Rolling Sculpture, Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles

1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Xenia

With their long hoods, streamline shapes and handcrafted details, rare cars from the Art Deco Era are some of the most beautiful and elegant automobiles ever built. Today their sleek designs are still admired and they are often showcased in museums around the country where the automobiles are displayed as fine art.

Twenty two rare, limited production, or one of a kind automobiles and motorcycles have been on display for three months at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Everyone in town was saying not to miss the “Rolling Sculpture: Streamlined Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles: 1930–1941” exhibit.

If you have been to an art museum recently, you might have noticed that women tend to outnumber men in attendance. However, that was not the case when my husband and I went to see the special exhibit which was in its final few days. What was very noticeable were the groups of men that had come to admire the automobiles as well as couples and the usual ladies lunch groups.

I have mentioned before about the incredible “mechanical toys” such as cars, motorcycles and boats of all shapes and sizes that men love to collect, I call them “Big Boy Toys“. After visiting the museum to see the Rolling Sculpture exhibit, I believe the Vero Beach Museum of Art seems to have found a great way to attract more men by exhibiting some of the most beautiful automobiles ever built.

After admiring the rare automobiles, I believe that both car enthusiasts as well as Art Deco fans would agree that these sleek, streamlined and sensuously designed works of art, with their meticulously handcrafted details and finishes, qualify as “rolling sculptures“. Their style was simple yet very elegant…cars were simply built to be beautiful.

1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia

French fighter pilot and race car driver Andre Dubonnet, heir to the Dubonnet aperitif business, commissioned this one of a kind 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia. It has a long tapering design and features many aviation inspired details. It has a sleek curved body with a long horizontal grill, a wrap around windshield, and rear hinged doors that lift and then slide backwards for easier entry. It also has fender skirts that cover the back wheels to reduce drag when racing.

1925/1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom Aerodynamic Coupe

This unusual 1925/1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom Aerodynamic Coupe is referred to as the “Round Door” Rolls-Royce. It was built in 1925 with a Cabriolet body for Mrs. Hugh Dillman but she resold it before delivery to the Raja of Nanpara. In 1934 another owner sent the car to be refitted with a radically new aerodynamic body that has a streamline sloping radiator, round doors, twin sunroofs, half moon windows and a large fin down the middle of the trunk. It is almost 20 feet long and looks like a car that could have been in a Batman movie.

1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Teardrop Coupe

This French Talbot-Lago T150C SS Teardrop Coupe was built in 1938. Its teardrop design and extremely aerodynamic silhouette inspired other car designers as it was capable of reaching 100 miles per hour, even though it was not intended to be racing car. This wonderful automobile is on almost ever list of the world’s most beautiful cars. 

1934 Voisin Type C27 Aérosport

The 1934 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Teardrop Coupe was built in Paris by Gabriel Voisin, considered one of the great mechanical engineers of the 20th Century. With its very modern Art Deco design, it was both lightweight and aerodynamic. It was also unique because of its technically advanced engine. It had a feel of absolute luxury with its convertible roof and beautiful interior design. In its day, it was considered one of the finest and most expensive cars in France. It won the prestigious “Best of Show” award at the 2021 Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace that brought together some of the rarest vehicles in the world. Today this automobile remains one of the world’s most prized and sought after vehicles.


I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of these beautiful Art Deco automobiles from the Rolling Sculpture exhibit. They represent just a few of the most fabulous classic cars ever built and are a fine tribute to the Art Deco Era. This popular design style originated in France and influenced the look of automobiles, passenger trains, luxury ocean liners, architecture, jewelry, fashion and even everyday household objects throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, until the outbreak of World War 11.

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16 thoughts on “Rolling Sculpture, Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles

  1. I’ve been to many auto museums and really enjoy them. Pretty sure I’ve seen at least one of these. I do remember seeing a Hispano-Suiza at one of them. Such interesting designs all of these.

  2. I had to show this to Joe, he loves that generation of cars. They are so beautiful and sleek! So good to see your post, I’ve missed you!

  3. What beautiful cars – they don’t make them like that these days! Modern cars all look the same and have no style or class.
    Dubonnet is quite topical today – Dubonnet and Gin was the favourite drink of our late Queen and the Queen Mother!

  4. What a beautiful exhibition. In Malaga, Spain, there is a fabulous fashion/car museum that we thoroughly enjoyed during our last visit. And you’re absolutely right about the men to women ratio, far more than any other art exhibit we’ve been to. Hope you’re doing well.

  5. Those cars are beautiful, Karen. Thank you for sharing the photographs. It’s good to know the vehicles are being kept somewhere safe and secure so they can be enjoyed by others.

  6. My husband is a car nut. He would love this exhibition of art deco cars. Usually, I have to persuade him to visit museums with me.

  7. Wow, that must have been such an interesting museum visit. Old cars have always fascinated me, my father had a 1936 Ford when I was a child. Thanks for sharing Karen!

  8. We attended a really wonderful classic car show this weekend and admired the incredible restorations. But these are incredible works of art! Unlike any that I’ve seen.

  9. oh my word! these cars are divine. What about that Dubonnet and the Teardrop coupe? so gorgeous. There was a motorbike show on at our local art gallery a few years back – lots of fellas turned up for that 🙂

  10. The Art Deco Era was truly a remarkable time for design, and its influence can still be seen today in various aspects of our lives. It is fascinating to learn about these rare, limited production, or one of a kind automobiles and motorcycles that are still admired for their sleek designs and handcrafted details. I love them, its sexy!

  11. Wow! Thanks for sharing these beauties, Karen. I adore seeing classic and spectacular automobiles. Not so much fun to drive, but Oh! the out-of-this-world design. Do you ever watch Jay Leno’s Garage on YouTube? What a guy living his dream. 😉

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