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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited) - Part 1 - Part 2

Ralph Lauren Reveals His Classic Car Collection In Europe For The Very First Time

Ralph Lauren is transporting his most exquisite car collection to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris for a special exhibit called "The Art of the Automobile: Masterpieces from the Ralph Lauren Collection".

Last night stars rubbed shoulders at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, where they were the first to see Ralph Lauren's Classic car collection in Europe.

Jean Reno marvelled at the beauty of the cars, expressing that the cars are historic but modern. Zhang Ziyi spoke about how much she loves visiting Paris and the passion of the city. The former F1 driver, Jackie Stewart, fondly recalls driving and racing with Ralph Lauren in the LM Ferrari in the collection.

The exhibition opens from the 28th of April, where a selection of Ralph Lauren's most prestigious sports cars from the 1930s to the present day is on show for the first time in Europe at Paris' Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 17 outstanding cars, chosen by the curator Rodolphe Rapetti, outline the main phases of European automobile history.

Stylish not only in clothing but also in automobiles, world renowned designer Ralph Lauren has established himself as one of the world's major car collectors. His impressive collection includes a 1938 Bugatti, a 1958 Ferrari Testa Rossa and a 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago; making Ralph Lauren's range of cars 'a museum of automotive history, an archive of performance machines that represent the finest achievements in motorsport'.

With this collection, Ralph Lauren shows that the automobile is a major art form created by the industry's biggest names: Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Porsche and of course, Ferrari, the high point of this unique collection.

The exhibition will be the first time his collection will be shown in Europe; and with the distance the cars were required to travel, the transportation and instillation of cars was planned and carefully executed to maintain high standards of care.


Looks like he also has an "SV" in the garage @ 1:07

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My god, the man has great tastes in the automobile world. I would love to see the contrast of the exhibit and the museum.

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Just got back from this. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed, and they were strictly enforcing this (I watched a guard hang over someone's shoulder while he deleted a picture he had just taken). I was able to get in a single shot of the first car to greet visitors before I saw the sign about photographs. Here is the "riveting" 1938 Bugatti 57 S(C) Atlantic:

The rest of the cars featured, in chronological order, are as follows:
1929 Bentley "Blower"
1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK "Count Trossi"
1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
1933 Bugatti 59 Grand Prix
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia
1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
1954 Ferrari 375 Plus
195 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing"
1955 Jaguar XKD
1955 Porsche 50 Spyder
1958 Jaguar XKSS
1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
1996 McLaren F1 LM

The cars were laid out with most of them in the main gallery. To the left, the four grand tourers (XK120, XKSS, Gullwing, and 250 Berlinetta) sit upon rotating platforms, and to the right, sits the 1-of-5 (technically 6) McLaren F1 LM in all of its glory, ready to race at just over 2300 lbs. Also to the right are four video rooms. Two of them are for the real enthusiasts. While focusing up close on distinct details of each of the individual cars, you get about two minutes to hear each car's engine in full glory. You'll hear the car start, idle, rev, cruise, flyby, scream from the cockpit, and row through the gears, really getting worked (surprisingly), in high quality audio. The next room showed some of the cars in their original racing days. Several of these cars have remarkable racing histories (Ralph Lauren sits in one of Roger Penske's old seats, for one), but since the audio wasn't working in that room, I didn't know if the cars shown were the exact cars, or just similar ones. Either way, historic racing is truly something unique to watch. The final room showed detailed stories of some of the cars. It showed Ralph taking delivery of his F1 for the first time, the Alfa Mille Miglia being fully researched and restored in preparation for Concours d'Elegance, and short histories behind a few others, including the commissioning of the 1-of-1 SSK by former Italian racing driver Count Trossi.

It really is remarkable to look back at all of the innovations and unique designs of last century's pinnacles of automotive excellence. Nowhere else can you find manually-operated exhaust cutouts, 6 tailpipes, twin superchargers, body seams down the middle of a car, exposed safety wire on body panels, front-mounted blowers, driver tailfins,and cab-mounted distributors in one room. Also noteworthy, three of these cars (the Bugatti 57 SC, the Benz SSK, and the Alfa Mille Miglia) have won best in show at Pebble Beach. I think my personal favorite of the historical cars (all except the McLaren) would be the SSK Count Trossi, with its deep black paint, bulbous and sharp features, ~6 foor hood, exposed headers, and exhaust dumps, never have I seen a car with quite so much presence.

Your next best bet to see these cars is buying the $40 coffee table gem here:

Here are some more "snuck-in" photos that I'd found online.

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