Why Did Your Grandfather Buy THAT Car?

Art & the Automobile explores the history of vehicle advertising

TORONTO, Ont. (January 25, 2016) — Automobiles and art have been intertwined almost as long as cars have been rolling out of factories.

The graceful and elegant curves of a car — particularly the classics — lend themselves to the artist’s eye, allowing for similar graceful and elegant curves on the canvas. And as the design of cars evolved, so too did the ads that promoted them. The dynamic relationship between vehicles and the art they have inspired is explored in depth during Art & the Automobile at the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow, with a reflection on the art that has been used in the advertising to entice people to buy cars over the first 60 years of the automobile.

“Over the course of the history of the automobile, artists have looked at cars for inspiration for their contemporary masterpieces and automobiles are considered works of art, all on their own,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “It is no surprise that relationship spilled over to the marketing side. Looking back at how art has been used to sell cars is an interesting walk through history.”

Presented by the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, this year’s Art and the Automobile traces cars from the past with the classic advertising that solidified their stellar reputations. From the early beginnings of typeset posters through spectacular hand-drawn renderings to moody photographic images, these ads of yesteryear also contain some amazing facts and figures, some outrageous claims and some are so focused on lifestyle that they don’t even feature the car itself.

Following a timeline of both progressions, most of the 17 stunning cars in the gallery are set against backdrops of the ads that promoted them when they were new.

They begin with a specially-designed 1904 Oldsmobile and extend through such landmark cars as the first American front-wheel-drive 1929 Cord L-29, the aerodynamic pioneering 1935 Chrysler Airflow, the style-setting 1953 Studebaker coupe and the Raymond Loewy-designed 1963 Studebaker Avanti.

Included in the group are two cars that launched companies – a 1908 Mclaughlin-Buick, from which General Motors of Canada ultimately developed, and a 1925 Chrysler that was the first product of the Chrysler string of companies that survives today as FCA.

Other notable models include a 1915 Cadillac – the first V-8 – a luxurious 1956 Lincoln Premiere, a 1963 Buick Riviera and a Canadian-exclusive 1958 Pontiac Parisienne.

The showpieces of the exhibit, from the Grand Classic era, include a mighty 1930 Duesenberg Model J, a luxurious 1931 Cadillac and Chrysler Imperial, a sporty 1935 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster and an ultra-rare Austrian-built 1938 Steyr.

Rarest of them all is the American LeBaron-bodied Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, one of only two constructed, that took Best in Show honours at the 2013 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Located on the 700 level of the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the 2016 Art & the Automobile installation is a collection of fine cars and artistic advertising that’s not to be missed.

Please be sure to visit autoshow.ca for more information. Follow us on Twitter @autoshowcanada and join the conversation with the hashtag #YourMove. Like us on Facebook and check us out on Instagram.

The Canadian International AutoShow will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between February 12th and 21st.


About the Canadian International AutoShow:
With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show. Boasting more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, motorcycles and alternative energy vehicles, the AutoShow is a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.autoshow.ca.