Art can be different things to different people. It can be a pretty painting that hangs on the wall, a sculpture that decorates a garden, the fluidity of a dancer’s movement, or the edges and rails that compose a building. But to Ralph Lauren, the culmination of art comes in the form of a car. “I’ve always seen cars as art. Moving art,” he said in Speed, Style & Beauty in 2004. “While friends of mine were into paintings, I somehow felt that the real beauty of owning a rare and magnificently designed car was the fact that you can use it. You can look at it, enjoy its visual qualities, as with a painting, but you can also get inside and drive it – which means both enjoying the drive itself and going somewhere with it.
How these cars are put together, the purposefulness with which they were created, in every detail – the engine, the mechanics, the outside ornamentation, the design of the wheels, the whole spirit – is very, very exciting.” As an avid car fan, the chance to see this famed designer’s car private car collection made me very, very excited! Lauren usually houses his rare vintage cars (now numbering over 60) in a garage/museum in New York State. But from April 28th and August 28th, 2011, this fashion king’s homage to moving art has parked at the museum of Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Unlike other car collections, all of Lauren’s cars are kept in perfect working order and are at the ready whenever their owner might fancy a drive. To see rare automotive gems such as a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi” and a 1933 Bugatti 59 Grand Prix up close definitely made the plane ticket over the pond worth every penny. If you a car-aholic and you’re planning to be in Paris this summer, then don’t miss your major moto-fix at Lauren’s L’Art de l’Automobile!