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During our teens, cars became more important. Cars meant freedom, status and for some, a way to earn a living. Magazines featured stories about Hot Rods, Customs and Racers. Popular culture was focused on automobiles, music, fashion and architecture. Even fast food played a role in this phenomenon. Drag racing on unfinished new highways was occurring in almost every city and town. The major auto companies were making cars that looked and performed better and they focused on attracting the youth market. Cars were cool!
As our years advanced, we became curious about how cars were designed. Who was responsible for the styling we so admired? We researched the car design profession, interviewed retired car designers who worked during the "Golden Era" of car styling and became aware of the role that design renderings played in the car styling process. While everyone was familiar with the cars that were built, the opportunity to see what cars might have looked like became an obsession. However, auto companies in their quest to stay one step ahead of their competition destroyed much of this art to assure it didn't fall into a competitors hands. So, very little of the early design work remains! Some was rescued from the trash while other pieces were squirreled out the back door and a few pieces were given away as retirement gifts or to special visitors.
We began at a young age, building model cars...hoping someday to own the same makes and models. It was a place to start and ultimately where it all began!
Automobile advertising fueled our passion with wonderful illustrations of cars in romantic scenes, set in wonderful places with beautiful people. These ads made cars look longer, lower and wider and held incredible reflections drawn by masters of automotive illustration. We fell in love with the shapes and were immediately drawn to the sportier cars, like Corvettes.
Over the years, we searched for and collected cars and anything (and everything) that advertised or illustrated them. Today, we call this "collecting Automobilia" which in itself has become a popular hobby. We've enjoyed finding ways to use automobile parts in furniture and finally found a home for all our interests and our friends at the Piston Palace.