Auto Art: Exclusive, Extraordinary Cars in Seattle

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRally for SAM
Overlooking Seattle’s Elliott Bay with a view of the majestic Olympic Mountains, the Seattle Art Museum’s 9-acre Olympic Sculpture Park is home to an outdoor art collection that features major works by influential artists such as ”The Eagle” by Alexander Calder and ”Father and Son” by Louise Bourgeois. On June 29 the Olympic Sculpture Park hosted Rally for SAM — a fundraising event for the museum featuring a special display of extraordinary automotive art.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceExquisite, Exclusive Automobiles
Eighteen rare and historically significant cars selected from five exclusive, private collections adorned the sculpture park in Seattle. The cars represent automotive elegance, design and speed from the 1930s to present-day exotic supercars, and are so valuable that collectively their worth is well above $100 million dollars. What follows are 18 glimpses of automotive art history through exquisite cars on display at the 2019 Rally for SAM.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300
This Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 features Carrozzeria Touring bodywork, and is powered by a supercharged 2.3-liter inline 8-cylinder engine producing 142 horsepower. The original owner was Andrea Mario Piaggio, whose famous Italian family is best known for manufacturing airplanes, motorcycles and scooters. In 1951 the family donated this car to the Museo dell’Automobile in Turin, Italy, where it was displayed as a rolling chassis. After 44 years in the museum it was sold and carefully restored; now it remains one of the most original and correct Alfa Romeo 8C 2300s in the world.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster
Designed during the flapper days of the 1920s, the coachwork of this Auburn was inspired by race cars of the 1920s, and this 1932 Boattail Speedster is one of the rarest cars produced by the Auburn Automobile Company. Powered by a Lycoming 4.0-liter V12 engine producing 160 horsepower, this Speedster features a two-speed rear axle — a new design — making it one of the fastest cars of its time with a top speed of 95 mph. It also features hydraulic brakes for improved stopping power, and set a speed record by averaging 92.2 mph for one hour on dry lake beds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3
In 1933 Enzo Ferrari took over management of the Alfa Romeo racing program, and in 1935 this Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 raced at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in front of 300,000 fans and Nazi officials. The Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 is powered by a 3.2-liter inline 8-cylinder engine with dual superchargers producing 285 horsepower, combined with a 3-speed transmission. The Tipo B P3 has a top speed of 165 mph. Famed Italian race driver Tazio Nuvolari drove this car to victory over the more powerful Mercedes and Auto Union entries, taking the lead on the last 14.2-mile lap from German driver Manfred von Brauchitsch. Nuvolari’s win is considered by many to be one of the greatest race victories of all time.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1935 ERA R2B “Romulus”
Founded in 1933, English Racing Automobiles built race cars to compete in the 1500cc and under class. Chassis number R2B of the B-Type chassis series was built for private racers, and this car was delivered new to Prince Birabongse “Bira” Bhanubandh of Siam for his 21st birthday. Bira owned three of the 18 ERAs built, and this car named “Romulus” was originally painted bright blue; it has a 1.5-liter supercharged inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower. Romulus was one of the more significant English racing cars of the time, earning 10 wins in 36 races as part of the White Mouse racing team, including a victory in the Prince Rainier Cup for 1.5-liter cars at the 1936 Monaco Grand Prix.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1935 ERA R2B “Romulus”

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1935 ERA R2B “Romulus”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1937 Delahaye Type 135M Cabriolet
The original owner of this Delahaye was explorer and businessman Casimir Jourde. The car is known today as “The Star of India,” and it is one of 11 cars built by Figoni & Falaschi in the Paris Auto Salon series between 1936 and 1939. The design is by Giuseppe Figoni, and is said to have drawn inspiration from the aerodynamic pontoons on planes designed by Rene Couzinet. Jourde sold the car in Bombay (Mumbai) to Prince de Berar Mukarram Jah, who sold it many years later. In 1982 the car was found on wooden blocks in a shed in Jodhpur. After a complete restoration, the Delahaye is now part of the Mullin Automotive Museum.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1937 Delahaye Type 135M Cabriolet

