HomeCar CultureFuture tense: Car collectors, museums face obstacles, 'The Key' reports

Future tense: Car collectors, museums face obstacles, ‘The Key’ reports

And in between, a look at where we’ve been


(Editor’s note: We’ve published three previous stories this week about the content of The Key, the annual report — which this year stretches 273 pages — from The Classic Car Trust. Today we conclude our series with the recommendation that you get your own copy and explore the content highlighted below.)

“What is the future of collecting?” is the title of an article reporting on a panel discussion organized by McKeel Hagerty and staged in the Bonhams auction tent at The Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week 2021.

The article reports on what the panelists identified as the three primary obstacles those in the collector car hobby will face in the future.

Immediately following that article, Martina Mazzotta gets 78 pages — no, that’s not a typo, editors of The Key devote 78 pages, a mini book — to a richly illustrated journey through the 20th century exploring automobiles, art, science and philosophy, guided by Mazzotta, an Italian-born academic and curator, and scion of a publishing company and its charitable foundation.

Mazzotta suggests “readers can take an active part, imagining themselves at the wheel of a variety of cars that will lead them along parallel roads and in different directions in an interplay of shared experiences, sensorial input, individual memories and fleeting references.”

To enhance the drive, the article includes several QR codes that can be scanned to provide period-appropriate music for the trip, from Stravinsky and an 18½-minute suite by Darius Milhaud to Gershwin’s Summertime and Thelonius Monk, and on to Guns N’ Roses andBjork.

There’s also a QR code in the section on car museums, and this one takes you to the Trust’s directory of such facilities around the globe.

The title of that section is “Museums: time to shift gears,” and offers this subtitle: “The great heritage of car museums is utilized very little and poorly. Very little regarding the image of the brands, poorly for the limited profits they generate. The Key opens a discussion aimed at transforming the great number of museums around the world into a strategic force.”

In the text, we learn The Key considered doing a ranking of those museums, but one that looks not so much at what was and what is but at what could be.

The word museum, we’re informed, comes from Euterpe, one of the muse’s of Greek mythology. Euterpe used the arts to give delight. And then this: “It’s clear the word Museum has ended up almost completely betraying the role given to it by these mythological deities.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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