Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ralph Lauren - Car Nut?

What do you know about RL?  That he is a fashion designer that popularized the polo shirt?  That he was one of the first companies in America that could be identified simply by a logo?  That he had an idealized vision of what it would be like to be wealthy in America, and sold you that vision through his clothes and advertising.  What you might not know however, is that he has one of the largest rare car collections in the world.  Anyone can buy Ferraris or Mercedes' if they have the money, but not everyone can buy and own the ones pictured here.  For example, the one pictured above is a Mercedes Benz SSK Count Trossi, one of only four or five all original cars in the world, and being one of, if not the most beautiful car ever made.  

Starting today, seventeen of the world's finest classic sports cars from Ralph Lauren's legendary personal collection will be on show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. "The Art of the Automobile" features select cars from the designer's prolific stockpiles, one of the most extensive in the world. Acting as a visual timeline of the evolution of European automobile design through the 20th Century, the cars on display—among them Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari—are among the most exceptional in the world and have been infrequently shown to the public. Each one, all created between the 1930s and the 1990s, stands as a masterpiece of both technological innovation and impeccable design.

To commemorate the exhibition, a limited run book features each car, its historical and technical significance and an explanation by Lauren himself on what guides his passion for car collection. The book will also showcase many of the same images seen here, all exceptionally shot by renowned automobile photographer Michael Furman.  More pics after the break.

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