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All of the cars in the Ralph Lauren collection were beautiful, but the 1930 Mercedes-Benz "Count Trossi" SSK was truely stunning.  We loved the chrome pipes on the side.  We could only image what it must have felt like driving a 300 horsepower car on a road back in 1930! 

The 1938 Alfa Romeo had no less dramatic a shape and just as commanding a presence.  The engine had 2 more cylinders...8 vs the Benz's 6.  With a top speed of 145mph, it was just a bit faster than the Benz.

The 1938 Bugatti Coupe was what one would drive if having the top down was too much on a particular day.  At a top speed of 115, the Bugatti would still get you there with plenty of time to spare.

The only car in the collection that was not black, red, or silver was this 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster.  The Jaquar's 3.5 liter, 6 cylinder engine will go about 130 if you let all 160 horses run unrestrained.  Perfect for getting you out to the summer picnic in style.

Ferraris only came in red.  This 1954 Ferrari 375+ has a 4.5 liter 12 cylinder engine that can generate 344 hp with a top speed of 160mph.  The is a lot of "go" for any car, but the red color made it looked fast even standing still.

This 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe had its own matching travel luggage.  Getting in and out of the coupe was made easier by the really cool "gull wing" doors.  However, ladies in short skirts will have to somehow span that high and wide side without flashing the valet.

Porsche made this 550 Spyder, but Jame Dean made it famous.  This little beauty got 110 hp out of a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine.  Its top speed was 140 mph.  This car was about as pure and lean as a speedster could be!

Half of this car was the engine.  The other half was the fuel tank.  The cockpit was added only because Porsche need somebody to steer the car :-)

The last display of the collection was as dramatic as the first.  This McLaren F1 is pure muscle!  It is powered by a massive 6.1 liter 12 cylinder engine that looked more like it belonged on a jet.  The engine delivered 627 horses which enable this supercar to topped out at 240 mph! 

There are not many roads in the US that'll let you exercise that kind of power, but at a $1,000,000 list price for the McLaren... if you could afford the car, you could handle the ticket.

The car sits three (driver is in the middle, 1 passenger seat to each side).  As Carolyn noted, if you could afford the car, you could handle dating twins.

If you missed this exhibit, you can always go to the MFA gift shop and pick up the book.  While you are there, check out all of the other fun stuff related to this show!



Speed,Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection

By Wan Chi Lau

We finally had a chance to check out the Ralph Lauren car collection exhibiting at the MFA. The tickets were for the last "hood up" night.  There are still some tickets left for the regular exhibit.

If you have not gone yet, stop reading now (unless July 3rd had already passed or you don't live within a 2 hour drive of Boston) and go to the MFA.

From Ralph Lauren's collection, we realized that "Fast and Furious" was not a recent phenomenon.  In this collection, we saw cars from all periods... from a 1930 Benz that Carolyn dubbed the "Batmobile" to a million dollar 1996 McLaren F1 supercar.

The one thing all these cars had in common was they can go VERY fast, even by today's standards.

Also, very fast cars only came in one of 3 colors: Black, Red, or Silver.  Well, maybe also in British Racing Green... but only if it is a Jaguar.

We came away with a greater appreciation of the rich history of fast cars and also of the car obsessions of the rich :-)

Photography by Wan Chi Lau      
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