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1937 Delahaye Type 135M Cabriolet

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1937 Talbot Lago 150c SS
Known by the nickname Goutte d’Eau (teardrop), the shape of this 1937 Talbot Lago 150c SS created by coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi represents the epitome of 1930s aerodynamic design. One of only 14 produced, the car was originally owned by Woolf Barnato, chairman of Bentley Motors and a “Bentley Boy” race driver. Powered by a 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower combined with a 4-speed transmission with a pre-selector, top speed for this Talbot Lago is 115 mph. The car has won multiple Best in Class awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as well as Best of Show and Most Elegant Car at the European Concours in 2001.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1937 Talbot Lago 150c SS

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1937 Talbot Lago 150c SS

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B
A beautiful design with unique bodywork, the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B represents state-of-the-art Italian prewar technology with lightweight alloy construction, independent suspension and twin superchargers. In 1948 this 8C 2900B won the inaugural Watkins Glen Grand Prix in New York. After a two-year restoration beginning in 2005, the car went on to win numerous awards including Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2008, the Louis Vuitton Classic and Ville d’Este in 2009, Windsor Castle in 2012 and Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille in 2016.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1952 Mercedes-Benz W194
When Daimler-Benz decided to return to racing after WWII, they designed a lightweight tube-frame chassis and an aerodynamic body with gullwing doors and fitted the engine and running gear from the German automaker’s first postwar car, the 300 Sedan. This car — chassis 007/52 — was finished in the spring of 1952 and took the overall victory in June at the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Hermann Land and Fritz Riess. It was the first German car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and today it is still the only Mercedes factory-built car to take the overall win at the legendary European sports car endurance race.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1952 Mercedes-Benz W194

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1952 Mercedes-Benz W194

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1953 Ferrari 375 MM
First raced by the Scuderia Ferrari factory team, this 375 MM won the 1000km of Nurburgring in 1953, driven by Alberto Ascari and Giuseppi Farina. It was sold to U.S. Ferrari distributor Luigi Chinetti, who failed to finish the 1953 La Carrera Panamericana — a Mexican sports car endurance race — with co-driver Alfonso de Portago; Chinetti sold the car. Alan Guiberson ended up with the 375 MM, modifying it with a rear stabilizing fin and painting it blue and white. Guiberson convinced eventual Formula One World Champion Phil Hill to return to racing after a short-lived retirement; Hill and co-driver Richie Ginther finished second in this car at the 1954 La Carrera Panamericana, the final running of the event.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1953 Ferrari 375 MM

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1953 Ferrari 375 MM

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1954 Ferrari 375 MM
The “Rossellini Ferrari” was originally purchased by Italian film director Roberto Rossellini as a Pininfarina-bodied spyder. In early 1955 Rossellini convinced Enzo Ferrari and Sergio Scaglietti to re-body the car as a coupe, and it was completed in January 1956. The one-off Ferrari was the perfect car for flamboyant Rossellini and his love interest Ingrid Bergman. By 1970 the car was partially dismantled and stored in boxes. A slow and complete restoration began in 2005, and the car went on to win Best of Show at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — the first Ferrari to take the top honor at Pebble Beach.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1954 Ferrari 375 MM

