The Revs Institute: Reviving Automotive History

The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Inc. is the premier destination for automotive history for scholars and connoisseurs alike. With a collection of more than 100 different automobiles manufactured during a span of over a hundred years, there is a car and a story for everyone.

A very special moment in one of the greatest stories in automotive racing history was the battle between rivals Mercedes Benz and Lancia in the 1954-1955 Grand Prix season. With the W196, Mercedes showcased its resources and engineering. While much smaller and family owned, with the D50, Lancia still managed to build a highly competitive, and equally brilliant racecar. Mercedes eventually came out on top; but, Lancia held its own until the death of its lead driver, Alberto Ascari, and the mid-season bankruptcy that followed.

In order to bring this true David vs. Goliath rivalry to life, The Revs Institute partnered with Sparks to open up its first multi-media exhibit: The Rivals: A Golden Moment in Grand Prix History. The exhibit includes custom display cases, period images, and superb audio-video content that was designed to fit within the institute’s 30’x50’ mezzanine space.

The first impression for the visitor when entering the mezzanine is the dazzling beauty of the priceless cars perched on two elevated platforms. The stunning innovative design of the open wheeled Lancia D50 with its unusual and inventive sidesaddle fuel tanks shimmers under the special event lighting. The visual impact is elevated when further back, the visitor sees the iconic silver Mercedes Benz W196, possibly the most sensual racecar design ever.

Surrounding these priceless 1950's race rivals are large immersive historical black and white race murals depicting their head-to-head competition. Three large video monitors bring these races to life with actual race footage, driver interviews, and racing highlights and behind the scenes photos. Actual race related artifacts are also displayed in floating acrylic tubes next to their respective automobiles.

The exhibit’s private unveiling brought on a feeling of nostalgia by including racing legends as guests. Since its opening this past April, through November, hundreds of visitors have been taken back to the golden days of racing without losing sight of how advanced these cars were. The intimate experience aligns with The Revs Institute’s mission to showcase how automobiles are the most important technological and cultural legacy objects of the 20th century.

“Once again, Sparks has been vital to implementing our vision for this jewel-like display. They are truly a pleasure to work with,” said Miles Collier, Founder of The Revs Institute for Automotive Research.

In order to find more information on this exhibit or to discover more automotive history, head over to

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