The Allure of the Automobile is a special exhibition currently showing at the Portland Art Museum. They are showcasing 16 vintage automobiles such as the 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster once owned by Hollywood legend Steve McQueen and other beautiful automobiles that are truly marvelous works of art.
Last week, I won two tickets from Lexus of Portland to see the show and a talk (“lecture”) with Jay Leno, who wouldn’t have otherwise come to the museum if he hadn’t wanted to see this exhibit, too. Lexus was the main sponsor. They put up a snap of a Lexus at an undisclosed location on Facebook and the first one to identify the building in the background would win tickets to the lecture. A lot of people posted the answer as ‘The Portland Art Museum.” Well, I walk pass the PAM almost everyday to catch the train, and I knew that the PAM is comprised of more than one building, so I identified the Mark Building right away!
The next issue was baby RB40… We don’t have a regular baby sitter yet, but luckily Mrs. RB40’s uncle and aunt were in town for a visit, so we put them to work. After a day of wandering and sightseeing around Nob Hill, they were happy to babysit and hang out with the little guy, so we were able to go see the show.
We went to see the beautiful cars and they were amazing. These automobiles are so sculpted, eye catching, and full of personality. It’s a shame that we only have vanilla boxes for automobiles these days.
After drooling over the vintage cars, the visitors ambled over to the auditorium to listen to the lecture with Jay. He came out and the first thing he did was hand $10,000 to the museum. Thanks Jay!
Jay Leno and Ken Gross (guest curator and a friend of Jay’s) sat on red cushy chairs on the stage and talked about Jay’s collection (so it wasn’t really a “lecture”). Jay was actually quite entertaining. He has over 100 cars and almost 100 motorcycles in his collection. He has tons of car stories and he is a great story teller, so if you ever get an opportunity to listen to him like this, don’t pass it up!
My favorite story is about his Jet Bike. He has a digital sign on the back of the bike saying – KEEP BACK, EXTREME HEAT! Jay was at a stop light and there was a Nissan Maxima behind him. The guy kept inching up and Jay was feeling nervous and also kept scooting up. The Maxima eventually got too close and the front bumper melted into a big ball of plastic. Haha! Another great story was regarding his Chevy Volt, which he purchased in December 2010. Since then, he has put about 8,000 miles on it and not once has he had to fill it with gas. He really loves it because this is a great example of American technology, which we desperately need more of.
All in all, it was a great night. The tickets I won was actually VIP tickets and we sat about 5 rows back from the stage. The ticket included an earlier reception with Jay, which we unfortunately were unable to attend. We found out later that the “preferred” section behind us paid $100 per tickets and the regular section in the back were $35.
The most surprising thing about the evening was the average age of the attendees. There were only a few people in their 30s. I think most of the audience were in their 50s and 60s+. I guess younger people don’t want to shell out the money to see Jay (or classic cars) Perhaps older folks have more $$$ so they can collect vintage automobile.