They’ve been called models, sex symbols and eye candy, but the best attribute of these engaging automotive specialists was their ability to sell cars by enticing customers with facts, not just glamour. The fascinating women of the auto shows are featured in the newest exhibit at the National Automobile Museum, Sirens of Chrome: The Allure of the Auto Show Models.
Sirens of Chrome takes visitors on a visual joyride through auto show history and features a treasure trove of rare images of turn-of-the-century goddesses, 1950s sex symbols and today’s highly trained product specialists. The exhibit showcases posters and photographs of human hood ornaments, fast cars and vintage auto show fashions.
“The talent at auto shows throughout the past century has actually gone through as much of an evolution as the cars themselves,” said Margery Krevsky, founder and owner of Productions Plus–The Talent Shop, a nationwide company that recruits, outfits and trains talent for auto shows. Krevsky is also author of the award-winning book, Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models, which served as the muse for the exhibit. “Auto show models truly morphed from ‘plaster to poster to person’ and now serve as ambassadors of their brand who entice customers with facts and vehicle comparison information.”
Following the format of the book, the Sirens of Chrome exhibit includes many historical photos that have been carefully culled from private collections, auto enthusiast portfolios and the National Automotive Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library together; they tell the larger story of auto show models and the timeless allure of automobiles.
Attendees of the Sirens of Chrome exhibit will discover whose “body” inspired the Rolls-Royce hood ornament and who sat in a “rumble seat” with 1930s silver-screen goddess Joan Blondell. They will see the depth of information included from the Dagmar Bumpers, gawk at the over-the-top opulence of the Somali leopard pelt-upholstered 1950 Cadillac Debutante and view in wonder at the fur-clad model atop a Soviet-built Lada. In total, the exhibit features nearly 75 pieces, mostly photographs, posters, auto show programs and automobile magazine covers.
Also on display are several costumes, which add sizzle to the Sirens of Chrome theme from space age tech to Hollywood glamour, on loan from Karen Burns Productions’ collection of more than 1,200 authentic costumes from the world-famous MGM stage show, Hello Hollywood Hello.
Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models author Margery Krevsky will share behind-the-scenes insights and personal anecdotes while telling her story of defying trends in the auto industry to celebrate the opening of the newest exhibit at the National Automobile Museum based on her book. She co-founded Productions Plus in 1981 and the agency rapidly became one of the major players in selecting, outfitting and training talent for auto shows across America. Krevsky, dubbed “The Queen Bee of the Car Show Models” by Forbes, will wrap up the evening by signing copies of her book, Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models.
When: Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection
What: Presentation and book signing with Margery Krevsky. Wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Cost: Free for members; $10 for the public.