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New museum exhibit celebrates glorious Rhode Island summers

The 34th exhibit at the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, USA  ‘showcases the vibrant spirit of Newport summers, beaches, cruising Ocean Drive, and reliving those nostalgic memories and the vehicles that made them memorable’.

Unsurprisingly, that broad brief has led to an incredibly eclectic selection of 19 cars and one motorbike going on show on 15 June. Audrain Automobile Museum is small but puts on four themed exhibitions a year and this one, called ‘Color, the Cars of Summer’ will run until 8 September.

The full list of exhibits is as the bottom, but to g ive you a flavour, they range from 1930 Packard Eight Sport Phaeton to 2024 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato via 1951 Fiat 500C Topolino Giardinera and 2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport Sky View. And, of course, the solitary motorcycle, a 1955 Schwinn Whizzer Model WZ-1955.

David de Muzio, Audrain’s executive director and chief curator, said: ‘With “Color, the Cars of Summer”, our goal is to transport our visitors to a time when Newport embodied the essence of summer fun,” said  “We want to give people the chance to relive those magical moments and experience the joy that these amazing vehicles brought to people’s lives.’

That explains a strong surf and beach theme including a 1963 Volkswagen Transporter and a typical woody surf wagon as well as monkey bike and wild electric cars for kids, not least a highly desirable 1956 Bimbo Ferrari. 

Donald Osborne, CEO of Audrain, added: ‘This exhibit is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia, delight, and wonder, as it showcases remarkable vehicles that conjure memories associated with Newport summers.

‘The vehicles we have chosen not only celebrate beauty and style but also honor the connection between automobiles and the culture of Newport.  The exhibit delves into the rich history of Newport summers and the role that cars played in shaping the local lifestyle.’

The full list of exhibits is:

  • 1930 Packard Eight Sport Phaeton
  • 1940 Chevy Custom Topless Roadster
  • 1951 Fiat 500C Topolino Giardinera
  • 1951 Crosley Super Sports
  • 1955 Schwinn Whizzer Model WZ-1955 motorcycle
  • 1956 Ferrari Bimbo Racer – Electric Child’s Car
  • 1956 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible
  • 1959 Fiat 600 Jolly
  • 1963 Volkswagen Type II Double Car Transporter
  • 1968 Triumph TR5 PI Roadster
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet
  • 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Roadster
  • 1974 Porsche 911 Targa
  • 1985 Jeep CJ7
  • 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta
  • 2012 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
  • 2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport Sky View
  • 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170
  • 2024 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
  • 2024 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato

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