Fashion and the Automobile:
An Exhibit in 10 Eras
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About Us

Victoria Mobley, Creator/Curator

Car guys are born, not made. Even at an early age, Victoria recognized the automobile was not just transportation, but also a fun diversion.  Growing up, her mother would take her to the corner and point out the different vehicles and colors, fueling a love already deep inside her.

At the tender age of 12, Victoria was taught to drive a powder blue 1953 Dodge Coronet 4-door sedan with three-on-the-tree.  She still remembers the day her family traded in that car for a brand new white 1959 Dodge Coronet hardtop, with automatic transmission and push-button drive. 

Victoria never met a car she didn’t like.  Growing up in the Motor City and cruising Woodward, cars are a part of her personality. When she ‘slips on a car’, it makes her feel the way she wants to be…a sports car when she feels sporty, an elegant car when she feels fancy, and a high performance car when she feels especially sassy.

Victoria’s love affair of the automobile has never waned.  Her 26-year partnership with John Joseph Jendza III (Top Hat John) has been filled with cars, car shows, car events, and car people.  Together, they’ve owned every car imaginable, almost too many to mention.

The late 1980’s found increasing involvement with the Society of Automotive Historians and the local Henry M. Leland Chapter.  Victoria became Secretary/Treasurer of the Leland Chapter in 1993, a position she’s held ever since, and immersed herself even further, surrounded by educators, collectors, authors, and experts in the automotive industry and hobby.

It comes as no surprise that her love of the automobile and automotive design, coupled with her fascination with the fashion industry, would lead her to conduct five years of research for an upcoming coffee table book on the subject.  However, Top Hat John encouraged Victoria to take her research one step further.  She answered a call for exhibits and curators at a local art gallery, and transformed her vision into Fashion and the Automobile: An Exhibit in 10 Eras.

Victoria and Top Hat John reside in Harrison Township with Victoria's 100-year-old mother, and Victoria is the proud mother of James, Visual Manager for Italian fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli in New York City.

Lynn Anderson: Fashion Curator

Lynn has always been into “dress up” since an early age – having a birthday on Devil’s Night has always made her feel as though Halloween was invented just for her!  Acting in local community theatre also whetted her appetite for costumes, and she began to amass her collection until it represented over 100 years of fashion and accessories.

No surprise, Lynn is a professional actress in theatre, film and television. Her passion for acting melded into her love of history, and she began portraying famous women of the past, most notably The Unsinkable Molly Brown for the Titanic Artifact Exhibit and “Last Dinner on Titanic” interactive dinner theatre events.  She has also portrayed a number of other historical and literary characters, including Mary Poppins, Calamity Jane, Amelia Earhart, and Lizzie Borden.

She has also been called upon as an Edwardian era consultant for the burgeoning film industry in Michigan.  As era consultant for “Mary’s Buttons” and “Christmas Truce of 1914”, Lynn assisted with wardrobe, historical extras casting, and set dressing, as well as taking on supporting roles in the films.

Lynn was also one of the charter members of INSITE (The International Network of “Somewhere In Time” Enthusiasts), and spent 22 years assisting in organizing the annual “Somewhere In Time” Cast and Crew Reunion Weekends at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where attendees dress in Edwardian clothing the entire weekend.  She was also instrumental in organizing Titanic Weekends at Grand Hotel, now in their 7th year.

Lynn is also passionate about Volkswagens.  Dubbed a “true car guy” by Barry Meguiar (of “Car Crazy” fame), Lynn worked for Volkswagen of America for a number of years, and is now a freelance automotive journalist and contributing editor/columnist for Hot VW’s Magazine.  She and her husband Vince are the proud parents of several air-cooled models, including her favorite, “Herbie the Love Bug”, a 1965 Beetle that replicates the famous Disney star.  Naturally, always looking for an opportunity to “dress up”, Lynn routinely dresses in the correct attire to match the appropriate vehicle when going out to shows and cruises.

Lynn and Vince reside in Clinton Township, and have two grown children, Paul, an astrodynamicist with The Aerospace Corporation, and Laura, an event sales coordinator at SPiN in New York City.

Elaine Vermeersch, Event Coordinator

Elaine’s expertise is in event planning and coordination.  For the past 26 years, Elaine has been the organizer of a dance to benefit children in need.  The dance has a costume theme, so attendees are invited to dress in their favorite costume or period attire or even as their favorite television or movie character.  Elaine delves into whatever needs to be done, utilizing her resourcefulness and expert talents to get the job done.

Of course, with her themed dance, it’s no surprise that Elaine also has a love of vintage clothes.  Not only does she own and wear several herself, she has also been instrumental in making the entire cast wardrobe for her granddaughter’s annual school plays.

Like her colleagues, Elaine also has a love of classic automobiles.  Her husband John owns Total Performance in Clinton Township, a Ford performance parts and vehicle transport business.  Elaine works in the business alongside her husband as Vice President/Secretary.

Elaine and John are also active members of the Motor City Galaxie Club, and currently own numerous classic Fords which they take to car shows and cruises.  

Elaine and John have been married 44 years and reside in Chesterfield.  They have two grown children, Steve and Vicki, and three grandchildren, Melaina, Colt and Mia.  In her spare time, Elaine enjoys crafting and reading.

 

 

 

 

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