Drive, they said

before wind tunnels and fuel-efficiency standards whittled away the
artistry of the auto industry, pioneers produced models that were more
pieces of art than practical family sedans.

celebrate the ingenuity of the automobile’s infancy, the Oklahoma
History Center has unveiled “Oklahoma Driven,” an exhibit running
through March 2012 that features a rotating gallery of early vehicles.

late December of 1902, there were only a couple blocks of paved streets
in Oklahoma City,” said Michael Dean, public relations director. “It
seems so incongruous to Oklahoma City today, and that was just over 100
years ago.”

offshoot of a permanent exhibit on the state’s importance as a
transportation hub, “Driven” focuses on the first steps away from horses
and hay to steel and gasoline.

it didn’t take long. According to Dean, photos of Oklahoma City as a
horse-and-buggy society in 1914 gave way to highways and the world’s
first parking meter by 1935.

will be switched out periodically, showcasing the variety of brassera
automobiles that started out with lamps for headlights, and sticks
instead of steering wheels.

interesting thing is some of those early car companies actually started
out making buggies and carried that kind of style over to motorized
vehicles when they moved away from horse buggies,” Dean said. “They
carried a lot of that design over into those early vehicles, and I think
they are stunning. They are almost works of art.”

Charles Martin

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