‘Land Yacht’ Car Collection Heading To Museum

Jun 8, 2022 4 min read
‘Land Yacht’ Car Collection Heading To Museum

The Audrain Automobile Museum is set to feature this impressive collection.

The latest collection, “Land Yachts – Cruising the Interstate Highways”, is set to go on display this summer, and it’s full of car cool enough to fight the summer heat! From June 4th through September 4th, 14 example of large classic cars will be on display.

Learn more in the official press release below:

Audrain Automobile Museum’s Latest Exhibit

“Land Yachts – Cruising the Interstate Highways”

"Land Yachts, Cruising the Interstate Highways,” the latest Audrain Automobile Museum exhibit, which opens on Saturday, June 4th, invites automotive enthusiasts to travel back in time to when land yachts ruled the highways and the byways.  The exhibit runs from June 4th through September 4th and will feature cars as large and in charge as the motor yachts that grace the historic Newport harbor during the summer season.

On display in the museum’s intimate gallery will be 14 of the finest and best-known examples of “Land Yachts,” created between 1948 and 1970.

No exhibit on “Land Yachts” would be complete without a 1948 Hudson Commodore Eight.  The Commodore was the largest and most luxurious model produced by Hudson at the time.  Though the production period was paused from January 1942 through August 1945 due to the War, an all-new aerodynamic design was introduced for 1948, representing one of the first newly designed postwar automobiles when the hunger for new cars was hotter than ever. This example has covered just 27,000 miles since 1948 and has won a first-place award in every car show it has been entered in.

The epitome of 1950’s style and status were never more evident than in the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, the most elegant Caddy you could buy.  While most Cadillacs touted the best craftsmanship offered in a General Motors vehicle in the 1950s and appealed to more conservative wealthy buyers, the stylish flagship Eldorado 2-door model convertible was re-badged the Biarritz, named after the elegant seaside town on the coast of France.  Itshardtop counterpart became the Eldorado Seville. The Biarritz was a huge hit with the rich and famous who wished to see and be seen in this elegant car.

In the 1960’s “Land Yachts” also ushered in the era of muscle cars.  The 1955 Chrysler 300 hardtop was considered by many as the first real muscle car, with its famous 331 cu.in. Hemi V-8.  Designer Virgil Exner with Head Engineer Bob Rogers' “Forward Look” hit its stride in 1957, with the Chrysler's egg-crate grille and four headlights body lines led back to huge fins and cathedral window taillights. The 1961 Chrysler 300G would be the last iconic “big fin” car in the Chrysler "letter-car" series having been inspired by the 1955 Ghia Gilda concept car. A pricey $5800 limited production with the front heavily modified to accept four angled headlights framing an egg-crate grille with body lines heading back to huge fins and cathedral window taillights. Sales climbed to 1,280 300G hardtops and 337 convertibles being produced in 1961.

The 1970 Plymouth Superbird 2-door was both a large car and one of the most powerful to ever to take to the streets.  The Plymouth Road Runner Superbird along with its sister car, the Dodge Charger Daytona, showcased the design that changed NASCAR forever. With its extended nose cone and massive rear wing, the car was much faster and more capable than all competitors in 1970 and was the first NASCAR to surpass the 200 MPH barrier.  The Road Runner Superbirdlives on today as perhaps the most iconic muscle car of all time, and the car that changed NASCAR forever. While it was dominant on the racetrack, it carried a friendly persona off the track. The Road Runner cartoon was included in multiple places on the car, giving the car a friendly charm. The car also includes a horn that resembles the cartoon’s ‘meep meep’ sound. The overall design was seen as extreme by many enthusiasts, and was clearly designed to compete on the NASCAR circuit.

These are only a few of the cars that will be on display.  Click HERE for a full listing of the cars on display in the “Land Yachts – Cruising the Interstate Highways” exhibit opening on June 4th and running through September 4th, 2022 at the Audrain Automobile Museum.

“Many of the cars in the exhibition are among the largest of all time and brilliantly communicate the postwar confidence and booming economy of the USA in the 25 years following World War II,” said Donald Osborne, Audrain’s CEO.  “These iconic vehicles are a fascinating look back at a time when the engineering and design philosophy of American companies was to build vehicles to take full advantage of the newly created smooth roads across the United States.  We invite you to travel back in time to when land yachts ruled the roads.”

About the Audrain Automobile Museum

The Audrain Automobile Museum has 7,500 square feet of gallery space at 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island.  The Museum annually produces four (4) curated exhibits, typically displaying 12-20 vehicles cars of a particular period, genre or theme in a non-touch, self-guided experience.  These exhibits attract more than 30,000 visitors per year.

Audrain Automobile Museum, Inc., is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. For more information regarding the Museum, please visit, www.AudrainAutoMuseum.org.

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