Eighteen rare and one-of-a-kind vehicles dating from 1929 to 1988 will be displayed at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. Most lenders live in Palm Beach.
It’s not unusual to see a head-swiveling classic car tooling around Palm Beach. But most of us wouldn’t have the temerity to flag down the owner for a better look.
That won’t be necessary at Sculpture in Motion — The Art of Pre and Post-War Automobiles Saturday at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, when 18 rare vintage cars will be parked for the public’s inspection.
“When people come to this event they’re going to see some really rare cars,” said resident Jeffrey Fisher, who helped select the cars. “This isn’t a run-of-the-mill car show.”
He should know. He owns a stable of classic cars, including a one-of-a-kind 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Torpedo Grand Sport that’s in the show.
It’s because of him that Sculpture in Motion got started three years ago. Fisher’s wife, Frances, is the Ann Norton’s board chairwoman.
How rare are these cars?
Consider these examples:
1929 Duesenberg Model J LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton — “Big Red” is one of the most famous examples of the LeBaron “sweep panel” phaeton. Only 18 dual-cowl phaetons were produced. The car has won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, considered the World Series of the classic car community.
1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Figoni Cabriolet. The fluid and elegant body designed by Joseph Figoni in Paris is the only such body ever made for an Alfa Romeo. The Pebble Beach award winner combines style with the power of the 8C Alfa engine.
1934 Chrysler Airflow CV-8 – Regarded as the most important mass-produced vehicle of the 1930s, the “Airflow” led the way with its low-to-the-ground aerodynamics and advanced lightweight construction.
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster – First exhibited in Geneva in May 1957, the Roadster was an immediate hit with the jet set. This car was the first example imported to the United States. Its more than 60 unique features make it a one-of-a-kind car.
The car show is one of the Ann Norton’s most popular events. Attendance topped 1,000 last year. It’s also a successful fundraiser, as the public hours are followed at 5:30 p.m. by a VIP reception and awards ceremony. (Visitors vote on the awards.)
Eighteen cars made from 1929 to 1988 will be on view — up from last year’s 15. John Barnes, organizer of The Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, the annual top-of-the-line Ferrari and classic car show held in January in Palm Beach, curated the event, as he has since its inception.
Barnes chooses the cars based on their sculptural quality, rarity and historic significance, Fisher said. The show is curated for a discerning audience.
“Some of the most renowned collectors in the world live in Palm Beach,” Fisher said. All but two of the 16 lenders to the show have homes on the island, he said.
Donald Osborne, a car historian, appraiser and contributor to CNBC Primetime’s weekly show Jay Leno’s Garage, will be the grand marshall.
He will sign copies of his book “Transatlantic Style — A Romance of Fins and Chrome” from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A portion of proceeds from sales benefits the Ann Norton.
He’ll also be available to talk about the cars. A 1958 Fiat 1200 Vignale “Wonderful” and a 1957 Bill Frick Cadillac Special GT featured in the book will be on display.
Other car experts will be on hand to conduct tours and answer questions as well.