My Car Quest

August 18, 2022

Art Center Show Focuses On The Entertainment Industry

by Wallace Wyss

When is a concours not a concours? Well, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California had its annual concours Oct. 27th and it was well attended, with over 2,500 people coming to see classic postwar cars and a few cars from the entertainment world.

But the attention was not so much on originality, as this year the theme was Entertainment and there were lots of representative cars from the silver screen, including several Batmobiles, the Scooby Doo-inspired Mystery Machine, the Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers: Age of Extinction, full-sized Hot Wheels® vehicles Darth Vader and Deora II, and a replica of the 1968 Dune Buggy Steve McQueen drove in The Thomas Crown Affair.



Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine

Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine

Jay Leno arrived in a Chrysler turbine car, maybe the last one left running, and took up emcee duties at times, interviewing celebrity car builder and hot rod expert Chip Foose, president and CEO of Foose Design.

Jay Leno and Chip Foose

Jay Leno and Chip Foose

Later in the day, Foose and Jay Ward, Cars Legacy Guardian at Pixar Animation Studios, revealed the process of how the cars from the film CARS became a reality in rides, theme parks and consumer products.

A couple days before the concours, some attendees were invited to a rare screening of “The Batmobile”, the 2012 documentary featuring many Art Center alumni and faculty who have developed numerous incarnations of the Caped Crusader’s set of wheels.

At the Car Classic, there were as many fans of movies as there were students of car design, and a panel of world experts spoke on their movie work, including Art Center grad Syd Mead,a visual futurist (Blade Runner, Tron, 2010, Aliens, Mission: Impossible III and Elysium); Daniel Simon, vehicle concept designer on the feature films Tron: Legacy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Custom Cars


Countering them was a hands-on car builder, George Barris, King of Kustomizers; and Art Center alumni Alex Shen, chief designer at Toyota’s Calty Design Research Studio, and Takuya Asano, Gran Turismo Explore Director, who talked about how a car designed for a video game became a car in real life—the Toyota’s FT-1 concept car.


More Batmobiles

Sponsors of this year’s Car Classic event were 3D visualizer 3DXCITE, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company Fund, Honda R & D Americas, and Jaguar Land Rover.

The most outstanding car, in this writer’s opinion, was the prewar Bentley that was rebodied in aluminum in California to be a close approximation of a one-off prewar Bentley with a special aerodynamic body owned in coupe form by Arturo Keller.

This open car was rebodied to a design by is owner, Gary D. Moore, a former GM designer. Also worthy of note was Rita Hayworth’s Ghia Cadillac, bought for her by her hubby, Prince Aly Khan, and a racing 917 brought by car dealer Bruce Canepa. There was also a stunning Aston Martin DB4 GTZ Zagato.

Rita Hayworth’s Ghia Cadillac

Rita Hayworth’s Ghia Cadillac

One brand new car at the event was the new Mazda MX-5, a 2016 model, beating the Los Angeles International Auto Show appearance by a few days. Also beating the auto show showing was an Alfa 4C, a controversial design representing Alfa’s comeback to the U.S.

The great thing about the Art Center Classic is that classes are still going on during the car show and visitors are free to walk the halls and peer into classrooms where the cars of the future are being designed.

Photos by Richard Bartholomew and Wallace Wyss.

Wallace Wyss has two barn-find book titles available from Enthusiast Books (Hudson, WI).

Wallace Wyss and Bentley Special

Wallace Wyss and the Bentley Special he favored

Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

Porsche 917

Porsche 917

Bentley Special and 1932 Nash

Bentley Special and 1932 Nash

cars and crowd

Cars and the Crowd

Art Center Show Focuses On The Entertainment Industry
Article Name
Art Center Show Focuses On The Entertainment Industry
The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California had its annual concours Oct. 27, 2014.


  1. Wallace, there are several more Chrysler Turbine cars in running condition. Two are at the WP Chrysler Museum collection in Auburn Hills, Michigan (I’ve driven one of them) and one more that I know of in private hands in St. Louis I believe.

    For MyCarQuest readers who want to see all the cars on display, I invite you to visit my photo gallery of the event where I’ve captured almost every car on display and along with pictures of the ID plaques of almost every car.

    Here’s a link to the album.

    My favorites were the first Batmobile licensed by DC Comics (before the George Barris TV Batmobile), a GM Futurliner converted into a flatbed, the 1956 Continental Mark II first owned by Elizabeth Taylor and the 1958 Cadillac Eldorado first owned by Mary Tyler Moore.

  2. wallace wyss says

    I did some research on the Chrysler Turbine for my book Incredible Barn Finds a couple of years agoand was in touch with an author who wrote a book on the cars and he said there was only two still running, Ironically Jay Leno made it possible for another turbine owner to get a spare engine but then that owner let the engine fall into disrepair just like he did the first engine he had. Leno, among his mechanics,has one who is a turbine engineer, I’m glad to see you brought up the Futurliner–I think it was great that GM had futuristic trucks–were they used to haul “dream cars?” It reminds me of when Mercedes had a 300SL powered transporter to haul the 300SLR to the races.

  3. Rich Trusdell’s pictures are excellent I really enjoyed seeing all of the other cars. What struck me a bit odd was that numerous cars were modified from their original design. Being that this is a Art center show I would think that the promotors would be concerned about correctness of the designs.


    Alfa junior Zagato with british minilite rims

    Iso Grifo with painted side trim.

    Ferrari dino with no bumpers

    Pontiac GTO Flame car missing kitchen sink

  4. wallace wyss says

    That nit-picky stuff can be for the other concours in Calif–like Pebble .Palos Verdes, etc. Art Center shouldn’t really call it a concours–it is more of a celebration of all the directions car design can go in, particularly this year with all the entertainment tie-ins. I think for all the foreign students , there it was exciting to see how fantasy and cars can be melded–I don’t see Batcars from other countries..

    • I see your point on movie cars or hot rods, but if you want to celebrate a artist or designer you don’t show a bastardized version of their design.

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