On Sunday, September 15th, I had the privilege of attending the eighteenth annual Hagley Car Show. Held on a gorgeous September day, this year’s show was a great success, attracting a large crowd and a field of over 500 cars. This year’s theme focused on American high-performance cars, which have long captured the imagination of motoring public both in the United States and throughout the world. The year’s theme of proved to be very popular, and a large contingent of these unforgettable cars showed up for this year’s show.
An excellent cross-section of the various types of American high-performance cars appeared at Hagley on Sunday. Classic American muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s, including examples of the Chevrolet Chevelle, Ford Fairlane, and Plymouth Roadrunner, were out in force. Not to be outdone, American pony cars, including the Ford Mustang, Pontiac Trans Am, and AMC Javelin, also made their appearance in noticeable numbers. Some beautiful examples of American two-seater sports cars, including the Chevrolet Corvette and Shelby Cobra, were also in attendance. A few early examples of factory-built high-performance cars such as the Hudson Hornet and a grab bag of custom hot rods turned up as well.
In addition to providing automobile enthusiasts with an opportunity to show off their vehicles, the Hagley Car Show presented us with an opportunity to display items from the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection. The Vinson Collection table was set up in front of the library building and exhibited several trade catalogs for a number of American high-performance cars, including a few which were present at the show. We also displayed trade catalogs for other types of vehicles that are found in the Vinson Collection. Most fun of all, we exhibited some photo reproductions of unidentified cars and asked show attendees to help us positively identify them.
Over the course of the day, a number of show attendees stopped by the Vinson table to learn more about the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection. Those who did showed great interest in the collection and were delighted to have the opportunity to look at the various trade catalogs we had on display. Some took particular delight in seeing trade catalogs for cars they had actually owned and/or appeared at this year’s show. We had a great time talking with these automobile enthusiasts and hearing them fondly reminisce about cars they used to own. Attendees at this year’s show were also helpful in identifying the images of unidentified cars.
If you are interested in learning more about the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection, we strongly encourage you to regularly check back with this blog to see some of the unique and rare items in this collection and to learn about the latest project developments. If you were unable to attend the show but would like to view individual items from the collection, we encourage you to visit the Z. Taylor Vinson Digital Library Preview in the Hagley Digital Archives.
Kenton Jaehnig is the Project Archivist for the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection at Hagley Museum and Library.