Monday, February 3, 2014

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum - Part 8 - My Top Two Favorites


PART 8 OF THE TAMPA BAY AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

MY FAVORITES


 #1 1936-1940 PANHARD DYNAMIC












I'm going to tell you right upfront that there is no cooler car on this earth than the French Panhard Dynamic.  First, there's the name itself.  Panhard refers to the manufacturer but sounds just naughty enough to evince a French wink.

This is art deco on 4 wheels.  Notice the vertical striations on the grill and headlight covers and even the glass on the driving lights are etched with straight vertical lines.  It was also the first automaker to integrate the headlights into the fenders.

Now notice the air swept deco wheel fenders.  One might assume that that covering would hinder the front tires from turning like regular cars, but they solved that problem by moving the tires inward.  This meant they also had to move the steering wheel in, too.  Now notice the steering wheel and where it is.  It isn't in the middle but its also not clear over on the right side, either.  The joke was that when driving a Panhard, the gentleman could have his mistress on one side of him and his wife on the other.  




This is another Panhard in some else's collection.  Perhaps prettier than the one at TBAM.

See the three piece windshield?  And the three windshield wipers?  And the rear turn signal flaps that came out from the side when in use?  And the convex interior design on things, like the clock?   For sheer beauty there is nothing like the Panhard.  War came to France in 1940 and they quickly surrendered to Germany.   After that the Panhard company was obliged to make military vehicles, and that pretty much was it with this automaker. 

This is it. This is the one I want to have human to metal coitus.  The lines, the style, the class, the sheer bravado with design.  I consider myself to be backward, shy and shunning any semblance of the limelight, but with me at the wheel of this beauty I'll return passersby's glances with a rakish, "yeah, uh huh" right back at 'ya.
  


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1936-1937 CORD 812




















My second favorite car was the Cord 812.  It was tough deciding between the Ruxton and the Cord 812, but I chose the Cord because it seem to usher in a modern look that was years ahead of its time.  The Ruxton was beautiful in an old world way with gussied up paint, but the Cord was unique in a new modern fashion.  First, the supercharger was available for the first time and this was distinguished in the cord by the chrome plate and external exhaust pipes coming from the engine area.  That look is beyond awesome.  

Now look at the distinctive headlight covers.  Detroit wouldn't use that again until the late 60's early 70's, then it would be dropped just as fast.  The long hood and short bustle ass-end had been around awhile on many luxury cars but the look now had a modern face to it and would be the pre-eminent design for cars for the next 80 years.  Mechanically the Cord was a front wheel drive car and even more interesting, the transmission is in front of the engine.  The coffin shaped hood, the aircraft cockpit design of the dash area all give this car a unique place in automobile history.  

OK, if I can't have the Panhard, I'll gladly spend the rest of my life int he same garage as this dark, lustrous, mysterious combination of regal eloquence on 4 tires.  While it doesn't have the over-the-top art deco beauty of the Panhard, this Cord, nevertheless, won my heart with its lower build and innovative design.  I lover her pipes.    

IT SEEMS I HAVE UNCOVERED ANOTHER FEW PICTURES FROM THE TRIP TO THE MUSEUM, BUT I'LL WAIT TILL YOU CATCH YOUR BREATH AFTER TODAY'S BEAUTIES.   IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THESE CARS LET ME KNOW AND I'LL ASK JOHN.  THANKS FOR COMING ALONG WITH ME, BUT I GOTTA TELL YA, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE SEEING THESE IN PERSON.  IF YOU ARE EVER IN THE AREA YOU MUST MAKE THE MUSEUM ONE OF YOUR STOPS.

1 comment:

  1. Two absolutely stunning cars. The French did have a sense of style no one else got a handle on. Put a Ruxton, Panhard and Cord in the garage and bliss would be achieved. I'm sure we would need to knock before entering to give ou a few moments to recover your composure.

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