artist’s hot rod in show

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nick larkin The Ger­ald laing (1936-2011) ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til 13 Oc­to­ber. www.the­fin­eart­so­ci­ety.com

An ex­hi­bi­tion pay­ing trib­ute to a renowned Bri­tish pop artist in­cludes the first ever US hot rod im­ported to the UK.

Ger­ald Laing was known for his images of fa­mous faces, in­clud­ing Anna Ka­rina and Brigitte Bar­dot. How­ever, Laing also achieved no­to­ri­ety for ship­ping his cut­down cus­tom car, known as The Cof­fee Grinder, into Bri­tain.

The two-seater, named af­ter its cre­ator, Adam Cof­fee, is based on a 1930 Ford Road­ster, fea­tures a 283 cu­bic inch Chevro­let en­gine with fuel in­jec­tion and a Dun­tov camshaft. It won many awards through­out the ‘50s and ‘60s and was a cover star of Hot Rod Magazine in 1959. When Laing brought The Cof­fee Grinder to Lon­don in 1967, it was a fre­quent sight around the cap­i­tal. It in­spired many of Laing’s early pop-art paint­ings, cap­tur­ing the speed, ex­cite­ment and ex­u­ber­ance of Amer­ica in the 1960s. Or­gan­iser Emily Saun­ders says: ‘It caused quite a stir, even among peo­ple who don’t love cars.’

Laing, who died in 2011, de­scribed the car as ‘a per­fect ex­pres­sion of the Amer­i­can Dream’. His hot rod stood out­side the Fine Art So­ci­ety’s premises in New Bond Street, Lon­don, when the ex­hi­bi­tion opened on 20 Septem­ber.

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