Art Center Car Classic 2014: Cars, Stars and High Bars

Pasadena CA, Oct 26 2014 - The Art Center College of Design’s biggest event of the year is the autumn Art Center Car Classic. Revered by staff, students and the knowing public, the annual fundraiser is now a teenager at 12 years running. Each year is centered on a theme that sets the tone of the automobiles and personalities specially invited to suit the occasion.

Movie Icon Cars

Flickr Slideshow (click <98>) or Flickr Album 

Art Center Car Classic 2014 was branded “Street to Screen” – a nod to the big screens of Hollywood movies and television. Cars became the stars half a century ago, when the average superhero and crime-fighter needed a special mode of transportation to match the costumes. The original Batmobile is still as popular today as in the 60s. Herbie the Love Bug lives forever as the Beetle that beat the best race cars of the day.

1968 Ford Mustang Fastback Tribute to Bullitt Movie Icons Award

Regardless of the year’s theme, a number of local television stars make the Art Center Car Classic a regular stop on their schedules. Car Crazy host and Pasadena native Barry Meguiar has helped emcee at the event for 12 straight years. ABC7-LA automotive reporter Dave Kunz has provided on field color for many years, joined this year by Ed Justice Jr. Dave’s green Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang easily qualified for the theme criteria.

1963 Chrysler Gas Turbine sedan

Of course, no local car event is complete without an appearance by Jay Leno – the most famous car guy in the world. The question of the day is always “what will Jay bring this time?” This year he drove in a 1963 Chrysler Turbine – 1 of 2 such remaining concept cars. Jay has a huge following, and the crowd follows where he goes. Owners suddenly appear when he approaches a car, as stories are told. We try to avoid stalking celebrities, but Jay walked into a couple of car shots we were taking; so may as well crank the video. Everyone talks to Mr. Leno like they know him, and he never seems to lose patience with all the banter and picture posing. He made particular friends with “Batdog” who let the guard down on protecting the 1956 Oldsmobile customized into the original comic-book version of the Batmobile.

1941 GM Futurliner and Chip Foose Designed Firebird

Among the many famous Art Center alumni, Chip Foose stands out as one of the best known television personalities. Chip gave a lengthy interview to Jay Leno, describing his car building insights and experiences. His first Overhaulin’ project – a ’69 Firebird perched nearby on the GM 1941 GM Futurliner.

Transportation Design

Transportation chair Stewart Reed takes pains to explain that the annual Car Classic is not a Concours show – the mission is to showcase automotive design. That it turns out to be the most entertaining Concours-like experience around is a happy coincidence. Next event "Built by hand""  Oct 23 2016.

1924 Vauxhall Special

1924 Vauxhall Special

1976 Lancia Stratos Bertone Designers' Choice Award

1976 Lancia Stratos Bertone: Designers' Choice Award

1967 Pontiac GTO XXX Movie Car Special Effects Flame Car

1967 Pontiac GTO "XXX" movie car special effects flame car

2005 Honda S2000 Racecar Fast & Furious 7

2005 Honda S2000 Racecar "Fast & Furious 7"

1930 Packard 7-45 Dual Cowl Sport Singin' in the Rain car Movie Icons Award

1930 Packard 7-45 Dual Cowl Sport "Singin' in the Rain" car

1956 Oldsmobile BB Convertible 1963 Batmobile tour car

1956 Oldsmobile 88 Convertible 1963 Batmobile tour car

1909 Pope Not a Drum Was Heard

1909 Pope Hartford "Not a Drum Was Heard"

1970 Citroen 2CV France 3

1970 Citroen 2CV France 3

1958 Buick Limited Convertible

1958 Buick Limited Convertible

1964 Meyers Manx Monocoque Dune Buggy

1964 Meyers Manx Monocoque Dune Buggy

2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Bumblebee Transformers Age of Extinction

2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Bumblebee in "Transformers Age of Extinction"

1956 Continental Mark II owned by Elizabeth Taylor Cars of Stars Award

1956 Continental Mark II owned by Elizabeth Taylor

1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS MR Designers' Choice Award

1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS MR Designers' Choice Award

1991 Lamborghini Islero S Coupe

1991 Lamborghini Islero S Coupe

by Randy Berg

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