Today is the last day of the Chicago Auto Show and before we put it behind us, I thought I would reflect on a nearly unnoticed slice of the show: all the old cars on display. The major auto shows are about promoting the latest technologies and designs as well as those to come. However, at nearly every show a manufacturer or two will touch base with its heritage by displaying an older car from its past.
Ronnie has already described the 1954 Mercury XM 800 dream car that the Classic Car Club of America was showing and it was one of three cars that they brought. Also in that aluminum pen was this beauty, a 1941 Lincoln Continental that was customized for Raymond Loewy.
One of the twentieth century’s most respected and flamboyant designers, Loewy was asked to bring his talents to the design of everything from toasters to locomotives. He is best remembered for his work for Studebaker for whom his studio worked from 1939 until 1961 when he was asked to design the Avanti.
Loewy wasn’t often seen driving Studebakers, though. Instead, he liked to create his own custom designs and have them built off of other platforms such as this 1941 Lincoln Continental. Derham Body Company of Philadelphia, Pa., was contracted to do the coach work which included rescrulpting the fenders, adding opera windows, replacing the roof section over the front seat with plexiglass and refashioning the grille, giving it a look that would be seen again on the 1950 Studebaker. Note also the chrome monograms Loewy added to the front fenders.
As a prelude to the reveal of the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible, Ford marked the twentieth anniversary of its SVT team by trotting out a 1993 Mustang Cobra.
Chevrolet celebrated the upcoming sixtieth anniversary of the Corvette by bringing a 1953 model.
Mazda reminded the public how little the MX-5 Miata has changed over the years by bringing a first-year 1990 roadster to the show.
State Farm insurance once again had a fairly prominent display at Chicago and brought a 1967 Camaro convertible.
The Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum – located in Pontiac, Ill., not Pontiac, Mich. – brought a couple of cars to entice people to come for a visit.