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The San Francisco Chronicle| SFGate.com 54th Annual International Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com, November 20-28 at Moscone Center, featured the one of the largest display of classic cars in show history.

San Francisco’s Academy of Art University Museum showcased 31 cars selected by the University’s Industrial Design Department Director Tom Matano.

Matano, a designer at Mazda for 20 years before joining the faculty at the University in 2003,  put together the priceless selection of cars from the 1920’s-1960’s that represent the elegance, style, craftsmanship, technology and innovative spirit of each era. The collection is primarily used for student reference in the School of Industrial Design.

Most of the automobile collection is garaged in the University’s Industrial Design Department museum on Van Ness Avenue. The cars were collected by Richard A. Stephens, son of the late Richard S. Stevens, who founded the University in 1929 and served as its president until 1951. The younger Stephens served as president until 1992, when he was succeed by his daughter, Elisa Stephens, and named Chair Emeritus.

Although Matano’s department has one of the youngest automobile design programs in the country — in existence for just 11 years — the list of companies that have hired graduates is impressive: BMW Design, Works, GM, Mazda, Toyota, Fox Racing, Black & Decker, Camelback (CQ) Hasbro, Mattel Tigo, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nike, tech stock companies NVIDIA and Palm Inc; Samsung, Tony, Sketchers, North Face and Timbuk 2 Designs.

The cars on display from the Academy of Art University collection included:

1920’s: 1928 Rolls Royce Riviera Town Car; 1929 Duesenberg Sedan 1930’s: 1930 Cadillac V16 Convertible; 1931 Cord Convertible; 1931 Marmon Coupe; 1932 Ford Woody; 1932 Stutz Super Bearcat; 1934 Ford Convertible; 1934 Packard 12 Victoria; 1937 MG Tourer; 1938 Talbot Lago Coupe 1940’s: 1941 Buick Roadmaster Convertible; 1941 Cadillac 60S; 1947 Cisitalia; 1948 Cadillac Convertible; 1948 SS-100 Jaguar; 1948 Lincoln Continental Coupe 1950’s: 1950 Jaguar Alloy; 1954 Chevrolet Corvette; 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL; 1956 Chevrolet Convertible; 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible; 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC; 1959 Autobianchi; 1959 Ford Edsel Convertible 1960’s: 1961 Lincoln Sedan; 1962 MG Coupe; 1963 Buick Riviera; 1963 Lotus; 1966 Cadillac 60S; 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.

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