Hickory Corners, Michigan – September 2018 – Gilmore Car Museum

I have had the opportunity to visit most of America’s great transportation museums. Having that background I can state that in my opinion the Gilmore Car Museum is the best in the country.

2018 09 03 7 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

I had read about the Gilmore for some time now, and had always looked forward to going. With the long Labor Day weekend and the emphasis on cars, now was the time.

When we arrived one of the staff said ‘see you in 4 hours’. He was wrong, we spent 4 1/2 hours 🙂

2018 09 03 30 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Gilmore is more than just a single building with some cars. It is a campus of buildings and barns, each featuring a genre of cars or car companies.

Each building is immaculate, clean and well light with great presentations. They also take pride in that there aren’t barriers for most cars, just notes to remind you not to touch. This makes photography much easier.

2018 09 03 37 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Among the buildings is a 1940s diner that was moved from Connecticut. It serves as the restaurant for the museum. We had a basic lunch there, with great milkshakes and friendly staff.

2018 09 03 52 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

An example of one of the barns. This one was moved from a nearby farm, with 2 levels for cars.

2018 09 03 56 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

A complete 1930s Shell Station.

2018 09 03 58 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The pumps represent different eras.

2018 09 03 70 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The motorcycle building.

2018 09 03 79 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Inside are a number of bikes from the early 1900s to current day.

2018 09 03 87 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

 

A vintage Cleveland and 1919 Johnson.

2018 09 03 88 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

As the sign notes – a 1928 Indian. Check out that rear seat.

2018 09 03 106 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Outside near one of the storage barns is an un-restored London double decker bus.

2018 09 03 114 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Another building – another collection. This one has a peddle car collection.

2018 09 03 124 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

As with the motorcycles, the collection was vast and pristine.

2018 09 03 129 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Even some peddle airplanes – how cool.

2018 09 03 138 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

In the 1960s Mr Gilmore built a replica of the train depot for the little town of Hickory Corners. Inside is a hood ornament display.

2018 09 03 158 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

I am always enthralled by the old hood ornaments.

2018 09 03 171 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Almost too nice for the hood of a car.

2018 09 03 173 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

At the Gilmore they have over 1300 of them.

2018 09 03 175 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

While the photography was tricky with the display cases and the light and shadows, many came out very nice.

2018 09 03 180 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Also called mascots, it was a common occurrence in the 1930s to personalize your car with a different ornament.

2018 09 03 187 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Our next building was called ‘The Classics’. Higher end cars from the 1930s.

2018 09 03 205 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

A Cadillac for a movie star.

2018 09 03 230 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The large two level barn shown earlier from the outside had 1950s cars on the lower level.

2018 09 03 275 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

And the impressive upper level had earlier models.

2018 09 03 284 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Hudson Motor Car Company made automobiles from 1909 through 1954. This one is from the 1940s.

2018 09 03 295 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

So many great cars.

2018 09 03 298 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

 

In the same barn is a Ford display.

2018 09 03 302 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

 

One interesting feature of the the Gilmore campus is that car clubs build their museums there. In this example the Cadillac club built essentially a Cadillac dealership on the outside.

2018 09 03 307 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Inside are Cadillacs over the years.

2018 09 03 316 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Without a doubt the older Cadillacs are much nicer looking than the 1970s and 1980s.

2018 09 03 326 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The Ford Museum has a complete, authentic 1930s parts counter.

2018 09 03 361 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The Ford museum is dedicated to Model A’s.

2018 09 03 373 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

A 1930s school bus.

2018 09 03 375 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

As with Cadillac, from the outside it appears to be a vintage Ford dealership.

2018 09 03 383 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Across the driveway in the main building is the Lincoln building, whom have some of the nicest cars of all.

2018 09 03 398 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Another earlier Lincoln model.

2018 09 03 411 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

A collection of 1950s and 1960s sports cars.

2018 09 03 414 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

As with Cadillac, Lincoln and Ford, there is a Franklin dealership.

2018 09 03 417 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

 

But back to the Lincolns.

2018 09 03 426 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

Also in the main building is an exhibit for A J Foyt.

2018 09 03 454 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

The main building seemed to have more of a mix of cars.

2018 09 03 499 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

One of the last of the Packards.

2018 09 03 500 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

A stylish 1934 DeSoto Airflow

2018 09 03 506 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

If you are into cars the Gilmore Car Museum is a must to visit.

2018 09 03 510 Hickory Corners MI Gilmore Car Museum.jpg

 

 

 

Auburn, Indiana – August 2018 – The Start of a Car Weekend

The small city of Auburn, Indiana was the home of early 1900s auto manufacturers including Cord and Dusenberg. Each Labor Day weekend the town holds a festival and auto auctions celebrating those cars, and others.