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1954 Ferrari 375 MM

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Following the success of the Mercedes-Benz W194 race car, American sports car dealer Max Hoffman ordered 500 road versions of the car. Without that order, the car might not exist today. The 300SL is now widely known as the Gullwing thanks to its unique top-hinged door design that resulted from the tube-frame chassis created by engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut. Powered by a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine producing 215 horsepower combined with a 4-speed manual transmission, the 300 SL is capable of a top speed of 146 mph. It is the first production car to use direct fuel injection.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione
Designed by Pininfarina with coachwork by Scaglietti, only 106 Ferrari California Spyders were produced, and only nine Competzione versions had alloy bodywork. Powered by a 3.0-liter V12 engine with three Weber carburetors producing 250 horsepower combined with a 4-speed manual transmission, the California Spyder Competizione is capable of a top speed of 150 mph and features velocity stacks, a cold air intake box, a large 136-liter fuel tank with external filler and a pebbled dash surface. This car finished 10th overall in the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring, and raced in the 1960 Tourist Trophy in Nassau by ill-fated Formula One driver Wolfgang von Trips.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs were produced, and today it is one of the most highly sought-after collector cars in the world. The Ferrari 250 GTO was intended to be raced, and this is the only one originally finished in Bianco (white). The car’s original owner was Englishman John Coombs. Best known for racing Jaguars and Fords, Coombs raced it for two years, sharing the car with his friend Graham Hill — two-time winner of the Formula One World Championship . The car was painted red and sold several times before it was purchased by “Gentleman Jack” Sears in 1970, a driver for Ferrari. The current owner bought the car from Sears in 1999 and returned it to its original white color and 1962 Goodwood livery. In August 2018 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction, another 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $48.4 million — the most valuable car ever sold at auction.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1965 Shelby 289 Cobra
Famed American sports car builder and racer Carroll Shelby won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, and while he was in Europe he noticed a small sports car, the AC Ace from AC Cars. Shelby purchased a chassis from AC and installed a Ford V8 engines to create the Shelby Cobra. This 1965 Shelby Cobra is powered by a 289 cubic-inch Ford V8 with a 4-barrel Holley carburetor producing 271 horsepower, combined with a 4-speed manual transmission; top speed is 136 mph. Shelby also produced the Cobra with Ford’s big-block 427 cubic-inch engine.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1965 Shelby 289 Cobra

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1965 Shelby 289 Cobra

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART
In the mid 1960s, Ferrari’s U.S. distributor Luigi Chinetti convinced Enzo Ferrari to build 10 of the 275 GTB/4 coupes as open-top spyders. The first two were hand-built with lightweight alloy bodies, and this is the second of the alloy-body cars, making it one of the rarest and most sought after of any Ferrari model. The engine is the 3.0-liter 60-degree V12 Colombo design known as the Tipo 226. The powerplant has six Weber carburetors, four overhead camshafts and dry-sump lubrication to produce 300 horsepower that gets delivered to a 5-speed rear transaxle through a torque tube driveline. Top speed is 155 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1991 Ferrari F40
When it debuted, this mid-engine F40 was the most aggressive supercar ever from Ferrari, and it was the last car produced before the passing of Enzo Ferrari. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V8 engine that generates 471 horsepower, the F40 was also the first 200-mph production car with a top speed of 201 mph. Leonardo Fioravanti and Pietro Camardella of studio Pininfarina designed the F40 body; Pininfarina engineer Nicola Materazzi designed the engine and transmission. The Ferrari F40 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. This car is one of 213 that were imported to the U.S., and a total of 1,311 were produced between 1987 and 1992.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1991 Ferrari F40

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1991 Ferrari F40

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2005 Ford GT
Inspired by the original Ford GT40 that beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966, the Ford GT was originally produced in 2005 and 2006 to celebrate Ford’s 100-year anniversary in 2003. Due to demand, a limited number of additional GTs were produced in 2007. The mid-engine design features aluminum and carbon-fiber bodywork. The supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine produces 540 horsepower, and the Ford GT will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 205 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2005 Ford GT

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2005 Ford GT

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
The LaFerrari is Ferrari’s first hybrid supercar, and the LaFerrari Aperta is an open-top version with only 200 produced for customers. Motivated by a mid-engine 6.3-liter V12 powerplant combined with a 708 kW electric motor for a total output of 949 horsepower, the LaFerrari Aperta will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph — definitely not a typical hybrid.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta

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