Across Connecticut – August 2019 – From Yugos to Yale

If you are going from Boston to New York City you have no choice but to pass through Connecticut. We did, and found two very different stops along the way.

At the edge of the town of Middletown we found the Yugo Ranch!









Just 15 miles, but about 2 light years culturally, is Yale University in New Haven.







It seemed much of the university was under construction but we eventually found what we were looking for – Beinecke Library, one of the most amazing libraries in the world.







Enough stops – on to New York City.






Brookline, Massachusetts – August 2019 – Larz Anderson Auto Museum

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in the Boston suburb of Brookline is advertised as America’s oldest automotive museum. Larz and his wife were very early auto enthusiasts, buying their first ‘horseless carriage’ in 1899.

By the 1920s they had collected enough cars they stored them in the carriage house, and opened up their museum.




I had very high hopes for this museum, as it regularly makes the ‘top automotive museum’ lists. When we arrived we were greeted, somewhat, by a lady at the counter who barely had time to interrupt her conversation with her cousin about something to take our money and waive us towards the cars.

This obviously set a tone of disappointment, that fortunately was neutralized by a nice, small collection of some very impressive autos in a display called the Golden Age.









Further back there was a second room with a few more cars, also well displayed.







Another small room had a collection of pedal cars, and other items.



There is some nice automotive art throughout. The lower level had a few more very vintage autos in various states, as well as a bicycle collection.

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is a nice place – however having seen numerous auto museums across the world I don’t think it rates as one of the premier ones. Perhaps had we attended on one of their numerous special events days where people bring their own classic cars.










Across America – May 2019 – Random Scenes Part 1

The following are interesting scenes that didn’t fit any of the other postings.

Lajitas, Texas – The only place to stay was a golf resort, but it had a great sunset.




Texas border area – We saw a few instances of the border patrol in action, including going through 2 checkpoints along the highway. Strangely the checkpoints were at least 40 miles from the border.





Marfa, Texas – This town is an artist enclave for New York artists. How and why a bunch of New York artists decided to go to a small west Texas town is far too long for this blog.




Fort Davis, Texas is a historic town with a former frontier fort. Today it has a couple of cool re purposed buildings.





Pecos, Texas – For about 100 miles in any direction from Pecos were new fracking oil wells. The landscape was filled with these towers burning off natural gas, as well as truck traffic jams and RVs parked in the desert for the workers. The high pay also caused our most expensive hotel night in Carlsbad, New Mexico as the demand for housing far exceeds supply.









Roswell, New Mexico – While I have a posting for the UFO industry of Roswell, there was also a very cool airplane ‘boneyard’.







Portales, New Mexico – When we were driving into town the billboard for Burger King said ‘next to the airplane’. They weren’t kidding.



Hereford, Texas – Beef capital of the world. I think they are correct.





Canyon, Texas – A Giant Cowboy



Amarillo, Texas – Much cleaner energy source.



Canadian, Texas – Lonesome train blues.



Near Shattuck, Oklahoma – Folk Art along the Highway.





Fairview, Oklahoma – We were looking for some Good Eats, but needed to find somewhere else.



Jet, Oklahoma – One of our disappointments was being unable to check out the Salt Plains National Refuge – where you can dig around for crystals in the salt flats. Much of Oklahoma was flooded, and it flooded the salt flats.

The cows however were making the most of their new beach.





Somewhere in Oklahoma – The Perfect Farm Photo

Part 2 in a second posting.






Ash Grove, Missouri – May 2019 – Getting Your Kicks on Route 66 Missouri Style

As the song goes Route 66 went from Chicago to L.A., going through Missouri along the way. While much of it is gone, replaced by freeways, there are still portions that are intact.



Many unique places remain along these portions of the Mother Road. One such place is just west of Springfield, Missouri. It is a restored Sinclair Gas Station full of cool, quirky things, including numerous ‘vintage’ vehicles.



A very nice lady named Barbara is the current owner of the property, having taken over for her father after he passed away. Barbara enthusiastically welcome all visitors, and the visitors seem genuinely pleased to be there.

On the day we were there one of the old trucks her father had owned was returned to it’s rightful spot at the station.



As noted plenty of tourists make the stop to check it out. I suggest if you get the chance you do the same.
































Houston – May 2019 – Art Car Museum

One of Houston’s most famous annual events is the Art Car Parade. For more than 30 years people have decorated their vehicles and paraded them in the streets of Houston. Today there are more than 200 cars that participate in the parade. This knowledge gave me high hopes of finding interesting sights at the Art Car Museum.




After multiple attempts we were able to find a legal parking space, we arrived and were greeted by this 1960 era Ford Station Wagon, decorated like Carmen Miranda.




To our surprise when we entered we found.. an art museum.



To be fair the art was interestingly quirky, but it appears to be more of a museum with a couple of art cars, rather than an art car museum.




In addition to the one car outside, there were 3 cars inside.













There is a video wall running a video of the history of the parade. This only made the small number of cars more frustrating.




In the end it was an interesting little museum with a few art cars. After our success that day with Smithers Park and Lucky Land it was disappointing.





Vance, Alabama – May 2019 – Benz in ‘Bama

As you are driving down the interstate in rural Alabama one of the most unlikely road names you expect to see is Mercedes Drive!



That is until you exit and find car carriers leaving with new Mercedes Benz SUVs.



Over the last 25 years most non domestic car makers have built factories in the U.S., and Mercedes is no different. Their facility here is first class – an almost 4 million square feet manufacturing plant…



A state of the art training facility…



And a beautiful visitor center.



Normally you can go to the visitor center and take tours of the factory but they are retooling and the tours are shut down.

The visitor center however remains open with their museum to tour.



It features some recent models from AMG.



Lewis Hamilton’s Petronas F1 car.



The display included a concept car.



The museum portion have some very early examples of Mercedes.



The classic 1970s MB look.



The pre war years were very stylish.



It was disappointing that the factory tours are unavailable, but the small museum was worth the stop.

Leeds, Alabama – May 2019 – Barber Motorsport Museum

The Barber Motorsports Museum is located in suburban Birmingham in the town of Leeds. It is hands down one of the very best Motorsports museums in the world.

With over 1600 motorcycles from over 200 manufacturers it is the preeminent collection. Over 900 are displayed in the 200,000+ square foot museum, along with 100 cars. Oh yeah, a world class road course race track is on the grounds as well that Porsche uses for their racing school.

Please note with that many options for photos this posting is quite long, with over 40 photos. But words don’t do the venue justice so the photos will speak for themselves.