Late December found us back in Chicago again. For this cold, rainy day we made our way to the far (far) suburb of Volo to check out the Volo Auto Museum
As it turned out it was far more than an auto museum.
But first we passed through Niles, Illinois – and the Tower of Pisa (half height replica)
Finally we arrived at the Volo Auto Museum. It is a collection of 18 different buildings and shelters. Volo is unique in that almost everything is for sale so we saw a great collection of classic cars with prices on them.
As we made our way into the first building it was apparent that they had far more than just cars including a collection of nicely restored jukeboxes.
A Zoltar from the movie ‘Big’. There is a large collection of movie props scattered throughout the museum.
Pedal Cars – They had one of the largest collections I have seen (Gilmore had more, but not by much)
Motorized Bicycles – the famed Whizzers.
Kiddie Rides galore
As noted previously, they have a large collection of props from movies, or marketing from the various entertainment groups like Disney or Warner Brothers.
And a small, but classic, camper collection
A great scooter collection.
A very early Ford with tractor drive wheels and ski’s on the front.
But we are here for the cars.
Some of the ‘cars’ are very custom designs – like a Skate Car
Lots of movie and TV cars. All of the cars you see in the movies and on TV are really one of many of the exact same car (often 10 or more). Volo prides themselves in getting one of these original cars.
Usually they are looking for the car that was used for the publicity so it is not all beat up.
Let’s start with KITT from Knight Rider.
The Beverly Hillbillies Movie
One of the first Fast and Furious movies
The Ecto Mobile from Ghostbusters.
A more recent Mad Max movie car
A really wacky one from a movie called Son of the Mask
Vehicle and prop from Alien
One of the original 1960s Batman TV show cars.
The Munster’s Car
Christine. Stephen King made us all afraid of this car.
A later Batman movie car
And finally – a prop car for the Flintstones! The Volo Auto Museum is quite the place – well worth a few hours of wandering around.
The Carnegie Science Center has a section called Roboworld, with a number of exhibits on robotics.
Much of the exhibit is hands on, so you can control the robots to do things – including displaying dollar signs in their eyes.
The highlight of the exhibit is the Robot Hall of Fame. It includes fictional robots over the years.
The robot Maria appeared in a movie called Metropolis, produced in Germany in 1927. Maria stands apart in that she is a female robot.
Her art deco form is symbolic of the times she was created.
Gort is from the 1951 movie classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. As an eight foot tall robot, Gort can vaporize anything he wants with his laser like vision.
The movie stands today as one of the all time sci fi classics, with Gort being the star.
Robby The Robot was featured in the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet. With his smug superiority towards human, Robby makes the movie (along with a young Leslie Nielsen as an astronaut chasing after the female lead Anne Francis).
The Iron Giant is supposed to be 50′ tall – he is a genial behemoth as a result of damage to his head. He is the star of an animated movie of the same name made in 1999 who befriends a 9 year old boy after landing on earth. Of course the U.S. government wants to destroy it.
Danger, Will Robinson! Everyone I know knew this robot and his famed line, however I never knew his name was B-9. He, like Robby, has human emotions.
C-3PO and R2D2. Probably the most famous robots in film history.
While officially Route 66 started in downtown Chicago it isn’t until you get out of town a bit to Joliet before it really is emphasized by the local communities.
Downtown Joliet has the unique position where Route 66 crossed the first major trans-continental road, the Lincoln Highway.
Joliet is also the home of old Joliet Prison, home of the (fictional) Joliet Jake Blues – of Blues Brothers fame. Now closed the day we were there an Illinois Department of Corrections van and officer was in the parking lot – to keep people from breaking into prison!
The Blues Brothers are celebrated throughout town – on the ice cream stand…
An auto parts store…
And a replica Bluesmobile high above a truck stop.
Further south along Route 66 is the town of Pontiac, where they have a nice museum celebrating the history and impact of the road on Illinois.
Also throughout town are mural/billboards. The town was once home to a ‘Walldog’ festival. Walldogs are the names of the group of artists who paint these impressive murals. During the 3 days they had the festival in Pontiac, 19 of the murals were painted.
Inlcuding one that celebrates Route 66 across Illinois.
Also throughout town are small artistic cars and trucks.
Finally in an alley we found another fabulous mural.
The movieShawkshank Redemption, while set in Maine was actually filmed around Mansfield, Ohio. The centerpiece is the old Ohio Reformatory, but also includes the area around Malabar Farms outside of town.
The famous tree – it has since fallen down during a thunderstorm.