Glendale, Arizona – January 2023 – Martin Auto Museum

The final stop on the Phoenix area car extravaganza is the Martin Auto Museum.

The Mel Martin Auto Museum recently moved to a much larger facility on Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. One great aspect of this museum is you are allowed to open the doors, and get in the cars if you like, on nearly all of the collection.

The facility is well lit, and nicely spaced out.

We start our tour with a couple of Crosley’s tucked back in a corner.

I can see Elvis cruising down the Strip in Las Vegas in this 1964 Ford Thunderbird.

The exquisite tail end of a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado.

A early 1950s Ford Woody Wagon. Ford dropped Woodies in 1951, although they made a faux comeback in the 1960s, but they weren’t real wood like this.

A front look at this 1949 Ford Custom.

I have always been more of a Ford fan than Chevrolet, but this Ranchero in my opinion is nowhere near as cool as an El Camino. Also fairly certain it is looking at envy at the Porsche parked in front of it.

A nice looking mid 1960s Studebaker Wagonaire.

Mel was a hard worker his entire life, and one of his early successes was a towing business, which is represented here by a 1928 Graham Tow Truck.

This long machine is a late 1930s Packard. The hood ornament on this car was one that was featured in the earlier posting of a collection of them.

While many of the vehicles are restored to their original condition, some, like this very cool 1951 Studebaker Pickup, have been heavily customized.

The last car on this visit is, according to Internet research, a 1905 Cadillac.

The Martin Auto Museum has a motto of ‘Please Touch the Cars’. That alone makes it a great visit, but coupled with the low admission cost, great collection and spacious setting makes it a must for any auto enthusiast who is in the area.

Scottsdale, Arizona – January 2023 – The Art of Hood Ornaments

In days past most cars had hood ornaments used primarily to communicate the brand. Most of the very early ones also served as radiator caps.

Our look at this art form on the hood start with a 1930s Cadillac. It was known as the Flying Goddess, and was available on Cadillacs up until the late 1950s.

Having failed to note what car this is on, this ‘coiled cobra’ hood ornament only shows up on a 1931 Isotta Fraschini using a Google Images search.

Another Goddess, this one is the Packard Goddess of Speed.

Another great Packard hood ornament. Supposedly patterned on the family crest, it has been called a pelican or sometimes a cormorant.

The 1930 Cadillac LaSalle ornament is leading the way.

The emblem below the ornament indicates this is a 1932 Cadillac LaSalle.

The Cadillac LaSalle series continues with this 1938.

A similar look to the Cadillac, this art deco style ornament is from a 1930s Packard.

The Quail from a 1930s Ford.

This Chevrolet of he same time period has this ornament known as the Confederate

As we move into the 1950s Oldsmobile the ornaments are much more streamlined.

Our final ornament is a swan from an unidentified car. Feel free to identify.

Scottsdale, Arizona – January 2023 – Penske Racing Musuem

Roger Penske is a long time auto racing team owner, with his cars racing, primarily in Indy Car and Nascar. He is also the owner of numerous business, including many car dealerships.

In the middle of an auto mall of luxury cars such as Lamborghini and Ferrari there is a Penske Racing Museum, with a few of his more famous race cars.

In 1969 Penske had his first entry in the Indy 500 – this Lola. It was driven by Mark Donohue, who qualified 4th but finished 7th.

Penske Racing and Donohue won Indy in 1927 with this McLaren M16B Offenhauser.

The 1984 Indy 500 winner, with a March chassis and a Cosworth engine (as nearly every entry that year were). It was driven by Rick Mears.

This 2018 car was another Indy 500 winner, driven by Will Power. It was Penske’s 17th win at Indy as an owner. The car was powered by a Chevrolet V6 engine.

More Indy cars from over the years.

2018 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car

Tom Sneva Penske PC-5 1977 Indy 500 car. He is famous for being the first driver to qualify with a lap over 200 MPH. While he did well in the race he ended up finishing second to A.J. Foyt.

Danny Sullivan’s 1985 Indy 500 winner, another March chassis with a Cosworth engine. This race is famous for Danny doing a 360 degree spin while fighting for first place, and not crashing, later to retake 1st place for the win.

The final car is the 1972 Pontiac 442 that was the pace car for the Indy 500. The Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix is worth the visit if you are in the area. While it isn’t very large, the cars are unique, and the cost is great – it is free.

Scottsdale, Arizona – January 2023 – Barrett Jackson Auto Auction Part 3

Today’s posting looks as some of the more distinctive ‘noses and tails’ of the classic cars and trucks.

A late 1960s Pontiac GTO

Followed by the next generation GTO from the early 1970s. Personally I think it was a step backwards.

1946 Ford Pickup with a great color combination of cream and red.

The 1956 Ford Thunderbird tail end.

A 2009? Ford GT.

A late 1950s Cadillac.

1959 Ford Fairlane Skyliner.

A long lean mean custom 1962 Lincoln Continental.

We jump ahead a few decades to a 2016-2017ish Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Back to the 50s with this 1951 Nash Rambler.

