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"Speed," a "Moving" New Exhibit at UMFA

Monday July 2, 2012

Utah, with its famed Bonneville Salt Flats, has a special connection to speed, and "Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile," a special exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, explores that connection with a display of rare racing automobiles open to the public June 2-Sept. 16, 2012.

I dropped into the museum to tour the exhibit a few days ago, and I was blown away by the opportunity to get a close look at these priceless and historic automobiles. The exhibit's crown jewel is the Mormon Meteor III, which was built in 1938 by Utahn Ab Jenkins and still holds several land speed records. Each of the nineteen cars on display has a unique history. For example, a 1957 Jaguar was owned by movie star and race driver Steve McQueen, and a 1954 Ferrari was owned by actress Ingrid Bergman. The oldest car in the exhibit is the 1904 Peerless "Green Dragon" racer, which looks like a tractor but could reach a then-astounding speed of 60 mph.

The museum has scheduled a variety of programming focusing on speed and auto racing throughout the summer, including "Cars and Conversation With Jay Leno" at Kingsbury Hall on July 14. Jay will take the stage with exhibition curator Ken Gross to talk about everything auto, including his car collection and his adventures as a pace car driver.

June 2-Sept. 16, 2012
Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah
410 Campus Center Drive in Salt Lake City
Tickets $2-$18, UMFA members free

This special exhibit is not included with the Salt Lake Connect Pass.

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Photo: 1938 "Mormon Meteor III," Courtesy of Price Museum of Speed, Salt Lake City, Utah, © Peter Harholdt.