Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia
Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What was the first car to be added to New York’s Museum of Modern Art as a permanent display?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right.
CisitaliaThe idea that form follows function is the principle that an object’s shape should be determined by its intended purpose. It’s logical, typically efficient, and generally results a severe and occasionally institutional ascetic in the expression of that function in the design.
In the automotive world, we’ve seen designs follow this canon, most notably from companies such as Mercedes Benz  whose cars were stately and handsome, but rarely beautiful in the traditional sense of the word. Over the years New York’s Museum of Modern Art has chosen to celebrate and honor a number of these companies by way of special exhibits, as well as a handful of cars on permanent display. The latter of those first took to the Museum floor in the early nineteen seventies, and the initial choice was one that I think we all can agree upon is a perfect representation of functional design .
From the MoMA Blog:

MoMA was the first art museum to collect and exhibit automobiles as examples of functional design. The Cisitalia “202” GT (1946) was the first vehicle to enter the collection, in 1972, and MoMA has organized nine automotive exhibitions, beginning with the landmark presentation Eight Automobiles in 1951.

If truth is beauty and ergo beauty may be equated with truth, then the Cisitalia tells no lies. Since that first acquisition, MoMA has added a Jeep, Volkswagen Type 1, Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 641/1 F1 car, and most recently, a Smart ForTwo to their permanent collection.
Image: MoMA

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  1. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Wait, they have a ©#$%&! Smart ForTwo in their collection, but no Avanti, M1 or DeLorean? That pretty much settles it: barbarians have captured the palace.

  2. Lokki Avatar

    Agree. The Smart is a political statement, not a design statement. I love the MOMA design collection. I visit every time I visit Manhatten. But there are many more significant designs than the Smart, say the first Honda Insight for example.
    The Jaguar now….belongs there, I am amused that the last time I saw it there was a piece of cardboard under it to catch oil drips, but hey….even Juliet probably had a pimple or two.

  3. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    The Cisitalia is beautiful and surprisingly small. I’d bet that it is lighter than an Smart and not much longer. Then again the way MoMA has done a gut job on the old folk art museum next door shows just what philistines they have become.

  4. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    And in 1971 the Louvre had on display, just down from the Mona Lisa, an example of the best in new vehicle design. I don’t think they’d do that with the current bling-mobiles.