Dearborn, MI, January 8, 2012 – The Ford Motor Company were nice enough to invite 150 of the world’s most influential automotive, design, art, lifestyle, and fashion bloggers as their guests for media day at the North American International Auto Show. In addition to the motor city’s infamous auto show, bloggers were the first media invited to a preview of The Henry Ford’s Driving America Exhibition. It’s All Style To Me was honoured to be selected for Scott Monty’s brilliant social media initiative – a clear demonstration of Ford’s growing appreciation and commitment to new media.
Driving America, the brand new one-of-a-kind automotive experience at The Henry Ford is centred around an unparalleled collection of historically significant vehicles. This truly remarkable mix of authentic artifacts, digital media, interactive play and personal accounts focuses on the enormous influence the automobile has had on American culture. Each vehicle in the exhibition holds a significant role in automotive history, with some being “firsts” — the first car built by Henry Ford, America’s first production car, the first all-steel utility station wagon and many more. It’s really something else to see how automobiles have evolved in design influencing and having been influenced by American culture along the way.
“Driving America is more than an exhibition with cars on display,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “It is really an interactive, state-of-the-art story of us—us as drivers, consumers and enthusiasts. It examines the car as an innovation and explores how it has changed almost every aspect of our lives and heavily influenced the decisions we make. It is an exhibition that resonates with us all and it will challenge us to think differently about what we drive.”
One of the largest automotive-centric exhibitions of its kind, Driving America is a sweeping 80,000 square feet and includes 130 vehicles and more than 60 cases of artifacts. Sprinkled throughout the experience are 18 interactive 42-inch touchscreens offering thousands of additional details, images, videos and oral histories, all of which give the visitor greater access, beyond the museum floor, to the collections of The Henry Ford. Guests can create their own custom collection that can be accessed through their mobile device or home computer for viewing later.
For those who are all about the cars themselves, Driving America offers up a stellar and unprecedented collection of some of the most important and significant vehicles of our time including an 1896 Duryea, the last remaining example of America’s first production car, the 1865 Roper, the oldest surviving American car, and the 1931 Bugatti Royale the third of only six ever built in the world. Century-old electric cars, current hybrids, muscle cars, racers and modern-day SUVs fill the exhibition’s 20 focal areas that cover everything from hot rods and road trips to road food and racing.
“What makes this exhibition different from most is that it looks at cars through the eyes of the people who use them, or in some cases, don’t use them,” said Bob Casey, senior curator of transportation for The Henry Ford. “Visitors will be asked to think about what attracted them to automobiles in the first place. How have their definitions of style or luxury changed over time? How have their attitudes towards safety, or recreation, or environmental costs changed? Driving America uses The Henry Ford’s unparalleled collection to inspire visitors to think about these and other questions surrounding their relationships with the car.”
Naturally, highlights of the exhibit include the many stylish cars that we love including the 1962 Mustang Roadster Concept, 1957 De Soto Fireflite, 1967 Ford Mark IV, 1948 Tucker, 1965 Lotus-Ford that won the Indy 500, the historic 1961 Lincoln Limousine (President John F. Kennedy) and GM Montgomery Bus #2857 (Rosa Parks). The classic neon McDonald’s and Holiday Inn signs amongst others – also very cool. Finally, we think visitors will really enjoy Lamy’s Diner – a real roadside restaurant from 1946 that has been renovated and turned into a working diner that museum patrons can use to enjoy an authentic mid-century experience.
For more information, visit www.thehenryford.org.
Photography: Spiro Mandylor, Olympus Digital Photography