On display from the 23rd November, the Victoria and Albert Museum will explore how cars have helped to shape the world in which we live.

(c)Nathanael Turner.

Bringing together a number of cars which have never been displayed in the UK before Cars: Accelerating the Modern World will reveal the stories behind each car and the impact that they have had on the world including the first production car in existence, an autonomous flying car, a
converted low-rider, and a 1950s concept car.

Displaying fifteen cars and 250 objects across three main sections, the exhibition examines how the car changed our relationship to speed, how it changed the way we make and sell, and how it altered the landscape around us, from countryside to cityscape.

The exhibition will open with ‘Going Fast’, exploring the role of cars in imagining a future world of liberated movement and technological progress. It will feature a range of 20th century concept car designs, magazine illustrations, and film, the display references popular culture, science-fiction and novel technologies to show the central role of the automobile in imagining an accelerated future.

Meanwhile, ‘Making More’ will focus on the car as the archetype of modern manufacturing, the object that developed contemporary consumerism and turned production companies into global powerhouses. This section will display a Ford Model-T from 1925 to help trace the origins of the assembly line, its widespread impact on other areas of production and its evolution into the high-tech automated factories of today.

The final section of the exhibition will concentrate on ‘Shaping Space’, which explores the vast impact of the car on the world’s landscape, nations, and cities. It looks at how the petrol engine beat early electric and
steam-powered competitors by promising the ability to travel the world, transforming drivers into individual explorers.

Talking about the exhibition Brendan Cormier, Curator said: “The V&A’s mission is to champion the power of design to change the world, and no other design object has impacted the world more than, the automobile. This exhibition is about the power of design to effect change, and the unintended consequences that have contributed to our current environmental situation.”

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 23rd November.