HomeNews and EventsAuto-show ‘Sirens’ sing at AACA Museum

Auto-show ‘Sirens’ sing at AACA Museum


 mermaid reclines on the hood of a new 1967 Plymouth Barracuda during an auto show. (Archive photo: AACA Museum)
Mermaid reclines on the hood of a 1967 Plymouth Barracuda at an auto show. (Archive photos: AACA Museum)

The five most-dreaded words heard by an auto-show model:

“Do you come with that?”

Of course, that’s nothing new. Beautiful women have been used to sell cars since the dawn of motoring, and some variation of that come-on has been uttered repeatedly for more than a century.

The role of attractive models to promote automobiles is the subject of an upcoming exhibit at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pa., where Sirens of Chrome opens March 1 and continues through March 31.

athing beauties dance with a 1927 Packard. (Archive photo: AACA Museum)
Bathing beauties dance with a 1927 Packard

The exhibit, which runs during Women’s History Month, is based on a book by Margery Krevsky, Sirens of Chrome – The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models, that traces the role of women not only at new-car shows but in advertising for print and TV.

And on the cars themselves. Hood ornaments that depict women in various stages of dress and undress graced the noses of automobiles throughout the classic era prior to World War II. Actually, they still do – take a look at the prow of a modern Rolls-Royce where the iconic Flying Lady still leans into the wind.

The AACA exhibit uses period photos, illustrations, programs, posters and other material to show the evolving roles of women in auto marketing, as depicted by Krevsky in her book. The author has plenty of inside knowledge about the world of auto-show modeling; she owns an agency that supplies models, both male and female, to automakers for shows and advertising.

As such, she says, she has helped lift the role of women at auto shows from booth babes to knowledgeable spokeswomen for the automakers.

The AACA Museum will host a book signing and reception March 6 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For more information about Sirens of Chrome, see the website for the official museum of the Antique Automobile Club of America at www.AACAMuseum.org.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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