How to rewrite that introduction? It certainly applies to this next car: the 1970 Lancia Stratos HF by Bertone. Sitting beside the 1970 Ferrari Pininfarina 512 S Modulo, these cars …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1953 Firebird I XP-21 By General Motors

If the Dream Cars exhibit at the Atlanta Museum had to be condensed into one machine that can turn grown men and women alike into giddy kids again, it is surely the Firebire I XP-21 by General Motors. The machine’s 1953 roll-out illustrates how fast technology was progressing from thec lose of WWII and into the early 1950s. Where the TASCO is blunt and tall in its profile, the XP-21 looks like it is from another galaxy altogether. Imagine its impact on 1953 Motorama attendees if it can still stop your brain sixty years later! What is it? Why is …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1948 TASCO Shows Propeller-Aircraft Influence Zenith

The Dream Cars exhibit this summer at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is a thrilling ride through automotive history that every car lover will adore. The collection might be far smaller than most auto shows, but the impact of every car will leave your feet cemented to the floor. And your jaw? It will often be on the floor as well. No other recent collection spans the time and space of automotive evolution and design quite as thoroughly. Every car in the collection is marvelous. The TASCO opens the gallery and its design is certainly one that sticks …

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