Sign in to follow this  
ken bogren

Non-Automotive Museums with rare old cars.

Recommended Posts

This thread about a 1907 Hatfield got me thinking about how many rare and/or unusual old cars are in the collections of, and/or on display at, non-automotive museums.

Anyone know of such non-automotive museums with such cars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last I checked the Cincinnati museum had a Crosley too.

The Smithsonian has some very nice cars, which unfortunately are as well-cared-for as Michael Vick's dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really a museum, but the AAA office in West Hartford, CT has a Pope-Hartford on display in the entry, behiend glass. I would have to check what year it was built. A lovely Tourng Car.. The cars were built in Hartford.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome has some neat stuff, and they run many of them during their very entertaining air shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Vanderbilt museum on Long Island has (or had) an old Lincoln. From the teens I think. Had leather fenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Frick Collection in Pittsburgh has an art museum, but also a large "carriage house" filled with nice vintage cars and carriages from the 19th century up to the '60s. Well worth a trip.

Phil Jamison

PA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lincoln produced engines for the war effort in the teens. It built cars after the war.

The Lincoln Motor Car Works built cars in the teens for Sears. I wonder if this is what you saw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet it was Brewster you saw. Brewsters had leather fenders in the late teens and were made somewhere around NYC or Long Island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone happens to visit Australia, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, at Darling Harbour right beside the CBD would be worth attention. I understand they have a lot of old cars and car related material. Just two that have been mentioned to me are Bugatti and Australian Six. (The latter were assembled in some numbers from Americam proprietry parts in a factory in Sydney in the early 1920's. Most had Grant Lees gearbox and a Rutenber engine. Engines may have been supplied as a superceded job lot, because they had a lot of warranty problem with them at one stage. The same engine was apparently used in some Roamers around 1917, because a Roamer chassi of that time has the correct engine mounts for this Rutenber. One "brilliant" feature of these engines was diecast babbit big-end and main bearing inserts, which would last a while below moderate speed and load. You have to make lined bronze-backed replacements. One engine I had to re-sleeve for a friend here apparemtly had a core shift which provided a water leak into one cylinder bore. In a materful piece of bush repair at Cunnamulla in western Queensland, they drilled a hole through to the bore from the valve chamber, sealed it with a 1/2" bolt and a couple of lead washers, and turned the Australian Six into an Australian Five by discarding the rod and piston!

Down here the Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne does have notable cars. The first Thompson steam car, built here, was restored in the 1960's by a Veteran Car Club member for display there. And many decades ago, a wealthy family donated their late 1920's Graf&Stift touring car, an impressively ponderous automobile that was long displayed there. Now, it was decided that the car should be used to transport the state premier on one particular occasion; and a friend of mine, Graham Harder from the Veteran Car Club, was asked to service and start the treasure, and act as chauffeur. Well, wherever the State Governor is driven, his presence is signified by a flag; and while cars had exposed radiator caps, that is where the flag was carried. That Premier was a woman who was considered to have very independant dress sense, and had recently provoked derision of the media by wearing a pink polka-dot dress to distract from her impressiveness. Graham Harder had the teremity to mount a little pink polka dot flag on the radiator cap on the radiator cap of the Graf&Stift. When the Premier finally noticed it, her sense of humour dramatically malfunctioned; and the spray he copped was not what you expect from a lady. She was unable to have him fired as she promised, because he was not a state employee but an unpaid volunteer.

Ivan Saxton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was at the Vanderbilt Museum in the mid-'80's, this '37 Chrysler Imperial Town Car was on display in the courtyard.

37_Imperial_by_LeBaron.jpg

Built by LeBaron for Mrs. Walter P. Chrysler, by the time I saw it the convertible top covering the chauffeur's compartment had been replaced with a closed top, and the car's condition was well-weathered from sitting outdoors.

It was <span style="font-style: italic">very</span> Cruella DeVille-ish, especially in its original form, and I often wonder what became of the car.

