The summer of ’69 was a tumultuous time in America. It was a time of reflection and a time of cultural change with a focus on peace, love, and happiness. It was also a time when powerful engine muscle cars were popular with colorful paint and fanciful interiors. Age of Aquarius: Cars of the Counterculture & Beyond explores this time by showcasing more than twenty vehicles from this era. The exhibit is on view from November 23, 2019 – April 26, 2020, at the AACA Museum, Inc. in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
This exhibit focuses on the many unique vehicles manufactured and marketed in America from about 1967 (the release of the musical Hair) through the early to mid-1970s. A lot of change was taking place in America during this era, and it manifested itself vividly in the cars produced in Detroit and beyond.
It’s easy to think of “flower power” VW Buses and Beetles, but have you ever heard of or seen an AMC Gremlin with Levi’s denim interior? How about a Cadillac sporting Gucci upholstery? What about a Chrysler-built passenger or muscle car with a fluorescent exterior named “Plum Crazy,” “Go Mango,” “TorRed,” “Sassy Grass Green,” or “In-Violet”? Many automotive manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, created vehicles with distinctive shapes, names or specific appointments, like paisley vinyl tops, to reflect the changing consumer trends of this era. It was a time where vibrantly colored fashion took center stage, in vehicles as well as clothing.
A featured vehicle for this exhibit is LIGHT the Woodstock Bus. This symbol-covered time machine is a 1962 Volkswagen bus that has been used as a canvas to create an incredible “magic bus.” The custom-painted artwork on the bus was created by artist Dr. Robert Hieronimus. Dr. Hieronimus also designed and painted the original bus in 1968. This recreation was created for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Woodstock in August of 2019.
“I chose symbols from the ancient mystery traditions, including the ouroboros or snake biting its tail, astrological symbols, Rosicrucian crosses, and alphabets from Atlantis. Everything for the Egyptian Sphinx to the lotus flowers symbolizing the expansion of the soul is interlocked in intricate waves of vibrating energy to show we are all one and connected,” Dr. Hieronimus explained. “We are one people, inhabiting one planet.” Learn more about the history of the LIGHT bus by visiting lightvwbus.com.
Visitors will also find a focus on muscle cars from the era. Vehicles on view include a 1969 “Big Bad Orange” AMX and a “Plum Crazy” 1970 Dodge Dart, among many others. We want to thank National Parts Depot for being a sponsor of this exhibit.
Visitors from now through April 26, can also see a trio of DeSoto vehicles on view courtesy of the Colonial Chapter of the National DeSoto Club, in addition to an eclectic mix of Museum collection vehicles. During the holiday season, the AACA Museum is festively decorated with themed trees along with model train displays.
Learn more about the AACA Museum here
Images courtesy of the AACA Museum