Wunderbar, WUNDERCARS!

This past weekend, the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento kicked off its WUNDERCARS! exhibit with sporty style as it featured Porsche as the first of four rotating exhibits. The WUNDERCARS! exhibit officially began on October 1 and will run through May 11, 2011.

After Porsche, WUNDERCARS! goes on to feature BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen with the overall intent to illustrate the story of the German automobile industry’s impact in the U.S.

The Porsche rotating exhibit was quite impressive and representative of the historical engineering concepts pioneered by the company founder, Ferdinand Porsche.

After working for several automotive companies in Austria and Germany, in 1931 Ferdinand branched out to create his own automotive consulting company. The company received contracts from the German government to design the "peoples’ car," resulting in the Volkswagen Beetle.

Ferdinand also pioneered design concepts with a "less is more" engineering philosophy during the 1920’s. This led to the creation of powerful racing cars with smaller, more efficient engines and likewise, efficiently trimmed mass. Such concepts are still evident in the design of Porsche SE automobiles today. Ferdinand’s son Ferry steered the Porsche SE company toward the launch of the first car bearing the Porsche name in 1948, the Porsche 356.

The exhibit had a substantial collection of many different Porsche models in addition to the collection of German automobiles that will be on permanent display though the duration of the WUNDERCARS! exhibit. Many of the display models have been donated to the museum’s collection by local residents of the greater Sacramento area.

Beyond the WUNDERCARS! exhibit, the California Automobile Museum’s permanent collection gives visitors a greater appreciation for the impact the automobile has had on our society over the past century.

The featured exhibit kicked off Friday night with a members-only preview, complete with potato salad and sausage from Sam’s Hof Brau and various German beers from Sudwerk Brewery.

The WUNDERCARS! Exhibit Committee is to thank for pulling together such a wonderful collection. One of the museum docents, Bill Van Gundy, initially had the idea of an exhibit solely for Porsche cars. This idea sparked what became the four-part WUNDERCARS! exhibit series. The Porsche collection will be on display until November 28, when the display will rotate to feature BMW.

Niello Auto Group and Von Housen Mercedes were thanked for their sponsorship of the exhibit and FUEL Creative Group was to thank for the exhibit artwork.

Local artist, Brent Rector, created the limited edition print posters for the WUNDERCARS! exhibit. The Porsche poster features a 550 Spider on the artwork.

For anyone with a passion and appreciation for all things automotive, the WUNDERCARS! exhibit at the California Automobile Museum is exquisitely done and definitely not to be passed by!

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