As part of the celebration they have a large custom car show on Friday around the courthouse square. With more than 800 cars on display it was an impressive sight.

2018 08 31 87 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

So come along – just enjoy it.

2018 08 31 223 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

In addition to the shows there are two very large classic car auctions during the weekend. A massive one is held by Sotheby’s at a grounds outside of town – with hundreds of cars sold.

Another smaller one was held at the historic National Automotive and Truck Museum. We arrived in time to check out the cars during the preview.

This classic 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari Wagon is a rare two door wagon.

2018 08 31 96 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

Among the vehicles was this 1940s car carrier. I guess if you buy enough cars, you need to bid on the carrier to take them home.

2018 08 31 121 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

Outside the building was this sweet Alpha Romeo.

2018 08 31 124 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

While back inside  we passed by a George Barris custom car. George is famous for designing cars for TV and the movies including the 1966 Batmobile, and the Munster’s car.

This car was originally a 1950 Mercury.  Designed by Leo Lyons, with assistance from George, it was displayed at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

2018 08 31 147 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

After checking out the auction cars, we headed back to the courthouse square show where we found a brief preview of the Auburn’s we would see far more of on Saturday.

2018 08 31 176 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

This early 1960s Chevy El Camino had a great vintage bike in the back.

2018 08 31 185 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

Back in the day the idea of air conditioning was to pop open the windshield a bit.

2018 08 31 191 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

A vintage Chevy Pickup.

2018 08 31 210 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

With the arrival of the jet age, fins on cars mimicked the airplane look.

2018 08 31 246 Auburn IN Car Show.jpg

 

 

Nearby was the Kruse Auto Museum. Located in a building that seems to being vacated, but they did have some movie cars including a Batmobile.

2018 08 31 378 Auburn IN Kruse Automobile Museum.jpg

 

 

A Carl Casper creation. Carl was another custom car creator like George Barris.

2018 08 31 379 Auburn IN Kruse Automobile Museum.jpg

 

 

Our day ended at the Kruse Museum in a collection of Indy Cars. While this was a nice day with some cool cars, we knew the best was yet to come.

2018 08 31 422 Auburn IN Kruse Automobile Museum.jpg

 

 

 

Columbus – August 2018 – Cars Have Noses and Tails Too

A quiet Sunday found us at a car show close enough we could ride our bicycles too. Since I take lots of photos of custom and classic cars, I decided to focus on the ‘noses and tails’ for something different.

Including a 1967 Ford Mustang fastback.

2018 08 12 9 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

1950s Ford Thunderbird.

2018 08 12 12 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

A custom 1932 ragtop.

2018 08 12 17 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

1959 Chevrolet Pickup.

2018 08 12 28 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

1971 Buick Gran Sport

2018 08 12 31 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

Late 1940s Buick Roadmaster.

2018 08 12 34 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

A heavily customized 1950s pickup (so customized I have no idea what it started as)

2018 08 12 41 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

1950s Ford Pickup.

2018 08 12 42 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

How to stuff a big block engine in a VW Beetle – stretch it!

2018 08 12 46 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

1940 Cadillac Fleetwood.

2018 08 12 54 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

1929 Dodge Roadster.

2018 08 12 56 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

Customized 1967 Ford Mustang.

2018 08 12 60 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

Who doesn’t love a ’59 Pink Cadillac?

2018 08 12 59 Powell OH Car Show.jpg

 

 

 

 

Washington DC – June 2018 – Museum of American History

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…

2018 06 03 231 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

A shirtless George Washington?

2018 06 03 242 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

2018 06 03 266 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Early computers.

2018 06 03 253 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Early money.

2018 06 03 247 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Commercial advertising standards.

2018 06 03 273 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Batman’s ride.

2018 06 03 284 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

 

A collection of model ships.

2018 06 03 289 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Washington DC streetcar.

2018 06 03 294 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

In the transportation hall they had a couple of displays of life in the 1950s.

2018 06 03 302 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

And a feature of the growth of the suburbs.

2018 06 03 303 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Julia Child’s kitchen.

2018 06 03 308 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

 

2018 06 03 309 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

And her awards.

2018 06 03 310 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

 

Early telegraph.

2018 06 03 314 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

The random eagle.

2018 06 03 328 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

A section about Latino’s in America included this cool Statue of Liberty only featuring a Latino woman holding tomatoes.

2018 06 03 330 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

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.

2018 06 03 332 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Presidential election tchotchkes.

2018 06 03 335 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

A 1940s voting machine.

2018 06 03 341 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

A collection of protest signs.

