Once the automobile became a reliable and established form of transportation, entrepreneurs and automobile companies began experimenting with design, often creating unique models with particular features and uses.
The DeLorean Motor Company designed the DeLorean DMC-12 as a sports car that featured a “futuristic” design, stainless-steel body, and unique gull-wing doors. Although it was American- designed, the car was manufactured at a plant in Northern Ireland. The museum’s model was originally sold at a dealership in Whitby, Ontario.
A favourite of pilot Amelia Earhart, the Kissel “Gold Bug” was designed as a speedster, with a unique colour and unconventional extra seating attached to the exterior body of the car. If they were brave enough, two extra passengers could travel along at 112 kilometres an hour in this American sports car.
Automobiles were built differently for different purposes. From speedy drives, to trips in cold weather, to Sunday drives on a warm day, drivers needed vehicles to suit their needs. As you walk through the gallery, see if you can detect the differences in body style.
Roadster: open-bodied two-seater with a sporty appearance.
Phaeton: no windows and no permanent roof (rigid or folding). Detachable folding roof could be installed.
Touring: open-bodied four-seater, often with side curtains and a collapsible roof.
Closed-bodied : enclosed vehicle with practical protection from the elements, with a permanent roof and windows.
Take a look at the 1926 Bentley 3L Speed Model. Where is the driver’s side door? Because of the position of the handbrake and gear shift, which blocked entry on the driver’s side, the driver had to enter the vehicle through the passenger side door. Without seatbelts, driving this vehicle could have been dangerous on sharp turns!