A new vehicle donation will soon be arriving at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum just in time for Fall Carlisle and Hershey Meet Week! Mark Hyman of Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars is donating a one-of-a-kind 1955 Flajole Forerunner to become part of the AACA Museum Collection in a few short weeks.
As one of the most innovative concept cars of the 1950’s, the Flajole Forerunner was world renowned stylist Bill Flajole’s vision of the future. The Forerunner was the result of over 7,000 hours of design and construction, and over $80,000 in build cost in 1955 dollars; A significant investment at the time.
The subject of numerous magazine articles, Motor Trend featured the Forerunner on the same cover as Ghia’s groundbreaking Gilda design study. Sports Cars Illustrated gave the Forerunner a three-page feature article in October 1955, Mechanix Illustrated wrote about the car in September of 1955, Motor Trend magazine featured this car in September 1955 and the car was also recently featured in Octane Magazine. The car is being donated complete with copies of the original magazines that featured its debut.
Designed and built by automotive designer Bill Flajole, then Advance Styling Consultant for American Motors, and a well known industrial designer, the Forerunner incorporates many futuristic design elements like its retracting tinted Plexiglas roof, headrest bucket seats and contrasting color fender coves, well before any of these items were put on a production car. Its chassis is among the best of its day, Jaguar’s high performance 180 horsepower XK 120M with an SCCA race class win to its credit while Flajole’s studio was creating the Forerunner’s body. The glass fiber body employed molded-in open louvers and elaborate compound curves never before attempted in fiberglass. Its windshield header-mounted rear view mirror foreshadows later designers’ use of periscope optics. This import one-off automobile has been completely restored, and was shown at Amelia Island in 2010. This is a fabulous one-of-a-kind concept car with an impeccable history.
“This particular automobile is historically important for its technological advancements and its design concepts that were truly ahead of its time” stated donor Mark Hyman. “As a dealer of vintage motor cars, I feel strongly about giving back to the collector car community. I am making this donation so that the car can be enjoyed by the public, rather than being part of a private collection where only a select few would have access to view it.”
The Flajole Forerunner is currently in transit and due to arrive at the AACA Museum for display by October 1, 2012. All vehicles displayed at the AACA Museum are either donated or on short-term loan from individual collectors. This provides the public a wonderful opportunity to view unique and historically significant vehicles that are part of our Automotive Heritage and preserves these treasures for future generations. The AACA Museum is always looking for vehicle donations to enhance its permanent collection and to support its ongoing mission of educating the public and preserving automobiles for future generations.
The 57th Annual AACA Hershey Fall Meet and Car Show will be held October 10-13 on the Hersheypark Grounds in Hershey, PA. This 4 day event features a flea market with over 9,000 vendor spaces, a car corral with 1,000+ antique vehicles for sale and car show on Saturday. The Hershey Fall Meet along with the Fall Carlisle Meet and Car show the first week of October provides the perfect opportunity to showcase this particular vehicle at the AACA Museum for all enthusiasts and the community to enjoy.