2018 06 03 345 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

Another room housed mechanical items – an early sweeper.

2018 06 03 372 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

 

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.

2018 06 03 351 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of American History.jpg

 

 

Bellevue, Ohio – May 2018 – Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum

While I am a fan of all types of transportation, I am not a train fanatic like some. Still, even though we had recently been to a major train museum in Pennsylvania this Saturday brought up another opportunity to check out one closer to home – The Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

The drive up to Bellevue paralleled a major rail line, and a stop in the town of Bucyrus to check out their historic station was interrupted as we waited out a 150 car freight trian.

2018 05 19 6 Bucyrus OH.jpg

 

 

 

Eventually we made it to Bellevue and the Mad River – Nickel Plate Railway Museum. The name requires some explanation – Mad River is flows for 70 miles across Ohio. It gained it’s name from the ‘mad rapids’ that occur along much of the river.

The New York, Chicago and St Louis Railway was founded in the 1880s, but was based in Cleveland. It was given the nickname Nickel Plate from a local newspaper who thought it’s financial prospects were ‘nickel plated’ – or very good.

 

 

2018 05 19 91 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

The museum has an indoor area with a number of small artifacts including dinnerware and waiter uniforms.

2018 05 19 57 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

One of their prized possessions is the bell from the Lincoln Funeral Train.

2018 05 19 60 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

In addition to the rail rolling stock they have a couple of nicely restored trucks.

2018 05 19 75 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum.jpg

 

 

 

What sets this rail museum apart from the others is nearly all of the cars are open for inspection, including numerous cabooses.

2018 05 19 80 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

Outdoors are many more rail cars – including numerous box cars that house even more artifacts. Below is a telegraph desk.

2018 05 19 104 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

They also have a nice collection of tools – note the ‘track level’

2018 05 19 107 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

Many of the cars are connected together to pass between them. All have been restored to original vibrant colors.

2018 05 19 113 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

A small station was brought from a nearby town.

2018 05 19 115 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

It too is restored to original condition.

2018 05 19 119 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

The cars are fairly packed into their yard – but as the rain came this was welcome.

2018 05 19 182 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum.jpg

 

 

 

A manual brake on a car.

2018 05 19 125 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

They also have a beautiful postal car.

2018 05 19 128 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

As well as some switching lights.

2018 05 19 136 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

A diesel locamotive.

2018 05 19 169 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

 

The venting on the side gave it an aerodynamic feel.

2018 05 19 172 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

Literally across the tracks was an area with a few more restored cars, as well as a couple un-restored ones next to some cool giant, empty concrete silos.

2018 05 19 196 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

 

But alas we have reached the end of the road. This rail museum is well worth the visit, with their great collections in the rolling stock that allow you to actually go in and check them out.

Given that Bellevue is on multiple active rail lines the constant train whistles in the background made it even better. It was all very cool.

2018 05 19 205 Bellevue OH Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum

 

Hershey, PA – May 2018 – Antique Automobile Club of America

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.

 

2018 05 07 166 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

The building has 3 levels, with a nice lobby featuring a beautiful ragtop.

2018 05 07 172 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

Many of the cars are located within themes.

2018 05 07 188 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

The museum has a nice mix of automobiles and trucks – all restored to original condition.

2018 05 07 193 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

A full Atlantic Gas Station is displayed, complete with the Service Truck.

2018 05 07 197 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

The lower level features the Bus Museum.

2018 05 07 221 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

2018 05 07 223 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

Their current primary exhibit is on Tuckers.

2018 05 07 252 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

Three fully restored Tucker’s are shown.

2018 05 07 255 Hershey PA AACA Museum.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cleveland – March 2018 – A Revisit to the Piston Powered Show

Since we have ran out of things to do in Ohio, we are now revisiting some of the better events, including the Piston Powered Show in Cleveland.

Held at the million square foot IX Center, this event features ‘anything with a piston’ including cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and others.

2018 03 18 22 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

A custom bike

2018 03 18 30 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Surf’s up on Lake Erie!

2018 03 18 35 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

A chopped Beetle.

2018 03 18 38 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

As noted, the place is huge – with the airplane being dwarfed by the indoor ferris wheel.

2018 03 18 60 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

 

2018 03 18 63 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Some artists were customizing on the spot.

2018 03 18 67 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Lanterns on an antique fire truck.

2018 03 18 69 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

The Cleveland Corvette Club.

2018 03 18 77 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Customized 1950s Ford pickup truck.

2018 03 18 88 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Clearly a winner.

2018 03 18 94 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg

 

 

 

Hey Scoobie…

2018 03 18 17 Cleveland IX Center Piston Powered Show.jpg