The Art of Chrome at the Palm Springs Vintage Car Show, wowed car enthusiasts outside the Palm Springs Convention Center. No, this isn’t the official title of the Car Show, but I think it’s very fitting… because as they say, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore.
I just love the wrap around bumper, reminiscent of the streamline modern deco era, on the ’47 Chrysler in the first photo. Combine that with the cars radio, steering wheel and bakelite column shift knob, and you’ve got tons of sex appeal.
Nothing screams mid-century more than the taillights of this ’58 Mercury. The atomic inspired silhouette reminds me of the Jetsons cartoon I watched as a kid growing up in the ’60’s. It also looks like something the Statue of Liberty might brandish over New York’s Harbor, as a beacon of hope for all to see. And get a load of that grill and bumper assembly, it reminds me of the Batmobile. The original Batmobile was built as a concept car in Turin Italy in 1955, for the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company. And as you may or may not know, Mercury was also a division of Ford. So it’s not a big stretch to see how the development of the Batmobile could have influenced this striking car.
Cadillac. Who doesn’t love any Cadillac built in the 1950’s. They were like a bigger beefier version of the Chevy your average American drove… like my family. We had a ’56 Chevy Bel-Air, my grandmother a ’57 Chevy Bel-Air with it’s massive tail-fins. But those cars can’t hold a candle to this gorgeous beauty. The grill looks like a great white shark that could swallow you whole, and the wheel wells chrome trim that wraps right into the rear bumper is something I’ve never seen before. Oh, and really big fins… Dare I say Shark again?
I love the floating chrome eyeballs/headlights of the red Chrysler combined with the forward leaning grill. It makes the car looks like it’s moving forward, even when it’s standing still. And all of the chrome window trim intersecting at the red dot on the roof of yet another great Mercury, is just pure simple beauty. And lastly there’s so much to love about the ‘64 T-Bird. Red and Black trimmed out in massive amounts of chrome and brushed metal, makes the wrap around console feel the cockpit of a fighter jet.
These are just a few of the reasons I return every year to the Palm Springs Vintage Car Show during Modernism Week. Besides, it’s a free event, and who doesn’t love free… especially when it’s this cool and artful.