The Art of Automotive Innovation.

Think of the National Gallery of Victoria and Monets, not Monaros would normally spring to mind. But that and 22 other car inspired exhibits are exactly what’s on show at the famous art museum in Melbourne until the 12th of July when the gallery plays host to Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car.

From steam-powered “horseless carriages” to the legendary ute, powerful V8s and futuristic concept cars, Shifting Gear displays 23 of Australia’s most iconic vehicles, along with photographs, models and sketches.

NGV Director Tony Ellwood said, “Shifting Gear will be the first major exhibition of Australian car design and is exclusive to the NGV. As part of the NGV’s commitment to showcasing design, this exhibition will uncover how the modern automobile is far more than simply a means of transport; it is a sophisticated design object that reflects contemporary aesthetics and social values.”

Shifting Gear guest curator Harriet Edquist, Director of the RMIT Design Archives, commented that Australia has an astonishingly vibrant history of ingenious car designs.

“The exhibition shows the diversity and ingenuity of Australian automobile design in the variety of cars it has brought together – not only the family car but also racing cars and sports cars, high-performance production cars and concept vehicles never intended for production, demonstrating Australia’s significant past and future role in research and development,” said Professor Edquist.

Exhibits include rare and unique concept cars such as the Holden Hurricane, Torana GTR-X, EFIJY and HQ Monaro.

Holden’s Director of Communications, Sean Poppitt said that partnering with the NGV was a great collaboration as both have a long history of exciting and innovative design.

“Holden Design has produced some truly iconic and ground-breaking vehicles, most recently the Buick Avenir which took centre stage this year at the North American International Auto Show. To be able to showcase them in such a fantastic setting as this is both fitting and very exciting,” said Mr. Poppitt.

“The exhibit provides us a wonderful opportunity to showcase these fantastic vehicles and, in turn, the incredible design talent we have at Holden. It also gives the Australian public a unique opportunity to see these world class vehicles up close and personal in one place.”

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square from 6 March 2015 to 12 July 2015. Open 10am-5pm, closed Mondays.

Tickets on sale now from ngv.vic.gov.au. Adult $15 | Concession $12 | Child $7 | Family (2 adults, 3 children) $41