A late 1950s Porsche 356 Speedster. Sometimes simple is best.

Our final nose is on a 1939 Cadillac Series 61.

Scottsdale, Arizona – January 2023 – Barrett Jackson Auto Auction Part 2

The Barrett Jackson Auction is so large that many automotive vendors have exhibits, with entire massive tents set up for them.

A company called Radical Racing of Canada build reasonably priced (for race cars) ready to race cars.

A prototype Lincoln Star.

A group known as the Future Car Collectors had a show on the grounds as well, with some very cool cars in a great setting.

Let’s take a closer look at the purple Lamborghini Diablo. Not really sure why they call it a future car collector, as this has clearly been collectable for decades.

A BMW M4

Volvo wagons aren’t normally the type of car to be tricked out, but it works.

There were some great paint jobs.

Another in the category of ‘not normally tricked out’ – a Tesla.

After checking out the Future Car Collectors show I made my way to a row of very long tents, with even more cars headed to the auction.

A customized 1935 Chrysler Airflow.

A 1930 Chevrolet Paddy Wagon.

1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Custom Sedan.

Another customized classic – a 1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II. Note the size of the tent, 5 rows of cars that was about 300′ long, and there were 6 of these tents in addition to the huge completely indoor tents seen in Part 1 of the auction.

Scottsdale, Arizona – January 2023 – Barrett Jackson Auto Auction Part 1

This is the first in a series of automotive postings from a fantastic day in the Phoenix area, starting with the legendary Barrett Jackson Auto Auction.

I went to preview day for the auction, so the facility was stuff with almost 2000 cars to be auctioned. In addition there was a complementary custom car show outside, as well as a collection of prototypes and other vehicles from the major manufacturers, and a collection of petroliana. Car junkie paradise.

We start with a 2021 Ferrari SF90.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The famous wing of a 1970 Plymouth Superbird along with a great roadrunner neon sign.

1960 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible.

1959 Mercedes Benz 190 SL Roadster.

2005 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren

1953 Chevrolet Corvette 235/150 Convertible.

1948 Chevrolet Custom Cab over Engine Pickup.

1968 Jaguar XKE 1.5 Roadster.

1953 Chevrolet Suburban Custom

1948 Chevrolet 5 Window Custom Pickup.

1935 Ford Deluxe Woody Wagon.

1940 Ford Custom Pickup

1965 Porsche 911.

Apache Junction, Arizona – November 2022 – Goldfield Ghost Town

Arizona has a long history of mining, for copper, silver and gold. Many of those towns have long since been abandoned, leaving behind ghost towns.

About 30 minutes east of downtown Phoenix is Goldfield.

It too was once a mining town that became abandoned. In the 1980s a man named Bob Schoose bought the land where the town was and built a tourist attraction with faux old west buildings, faux old west people and a number of small business like the saloon and candy shop.

Given many tourists come to Phoenix and don’t want to wander far, but still want to see ‘the west’, Goldfield does a booming business.

You can buy yourself a cowboy hat and a latte, and hang out, then take your hat back to Kansas (or somewhere) and set your hat on a shelf never to be worn again. Anyone who has traveled much has done something like that.

They do have a narrow gauge railroad to take you around the town.

A number of old machines from the mining days are scattered about town.

Much like Tombstone, the town is full of actors. Some of them will, on an hourly basis, have a gunfight on main street. We missed that part, but did see someone carrying faux dynamite.

There are a number of actors who hang out for photos.

The town is set against the beautiful Superstition Mountains.

Ironically if you drive just another 10 miles you reach Canyon Lake, a reservoir in a fantastic setting.

Just beyond Canyon Lake is Tortilla Flats, complete with a restaurant and a couple of other shops. All the tourists must have a car to get to Goldfield – in my opinion they would be far better off driving a bit further to see the true Arizona west, not the romanticized ‘old west’, but to each their own.

Chandler, Arizona – November 2022 – Arizona Railway Museum

The Arizona Railway Museum is located in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. While there are museums in the country that have larger collections, this museum’s is extensive enough to make the trip worthwhile.

The day we chose to go was an open house, with numerous railroad enthusiast groups onsite.

The rolling stock collection is well preserved or restored.

The Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive 2562 is on the National Historic Registry.

Unusual for many railroad museum, the interiors are also in great shape. Since most came from the Southern Pacific or the Santa Fe they have the southwest look to them.

The Arizona Railway Museum is a great stop for more than train enthusiasts.

Across Arizona – June 2022 – Freeway Art

As you drive around the freeways of Phoenix and Tucson one of the first things you will notice is the artwork along the roadways. With little vegetation growing the Department of Transportation took the approach of incorporating artwork either within the concrete structures or with stone along the banks.

Much of the artwork is based on native cultures. It definitely adds to the usually boring aspect of a freeway.

A big thank you goes to my wife who (wisely) was the photographer for all of these photos, as well as many other ‘moving shots’ on the trip.

The Department of Transportation has a website called ‘The Art of Transportation’ if you would like to get more information and photos. https://azdot.gov/tags/art-transportation