TG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously Mrs Chrysler had two LeBaron town cars which still exist. In Hugo Pfau's book The Custom Body Era, on p200 he mentions how they had a minor problem to finish her 1931 town car on time; and how a named person near where he lived had bought this car from the lady's estate. It would be nice if you could only trace both current owners and persuade them to get the cars together at an event, TG. There is a radical change in style in just 6 years.

Ivan Saxton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska has an extensive collection of vintage and classic cars from brass era to 60's cars.

The whole complex is a museum of old American stuff & culture.

Easy to get to via I-80, nice motel attached, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ivan_Saxton</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If anyone happens to visit Australia, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, at Darling Harbour right beside the CBD would be worth attention......

......When the Premier finally noticed it, her sense of humour dramatically malfunctioned; and the spray he copped was not what you expect from a lady. She was unable to have him fired as she promised, because he was not a state employee but an unpaid volunteer.

Ivan Saxton </div></div>

Ivan,

The Power House Museum also has another site at Castle Hill in suburban north-west Sydney. The displays include a Goggomobile Dart and a Leyland P76 as well as some of the wooden patterns used to check P76 body panels. Although this centre has limited opening times because it is the museums repository and restoration centre it does offer limited behind the scenes tours of items. The Packard Club here in Sydney visited it for a club run earlier this year and it provided a great run venue and we found the Model T Club had a number of their vehicles on display that day. Below are links to the Power House Museum, click on the Discovery Centre link, and the pic's I took that day (Sorry, they are mostly of the Packards and Model T's).

Pity Joan K didn't enjoy the joke, even if it was at her expense.

And if anyone is visiting Australia at the end of March 2009 see if you can get to the Southern Highlands, naturally south of Sydney, where the 2009 National Packard Rally is being held with about 50 to 60 Packards in attendance. Link to Southern Highlands also attached.

http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/

http://picasaweb.google.com/ozstatman/PackardRunSaturday8thMarch2008

http://www.highlandsnsw.com.au/index.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ivan_Saxton</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If anyone happens to visit Australia, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, at Darling Harbour right beside the CBD would be worth attention. I understand they have a lot of old cars and car related material. </div></div>

They also have a 6-cylinder Argyll engine in their collection.

Just thought I'd throw that wee fact in. wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We visited the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond Indiana yesterday. On display were

1907 Richmond

1909 Richmond

1915 Westcott

1908 Westcott

1920 Pilot

1918 Davis

1925 Davis

The above manufacturers were noted as having built cars in Richmond.

1926 Dodge

1921 Detroit Electric

1912 Baker Electric

1939 Crosley

1929 Ford Model A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a 1906 Cadillac in the basement of the Leroy NY historical society and its road rough or barn fresh ... whatever you want to call it. I also know of a 1909 Franklin D in horse drawn carriage and wagon collection. The car is alos unrestored and worn. Im sure there are others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

York County, PA Historical Trust (Historical Society) has a collection of York built vehicles including several Pullman autos, a Sphinx, and several others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember visiting the Elliott Museum in Stuart, FL a few times, a few years ago. As I recall, they featured a lot of baseball stuff, some industrial machinery-type stuff, and also home housewares/furnishings-type stuff--and then the old cars were way toward the back. Don't recall what they specifically were, but do recall they had some very nice specimens. I hope to get back to Florida again this year and hope to make a trip down to Stuart again to visit the Elliott.

The Elliott Museum - Yesterday's Ingenuity, Tomorrow's Inspiration

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elliott Museum, Stuart, FL followup:

Here's a scanned photo from 2001, when we visited their springtime car show. That's apparently their '53 Cunningham we're posing with (looks like my daughter didn't want her picture taken).

post-34222-143138799494_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the automobiles at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a Brewster. Actually it is a Brewster Town Brougham body #2048 on a Packard chassis. That body was built in 1920/'21.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry still have cars? I recall they had a collection at one time, but I see no mention of them on their web page.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum has a large collection of vintage and antique cars including a rare 07 Aerocar, early Franklins including a cross engine that set a cross country record, a 1908 Pierce Great Arrow, Raymond Loewy's 1957 BMW 507, and about 70 others. All are housed in a large, warehouse and are available for viewing by appointment. You can check it out here:

Car Tours | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this