Sugarcreek is the center of Amish Country in Ohio, and with our trip to see the Age of Steam Roundhouse (other posting) we passed a strange mix of sights, including the photo above with an Amish buggy in front of what they claim is the world’s largest cuckoo clock.
On the way we passed the numerous farms in the area.
The large corn crib nearly full provided an interesting shot.
When we arrived in town we found that many of the buildings had murals on the front depicting Switzerland, as the town was founded by the Swiss and they continue to play up this fact for tourists.
Including the fire station.
Only to find …. a car show!
With some strange rides
And some nice ones.
Our final stop was the Museum of American History, also known as America’s attic. There is so much to see starting with – Children’s TV icons…
A shirtless George Washington?
A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.
Commercial advertising standards.
A collection of model ships.
Washington DC streetcar.
In the transportation hall they had a couple of displays of life in the 1950s.
And a feature of the growth of the suburbs.
Julia Child’s kitchen.
And her awards.
The random eagle.
A section about Latino’s in America included this cool Statue of Liberty only featuring a Latino woman holding tomatoes.
There was a section about democracy in America, including a stunning presentation on voting in America, and how often people have tried to control who can vote so they can stay in power – it sadly continues to this day.
Presidential election tchotchkes.
A 1940s voting machine.
A collection of protest signs.
Another room housed mechanical items – an early sweeper.
Finally in the presidential section was a collection of street signs named after presidents. The Museum of American History is a sensory overload – in my opinion it is second to Air & Space for museums in DC.
Watkins Glen International Raceway is one of the most famous race tracks in the world. Opened in 1956 it for many years hosted the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix, although they haven’t raced that series here for a couple of decades.
We were in the area and I wanted to go by to see if I could get in to check out the track, only to have the pleasant surprise that they were racing – and I could get in for free!
The people racing there are part of an organization called ChampCar – a low budget racing series that allows many who otherwise couldn’t afford to race the chance to get on the track.
For this Friday afternoon they were practicing with the full compliment of course workers to keep things in order.
The pits and garages were open.
As noted pretty much any car with the correct safety gear can race – including what appeared to be an old surplus German police car.
The Watkins Glen track is 3.4 miles long up and down the New York countryside hills.
With 11 turns offering a variety of views.
The air was filled with the buzzing of small engines cranking at max RPMs.
Many cars did have sponsors to offset the costs.
It was a nice afternoon of racing.
The Zippo Manufacturing company produced the first Zippo lighter in 1933 in the small northern Pennsylvania town of Bradford. The company continues to this day producing their quality product, guaranteed for life.
They ceased doing factory tours a few years ago, opting instead for a small museum and store. As you arrive you are greeted by their ‘Zippo Car’, as well as some of the coolest street lights you will ever see.
An American flag adorns the entrance.
Made out of hundreds of Zippo lighters – many with artwork.
Other displays showcase their company history.
Zippo has always made lighters as tributes to various people, organizations and events. The ones below were made for the Apollo space missions.
A series of Rolling Stones lighters.
As noted there are no factory tours, but they do have the repair shop at this facility. It was unfortunately unused as it was the Friday before a holiday weekend.
If they can’t fix it they will replace it. A display case showed some of the un-repairable ones
If you find yourself in Bradford, Pennsylvania (which is tough – it is far from any cities) check out the Zippo Museum.
The Antique Automobile Club of America built a nice transportation museum near Hershey, Pennsylvania. More commonly known as the ACCA Museum, it houses a number of automobiles, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
Currently the very cool Hershey Kissmobile is displayed at the front entrance.
The building has 3 levels, with a nice lobby featuring a beautiful ragtop.
Many of the cars are located within themes.
The museum has a nice mix of automobiles and trucks – all restored to original condition.
A full Atlantic Gas Station is displayed, complete with the Service Truck.
The lower level features the Bus Museum.
Their current primary exhibit is on Tuckers.
Three fully restored Tucker’s are shown.
The Simeone Automotive Collection is located in a warehouse near the Philadelphia Airport. The cars were obtained by a now retire neurosurgeon named Frederick Simeone.
His stated goal for the collection was that all of the cars needed to be sports cars with fenders and headlights, have a history of road racing, be a significant winner and have mostly original parts.
The automobiles are group by period or type of racing.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette that raced at the original Watkins Glen Road Races.
1925 Alfa Romeo RLSS
1975 Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12
The LeMans collection – 10 stunning race cars lined up as though they are ready for the start.
1933 Squire Roadster – one of only 7 ever made.
1967 Ford MK IV
For more than 70 years the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has lead the effort for grass roots road racing across the country. While it does promote professional racing, it is best known for making racing somewhat affordable to all who want to race.
The Alliance Autosport team is based on the west side of Columbus in a nondescript industrial park building (on the outside – inside it is great). On this cold Saturday they were holding a ‘Tech Day’ to get ready for the upcoming season and hold an open house to encourage others to check out racing.
Alliance Autosport offers ‘Arrive and Drive’, the ability to rent race cars, thus avoiding the high cost of ownership. Their collection of cars were neatly stacked on pallet racks
Most of the cars they have run Spec Racer Ford Generation 3 engines. The theory behind these engines, and the car setup in general is that by prohibiting modifications it makes all the cars equal, as well as keeps the cost down.
A couple of the cars were down on the floor with their covers off for closer inspection…
While the racked ones gave an interesting perspective. Everyone at the event were passionate about racing and very welcoming for a couple of people wandering in to check it out. It’s time to go racing!