The Automobile: An Art Form
The Vibe

A few weekends back, the Portland Art Museum hosted a little show called Cars in the Park. The event itself consisted of a few dozen cars and also marked the start of a 1,000-mile tour through the Pacific Northwest organized by Sports Car Market. While I didn’t attend the rally itself, I figured the gathering of cars would be a good time to go for a walk with my analog camera.

Actually, this was Sara’s idea, and I joined her for a stroll from our studio apartment to the casual affair hosted in the shut-down streets of Portland’s Park blocks.


I really enjoyed this little show because I feel it’s exactly what car culture needs more of right now. When you can curate a group of cars and integrate them into an artful surrounding — in this case the streets surrounding the Portland Art Museum itself — the understanding of the event extends beyond your average automotive enthusiast. Events like this are able to transcend the typical purpose of a car show and work their way into the public eye.

As small as Cars in the Park was, events like this are what can get the unassuming observer hooked on car culture. They bring out the artistic side of the automobile and highlight the classic design of these beautiful machines. Petrol-head or not, anyone can appreciate this if it’s presented in the right way.


Being held in the heart of Portland, Cars in the Park attracted a very Portland-esque crowd, many of whom were quite clearly not your average car enthusiast. This is just as well, because I feel these are the type of gatherings that reflect best on the automotive community. Whether this is your cup of tea or not, shows like this certainly aren’t hurting our collective image as car-lovers.

On the other hand, there are plenty of activities we can engage in that do drag down how car enthusiasts at large are perceived. While I’ve personally been involved in my fair share of automotive skullduggery, it’s important to remember that our actions have a trickle-down effect on the world around us. There is a time and a place for everything – just think of the collective groan when someone leaves a public car show by laying down two feeble stripes of rubber and nearly careens into the median.

Difficulties securing space for shows, speed bumps on our favorite back roads, increasing resistance against modifying our vehicles, and so on. These ideas are born from somewhere…

The Cars

Yes, there was a heavy showing of Porsches at Cars in the Park, but again this is something that anyone can appreciate. Even the attendees who aren’t interested in cars understand to some extent the impact that Porsche has made on the world. Porsches throughout the decades have been a symbol of status, and as much as you may dislike this fact (or not), it helps to strengthen the public’s positive association with car culture when a group of them are gathered together.


Other awesome vintage machinery was on display too, and I had a hard time choosing between this Lamborghini 400 GT and that New Class BMW coupe. It’s a good thing I can’t afford either, I guess.

At any rate, I rather enjoyed this break in the monotony of what would otherwise be a routine Sunday afternoon. I’m sure the passersby enjoyed it as well, and here’s to hoping a few folks who didn’t care much for car culture might have had some second thoughts.

We aren’t all uncultured, but then again, a few donuts never hurt anyone… Or did they?

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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That opening shot is fantastic. Pick the lambo.


Thanks! Yeah, I think the Lamborghini is the one.


And I disagree.


I will definitely Agree with him, The Opening shot should be printed on a museum somewhere.


Let me know when you open a museum.

Graeme DailyDose

That lambo is the ugliest thing ever.......i love it!! and i agree 1st shot is killer!


I remember the 400GT had 4 circular headlamps...
Anyway, thumbs up for the first pic.


What is the baby blue car parked in front of the Bugatti?


Not positive if I'm honest, some version of a Matra Djet/Rene Bonnet. I would assume it would be some sort of predecessor to the Renault Alpine due to the French-ness and design of both cars but it's a good bit smaller. Don't quote me.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The Lambo looks very much like a 350GT with "400GT" badge. Hmm...


True, the headlights are wrong and the back end is a bit different too.


I believe there were some 'Interim' models build including a 400GT that had the older body but bigger engine, and some that mixed 400GT 2+2 elements (think this is the quad lamp model) at special request. Either way really cool car and pretty rare.


I like that bit about being aware of your actions’ consequences. I’d just strongly like to add that you need to apply that live of thought to ALL of your actions, and not just worrying about how car guys will be perceived. Your actions have far more lasting consequences than just social acceptance for people right behind you. It would be foolish of anyone to live with zealous concern for how car guys are looked at, while also burning through keurig cups like there’s no tomorrow and buying a new phone every year. EVERY choice matters, not just the choice to not street race


The Matra D'Jet in French racing blue is absolutely stellar.

As much as I enjoy the LA car scene it's great to see more coverage from car culture everywhere. There's gold in every corner of the world that doesn't get the press it deserves!


Aha so it is a Matra. Had 'Bonnet' tags, and I know nothing about the history there.

Yeah, LA car culture is a bit overrated but it makes sense so much content comes from there given the population of greater LA area is about 4x Ireland, a few million shy of all of Australia, or 1/4 of the entire UK. It's just a matter of density, and the good weather helps as far as cars go.


If you're into super funky French cars it's one of the funkiest. Designed as Bonnet but became a Matra when that company ran out of money. Tiny engines (~1-1.3L), super lightweight (<1500 lbs), and I've read it's the first mid-engined production car (1962 introduction). Speaking of the LA car scene there's at least one down here that comes out to cars and coffees on the regular.


What is the baby blue car in front of the Bugatti?


That's a 2000cs, and you could totally afford one. Great deals on them pop up a couple times a year.


Did I miss where you mentioned what you shot with? If I did...what did you shoot with.
- opening shot is money.


Thanks! I used a Canon EOS 1V for this, about 20 years old but it's a powerhouse. Film was some 15-years-expired Mitsubishi MX III 100.

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