Oct 24 2015

Hemmings.com: America on Wheels to Open Streamline Moderne/Art Deco Exhibit

Hemmings Daily has posted an article by Terry Shea on the upcoming exhibit at the America on Wheels Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The exhibit will be the winter home for the 1937 Chrysler's Chrysler.


Howard Kroplick

America on Wheels to Open Streamline Moderne/Art Deco Exhibit

Hemmings Daily

Terry Shea  Oct 19th, 2015 at 8am

Allentown, Pennsylvania’s, America on Wheels museum has confirmed its November 14 opening of an exhibit focusing on those distinctly styled cars from the Thirties, titled The Harmony of Form & Function featuring Streamline Moderne – Art Deco.
The exhibit is slated to feature a one-of-five 1941 Chrysler Newport dual-cowl phaeton, a design whose admittedly slim prospects for production were cut short by World War II; a 1934 Hudson Eight convertible; a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr convertible; a 1935 Nash Ambassador Eight; a 1934 Studebaker Land Cruiser; and a 1939 Graham, aka “shark nose.”

Each of the cars displays the sort of streamlining that marked drastic changes in automobile design during the decade before the war. Some of those designs may have been developed for aerodynamics, but most were guesses at such efficiency of moving through the air and were more styled than engineered. Still, you could very easily argue that the movement produced some of the most striking, iconic and alluring automobile designs of all time.

Readers and friends of Hemmings will also recognize Howard Kroplick’s 1937 Chrysler Imperial C-15 Town Car, more affectionately known as Mrs. Chrysler’s Chrysler and the recent recipient of not only a couple of extensive feature stories in the September 2015 Hemmings Classic Car, but also of the 2015 Hemmings Concours d’Elegance Best of Show trophy.

While the term “Art Deco” is rather frequently applied to cars that don’t exactly fit the criteria, our own Mark McCourt has written about the subject both on our blog and in the pages of Hemmings Classic Car, explaining in detail the difference between it and Streamline Moderne, which more appropriately describes the cars of the era and the budding desire to style automobiles with aerodynamic and, well, streamlined, flourishes.

Open since 2008, America on Wheels bills itself as “A Museum of Over the Road Transportation.” The museum’s permanent collection includes the likes of a 1933 Hupmobile convertible, a 1919 Mack AB truck, a 1922 Detroit Electric and even a Flying Merkel Motorcycle. Executive Director Linda Merkel (no relation to the motorcycle), explains the appeal of the museum by saying that “Visitors are always surprised when they walk into America on Wheels, because we tell a story.” Hemmings readers will certainly be familiar with the notion that a vehicle can tell a story.


Oct 25 2015 S. Berliner, III 12:27 AM

Oh, c’mon!  That ‘33 Hupp is a dog!  Any ‘33 Chrysler beats it for styling all hollow!  And there were many other cars better “stream-styled” than the Hupp.  Take the ‘33 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow or the ‘33 Tatra just for examples.  For 1934, you just can’t beat the Chrysler Airflow.  I am NOT impressed.  Still, really glad the cars (and the Mack, even though it’s not a Bulldog) are preserved and well housed.  Sam, III

Oct 25 2015 Walt Gosden 11:41 AM

I like dogs, and Hupmobiles, but I’ve also owned and driven a 1933 Chrysler for 15 years, so kinda like them too. The Tatra is great, but this is a museum called AMERICA on Wheels, so guess the Tatra would not have been considered for the exhibit even if they could locate one. Unlike Sam, I am impressed.  Everyone has an opinion about what they would like to see presented, displayed, but when it comes down to organizing such an exhibit it takes a huge amount of planning and thought, (this comes from personal experience as a museum exhibits technician) and the ability to get car owners to lend their treasured machines for an extended period of time. I am looking forward to going to see the display when it is open.

Oct 25 2015 Phil 12:00 PM

I’m still very curious about the absence of Chrysler’s side view mirrors and the moving of the front license plate from the left side to the right side.

Oct 25 2015 Ted 10:26 PM

Ok Howard,but what’s are,I think are two objects on the running board?,is it part of the car?,do they belong there,obviously they do,if you have them there,but never displayed them,that I know of and are only for display,not permanent. Thanks in advance for your answer

Oct 27 2015 frank femenias 2:44 AM

Is that red one an Imperial?

Oct 27 2015 Walt Gosden 6:32 PM

the red car is a 1964 Mercury

Oct 30 2015 Ted 11:35 PM

Phil and I are patiently waiting to know about those few things that we asked about,just curious,no rush.Might it be to jack up the car to change the tires?

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