Arts » General Arts

Carmel is for Cars: Hanging out at Artomobilia

by

comment

Human traffic with parked cars at Artomobilia


The roads are blocked off around the intersection of Range Line and Main Street - the hub of Carmel's Art and Design District - but there are cars parked all over the place for this years' Carmel Artomobilia, a one-day event - until 5:00 pm on Saturday, Aug. 29 - that draws car collectors and their cars from all over the Midwest and beyond. In my line of sight there's a 2012 red Maserati Gran Turismo. And there's a late 1950s vintage yellow Lincoln premiere with shark-like fins. Many of the cars are so cool and so sleek that you wonder how many people were conceived in these cars. Of course, not all these cars have a lot of room for that particular act that turns the ignition switch, as it were, to human life. Take for example the XLR Cadillac, a two-seater.

When talking to Indy-based Bruce Ashpaugh, the organizer of a group of XLR enthusiasts from across the Midwest and beyond, I didn't ask him any questions about how to make out in an XLR. Instead, I ask him if Artomobilia is the only stop on their group's itinerary.

"No," he says, "We were in Dublin, Ohio last month for the Arthritis [Auto] Show," he said. One group member, Kevin, from "south of Chicago" - who preferred not to give his last name - let me take his photo in front of his 2006 Cadillac XLR V-Series, which is no longer made.

Kevin with his 2006 Cadillac XLR V-Series

This is a fun, free event, one of quite a few free events that Carmel has each year. And I'll be hanging out here all afternoon, updating my blog as I check out everything. If you have any questions, or anything in particular you want me to check out, leave a comment in the comments section under the blog. Next up for me is the motorcycle show in the Indiana Center. The event lasts until 5:00 p.m. If you don't have any plans this afternoon, why not come up here? It's certainly the biggest crowd that I've ever seen in Carmel:

A Huge Crowd

Update 3:00 pm: Okay, the motorcycle show was pretty much a dud, with a few speedsters on display in the Indiana Design Center and some racing garb. But, on the way out, I spotted a whole row of Delorean cars, cars dating from the 1980s with their distinctive, stainless steel hulls. If you recall the film Back to the Future II, the DeLorean DMC 12 was the vehicle made into a time machine by the demented Doc Brown used to travel to, um, 2015 (Doc Brown was nowhere to be seen at Carmel Artomobilia).

But the reason Indy-based Colin Brown, president of the Indiana DeLorean Club, likes these high-maintenance cars - parts are difficult to find and expensive for these cars because the company went into receivership back in 1983 - for another reason.

"The sleek, sexy look of the body," he said. "They just don't look like anything else... They're just great automobiles automobiles. They're kind of lost in the mystique of the movie, and people don't realize all the design qualities they had when they were new."

Colin Brown with 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

Indeed, there was a very sexy 1983 DMC-12 model with its hubcaps decked in pink, a ladies' model according to Brown. It definitely would've been hard to conceive in this car - a two-seater with a stick shift.

Ladies DeLorean with two dudes checking out the trunk
  • Dan Grossman
  • Ladies' DeLorean with two dudes checking out the trunk

And then there were some vehicles that proved that American car companies coud've gone electric anytime they wanted - if there was only a will to do so:

Detroit Electric 1916 (electric car)

Well, that's all for now... I was going to be more ambitious on this blog and talk about art history as it relates to car history and the recent Dream Cars exhibit at the IMA but I think I'm ready to move onto other things. For all you who may have come here and imbibed, don't drink and drive. Not just because it's the right thing to do for you, your loved ones, and everybody else on the road, but because Carmel has a very DENSE police presence and you're liable to be caught. Remember Carmel's not just for cars, it's for humans too.
Anyway, I just might have one myself.
I'm walking home.

Comments

This Week's Flyers

Around the Web