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It seems Americans can’t help but become fascinated with the cars their celebrities drove, and yet another manifestation of that fascination will play itself out next month when the Salisbury Concours will display the cars of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Unlike most celebrities, however, Wright was no casual admirer of the automobile. His first car was a Stoddard-Dayton, and from then on, he owned many of the finest automobiles available, from custom-built Cadillacs to Packards, Bentleys and Jaguars. Though he is most closely associated with Lincoln Continentals – especially the 1940 Continental coupe that he customized – the Salisbury Concours will also present some of the vehicles less associated with Wright, including the Bantams and Crosleys that Wright forced his apprentices to drive.
The Salisbury Concours will take place September 12 at the Salisbury House in Des Moines, Iowa.
2010 SALISBURY CONCOURS TO FEATURE THE CARS OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
At first glance, elegant automobiles and stunning architecture appear to have little in common. Yet, some of the most breathtaking examples of each will come together on September 12th when “The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright” gather at the Salisbury House and Gardens, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Wright, one of the most influential architects of the 20th Century, was as discerning about the cars that carried him as he was about the blueprints that bore his name. His stable of automotive thoroughbreds reflected his appreciation of quality design. Today, similar examples sell for a million dollars and more.
On the other hand, Wright put his architectural apprentices behind the wheels of America’s less expensive “orphan babies,” America’s forgotten economy cars.
Fine examples of both will be features of the 2010 Salisbury Concours d’Elegance, regarded as Iowa’s most prestigious annual automobile display.
The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright
Twice each year between the late 1930s and 1950s, the old master led his young prodigies on semi-annual treks between Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wright traveled in the comfort of an opulent classic. His favorites included the front-wheel-drive 1929 Cord L29 and the first Lincoln Continentals of 1940. Wright’s apprentices followed in their miniature Bantam and Crosley roadsters.
Most of Wright’s automotive fleet has been lost to time. But the same makes and models will be highlighted in the elegant courtyard and restored garage of the palatial Salisbury House. In addition, the lawn and gardens will be filled with more than 100 valuable vintage classics. Each car has been individually selected for its superior styling, innovative engineering, and/or relative scarcity. Classes include British and European Luxury, Sports and Racing, Classic and Antique, Supercars, Early Economy Cars and a special class for Mitchell-brand automobiles.
The Art of Frank Lloyd Wright
No Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit would be complete without examples of his architectural drawings. Additional presentations will feature Wright’s architectural genius.
The John E. Christian House – a Wright-designed home in West Lafayette, Indiana – is home to a collection of Wright memorabilia including the superb Japanese portfolio of reproduction renderings covering the span of his career. A portion of the home’s collection has been loaned exclusively to the Salisbury House for this event. Selected prints include “The Automobile Objective and Planetarium” (a spiral design idea that evolved into New York City’s iconic Guggenheim Museum) as well as drawings of Fallingwater (Wright’s most stunning private home) and the Historic Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank.
Presentations about Frank Lloyd Wright will be offered. Noted automotive author and collector, Robert D. Cunningham, will share details about Wright’s lifelong love affair with the automobile. Other talks will include “Living in a Frank Lloyd Wright Home” and “The Restoration and 100th Anniversary of the Historic Park Inn Hotel & City National Bank.” The landmark inn was completed in 1910 and is the only remaining hotel designed by Wright.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation would like you to know that use of the publicity rights of the name Frank Lloyd Wright is with the permission of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona.