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Gilmore Car Museum video


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  • Cadillac Fan changed the title to Gilmore Car Museum video

For those that havent been to the Gilmore it is def. worth a trip. I saw an ad in a car magazine and we were traveling to N Indiana, so I figured it would make a good side trip. I had no idea what to expect. No disrespect to any other museum but I just figured a building with old cars. Boy I couldnt have been further from what is there. The Caddy shop was under construction and I dont think the Lincoln building was open to the public yet, but it was still outstanding.

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Was there for my first and last event with CCCA 6 years ago. Yes the Gilmore was outstanding and if in the area I would stop in again. You can spend the whole day there exploring the different venues and have lunch at the diner with a beer. Then after lunch wait in line to take a photo in front of the busiest photographed Shell garage in the world I think.    

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Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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I think it would be nice to be there with a car club roaming the campus. When we were there it was a rainy fall day, us and a few others. Kinda had the place all to our own. This was after the Studebaker museum in South Bend (which I would recommend as well). My wife 'tolerates' my car addiction and she really enjoyed the Gilmore. Of all things she thought the building with hood ornaments was cool. After Studebaker and Gilmore I couldnt talk her into ACD museum. That will have to be the next trip.

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The video is missing a bunch of the museum.............sad they didn’t cover the place in its entirety. 40 percent was not shown at all. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, edinmass said:

The video is missing a bunch of the museum.............sad they didn’t cover the place in its entirety. 40 percent was not shown at all. 

I think this is the first of a few videos.  I am sure the PA museum  will be in the next one. 😀

Edited by Cadillac Fan (see edit history)
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I think the video does what it is supposed to do...whets the appetite for more. I live only 20 minutes from the Museum and haven't walked through the whole thing in about 10 years. Even given a full day,  it's now too much to see. For us locals, it's a nice problem to have! I know I'm heavily biased but I think it's not only the largest museum in the country, but also the best. And with the planned expansion (which will be significant) it will be even better. 

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11 hours ago, ericmac said:

I think the video does what it is supposed to do...whets the appetite for more. I live only 20 minutes from the Museum and haven't walked through the whole thing in about 10 years. Even given a full day,  it's now too much to see. For us locals, it's a nice problem to have! I know I'm heavily biased but I think it's not only the largest museum in the country, but also the best. And with the planned expansion (which will be significant) it will be even better. 

Here are pictures of the ccca expansion.  

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11 hours ago, ericmac said:

I think the video does what it is supposed to do...whets the appetite for more. I live only 20 minutes from the Museum and haven't walked through the whole thing in about 10 years. Even given a full day,  it's now too much to see. For us locals, it's a nice problem to have! I know I'm heavily biased but I think it's not only the largest museum in the country, but also the best. And with the planned expansion (which will be significant) it will be even better. 


 

Hold on to you underwear......LOTS more to come at the museum in the next 18 months........

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On 3/7/2021 at 4:11 PM, TAKerry said:

For those that havent been to the Gilmore it is def. worth a trip. I saw an ad in a car magazine and we were traveling to N Indiana, so I figured it would make a good side trip. I had no idea what to expect. No disrespect to any other museum but I just figured a building with old cars. Boy I couldnt have been further from what is there. The Caddy shop was under construction and I dont think the Lincoln building was open to the public yet, but it was still outstanding.

 

I did the same as you. We were traveling back east from the Grand National in Auburn IN and decided that we might as well check it out, never know when I was going be out that way again and have extra time.. The part that amazed me is that it really was in the middle of nowhere, which was nice. 

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You are so right, as far as Im concerned its just about in the middle of nowhere.  The further we drove the more my wife was getting irritated, and I kept saying to myself, I sure hope  this thing is worthwhile!!  It did not dissapoint.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to place a few of my bikes there and turned them down because of the distance. I will admit though that their motorcycle exhibit does leave a little bit to be desired, def. tell its a car museum first.

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The CCCA museum just did a 12,ooo square foot addition. Also HCCA is getting ready to build their new place next to the Pierce building. The 18,000 square foot Muscle Car Museum is in progress, along with another large private collection that is being set up as a foundation. (This one has killer cars.....in quantity.) Simply stated......GILMORE has become the largest and best done museum complex in the country. They have a huge campus........99 acres? And additional room to grow for the next hundred years. I would expect that soon it will expand it's scope even more. Hopefully someone picks up the ball and builds a motorcycle museum similar to the rest of the complex. With all the private roads on site.....you can drive very early cars and bikes on property safely. I wouldn't be surprised if a bicycle museum and a carrige museum were interested in locating on campus. 

 

With it's rural location, good driving roads, and it's located in the middle of the country.......the future is VERY bright for Gilmore and the associated museums. And did I mention that they are very professionaly run by CAR PEOPLE. The fate of many other museums is once established, they get in the hands of career museum people......and the mission goes to hell. See the Henry Ford as just one example.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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The only thing that I can say is a bit negative about the museum is the location - just takes to long to get there . Fly into Detroit and drive there takes hours, a long and monotonous ride . Once there the site is great, I agree that the exhibit of car mascots/hood ornaments is the very best. All the museum buildings have the same feel, nothing "different" to distinguish one from the other except the makes of cars. I enjoyed the Harrah collection in Reno more.  Just from the aspect of the way the cars were positioned and the lighting.

As far as libraries and information go, AACA will be superior to most when their new HQ is sorted.

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Flying into South Bend would be better I would surmise, but you are correct that it seems to take forever to get there.  I have recommended a trip there to several friends that have all been very happy that I did so.

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2 hours ago, Walt G said:

The only thing that I can say is a bit negative about the museum is the location - just takes to long to get there . Fly into Detroit and drive there takes hours, a long and monotonous ride . Once there the site is great, I agree that the exhibit of car mascots/hood ornaments is the very best. All the museum buildings have the same feel, nothing "different" to distinguish one from the other except the makes of cars. I enjoyed the Harrah collection in Reno more.  Just from the aspect of the way the cars were positioned and the lighting.

As far as libraries and information go, AACA will be superior to most when their new HQ is sorted.

Its location is what allows it to exist.  Ie, 90 acres within 30 minutes of a major city's airport would have to be developed by now.  
 

It is 45 minutes from the Grand Rapids airport.  

 

 

Very few car people say that the drive is not worth it. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Walt G said:

I enjoyed the Harrah collection in Reno more.

One of the reasons I thought the Gilmore was better was that the cars were not roped off like the Harrah collection. My memories of Harrah's from 40+ years ago

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I am somewhat familiar with the collection I think Ed is referring to.  I am willing to venture it is among the "top 5 collections" he refers to at times. Together with what Gilmore has on site now, and what they have planned,  Gilmore will almost certainly be the best automotive museum in the world.  And that is not hyperbole.  Besides,  who doesn't like a ride in the country? 

Speaking of which,  the "middle of nowhere" location is another of the museum's strengths,  not a weakness.  From the entrance gate one can easily be on smooth, 2 lane, largely untraveled, roads within 2 miles. Those roads can be toured at 25-55 MPH literally for hours. And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing. 

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The Gilmore has a full calendar of events, English cars, German car, pre war weekends, etc. which keeps thing lively.  Last time I was there (pre pandemic) they had a display in the main hall of about 17 Duesenbergs.  My wife and I found a nearby Bed and Breakfast which cut down commuting from Battle Creek or Kalamazoo.

 

Regards, Gary

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My brother and I visited the museum about 14 years ago when the AACA had a Grand National there. We really enjoyed the museum and the Grand National. I think it is time for the AACA to have another Grand National there. How about it Mark & Steve???  Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. Is there an open slot in 2023 or 2025?

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The rural location is its best asset. Hundreds of miles of roads for touring. No traffic. Reasonable hotel rates. And lots of fun tourist type things to do. Flights are cheap to Detroit from almost everywhere in the country, and direct flights are easy. I pay less than 120 dollars round trip from Southern Florida to Detroit Metro. The drive isn’t that bad.........from the airport to the museum. I have done it many times.......in modern cars as well as CCCA Classics. You can take the smaller numbered highways, and see farm country, stop at great small mom and pop restaurants. One thing to understand.......for the success of a transportation museum today.....you need the public support of the local communities, tourism for the front gate to pay overhead operating costs, and support of car clubs to keep the campus active and vibrant. This location does it all. There is literally a car event EVERY weekend.......sometimes more than one. We have a yearly Pierce meet at the Gilmore every year.....and it’s common to see 35-45 Pierce cars show up............and so far, no one has complained about the “repeated” venue. The air museum a few miles away is fantastic. The Kellogg house is a fun visit. We usually tour to one of the small towns on the lake.......it’s very similar to driving the entire length of Cape Cod.......ending at the water. For years, The Henry Ford was my favorite museum......now it’s not worth my time that the wack jobs have gone “woke” with it. The Gilmore museum complex will end up being the largest, most professionally done, and best car museum in the country. It’s also close to Auburn and all it’s car attractions. I usually fly into Detroit, go to Sthals Museum for a first stop and lunch, hit a few restoration shops and collections along the way to Gilmore, and then head down to Auburn. As far as the drive....it’s easy. I do try and avoid the rush hour traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor.....it’s easy to go around if you find yourself there at that time. The only complaint I have about the Gilmore is I don’t  get to spend enough time there.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 3/8/2021 at 5:03 PM, edinmass said:


 

Hold on to you underwear......LOTS more to come at the museum in the next 18 months........

Yep, there's a Muscle Car building going up, if its not already.

 

Oh, how I wished the Hostetler H-E-T collection ended up there in its own building as well!!

 

Craig

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I expect a few more project are simmering in on the back burner.........I would love to see a major motorcycle exhibit built by one of the manufacturers.............what a great place to use as a destination to ride your touring motorcycle to............

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We all have our opinion about places, cars etc. I stand by what I said. Great place but to many hours drive to get to and all the buildings housing the assorted collections are the same . With a little more creativity in and thought for design they could all be more interesting.

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Walt.....the last five museums were all built to resemble vintage dealerships. It’s not the museum of ten years ago. The place is very well done, active, and has many special exhibits that rotate through. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I live north of Detroit; it's about a 3 hour drive to Hickory Corners and the Gilmore.

I didn't visit the museum until about 10 years ago. These days, I usually visit the site at least 3 times every year.

We are planning to attend the Congress of Motorcars, A Celebration of Brass, the Cadillac Fall Festival and the Red Barn Spectacular events this year.

We think it is an absolute jewel!

 

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23 hours ago, Walt G said:

We all have our opinion about places, cars etc. I stand by what I said. Great place but to many hours drive to get to and all the buildings housing the assorted collections are the same . With a little more creativity in and thought for design they could all be more interesting.

 

Walt,

How long has it been since you visited?

 

This is the Cadillac-LaSalle Museum

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The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum

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The Franklin Automobile Collection

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Model A Ford Museum

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The architecture of each new facility is unique.

 

The original Red Barn buildings are still in use, but the buildings are not all the same now.

 

 

 

Edited by 95Cardinal
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Yes, some of the front facades are very elegant, but look at the buildings on the Monday post by Cadillac Fan, especially the extension of the CCCA Museum as well as the facade of that building. I have been there within the past decade. Interiors and what I just mentioned are minimal so far as design goes, all resemble each other , well equipped to house automobiles but do not reflect anything else to me then a storage building. Again I will not elaborate, I am not giving a lesson on architecture , styling or design   if you have been and look past the front facade and do not see what I was referring too then that is fine. I will comment no more on the subject. This should not lead to an argument of what you or I or anyone else likes, just an opinion , what works for you may not work for me!

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8 hours ago, edinmass said:

.........to Gilmore, and then head down to Auburn. As far as the drive....it’s easy. I do try and avoid the rush hour traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor.....it’s easy to go around if you find yourself there at that time. The only complaint I have about the Gilmore is I don’t  get to spend enough time there.

 

I had the Gilmore and Auburn double play scheduled for last summer but Covid-19 closed the border.  Unfortunately it does not look good for this summer either, so maybe late April or May 2022 depending on what the feature is on that weekend.  For me the Gilmore is an easy four hour drive on I69 via Port  Huron/Flint/Lansing then another 90 minutes or so down to Auburn..........great three day mini holiday.


My last visit to the Gilmore was in June 2015 on the weekend of the CCCA mostly Packard meet.  At the time I posted about 800 pics from my two day visit.

Edited by Gangster
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Walt, you forget you are looking at these buildings thru an artist eye, the rest of us are seeing these things in a much more pedestrian way. We don’t have your appreciation of an artist eye. 
dave s 

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23 hours ago, Walt G said:

We all have our opinion about places, cars etc. I stand by what I said. Great place but to many hours drive to get to and all the buildings housing the assorted collections are the same . With a little more creativity in and thought for design they could all be more interesting.

The good, is taxes are low where it is, and in most of the buildings, the floors, walls, and ceilings are fire-resistant.   

 

I look at the content and quality of the vehicle before I take an overly critical look at how they are displayed, although I do have a preference for displays that are well illuminated.

 

Craig

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Being in the building building business like Walt, I suppose I look at the structures, landscaping, environment almost as much as the cars. If at a car museum the cars def take centre stage though. I still think this place is great.

 

As far as atmosphere goes, here is a good example. Simeone Museum. Their collection is world class. I have been there many times. I can spend all day looking at the autos, they have a drive day when they run a selection around a closed coarse which is always fun. But, even though its fairly easy to get to, I will say the location and architecture doesn't even compare to Gilmore.

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Always reading about many museums of all types closing because of financial problems, I'm just happy to see this place (Gilmore) still expanding.

I thought some of the buildings were paid for by their national clubs.  Should these clubs spend money on the structures rather than the displays? 

I'd hate to see the place become financially burdened by spending too much on structures.  Harrah's was in airplane hangers with the cars all roped off.  I thought the Gilmore was fantastic.  Can't wait to go back. 

Maybe I'm missing the point of the structures and grounds conversation.

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The Gilmore has a fantastic economic plan, along with long range goals. It is in VERY good hands.

 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

The Gilmore has a fantastic economic plan, along with long range goals. It is in VERY good hands.

 

Yes, but it will still need all the support it can get including donations, volunteering , and  recognition in the future.  I always try to promote it when I can.  If we want  these places around in the future we need to support them.  

 

I hope that this year taught us to redouble our efforts to the things we love to do and to support the institutions that support those activities.  
 


 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/10/2021 at 12:23 PM, 95Cardinal said:

I live north of Detroit; it's about a 3 hour drive to Hickory Corners and the Gilmore.

I didn't visit the museum until about 10 years ago. These days, I usually visit the site at least 3 times every year.

We are planning to attend the Congress of Motorcars, A Celebration of Brass, the Cadillac Fall Festival and the Red Barn Spectacular events this year.

We think it is an absolute jewel!

 

 

I agree.  I will be there this weekend for the vintage camper show taking our '84 Westfalia VW camper, aka the hippie mobile.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2021 at 7:54 AM, edinmass said:

The rural location is its best asset. Hundreds of miles of roads for touring. No traffic. Reasonable hotel rates. And lots of fun tourist type things to do. Flights are cheap to Detroit from almost everywhere in the country, and direct flights are easy. I pay less than 120 dollars round trip from Southern Florida to Detroit Metro. The drive isn’t that bad.........from the airport to the museum. I have done it many times.......in modern cars as well as CCCA Classics. You can take the smaller numbered highways, and see farm country, stop at great small mom and pop restaurants. One thing to understand.......for the success of a transportation museum today.....you need the public support of the local communities, tourism for the front gate to pay overhead operating costs, and support of car clubs to keep the campus active and vibrant. This location does it all. There is literally a car event EVERY weekend.......sometimes more than one. We have a yearly Pierce meet at the Gilmore every year.....and it’s common to see 35-45 Pierce cars show up............and so far, no one has complained about the “repeated” venue. The air museum a few miles away is fantastic. The Kellogg house is a fun visit. We usually tour to one of the small towns on the lake.......it’s very similar to driving the entire length of Cape Cod.......ending at the water. For years, The Henry Ford was my favorite museum......now it’s not worth my time that the wack jobs have gone “woke” with it. The Gilmore museum complex will end up being the largest, most professionally done, and best car museum in the country. It’s also close to Auburn and all it’s car attractions. I usually fly into Detroit, go to Sthals Museum for a first stop and lunch, hit a few restoration shops and collections along the way to Gilmore, and then head down to Auburn. As far as the drive....it’s easy. I do try and avoid the rush hour traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor.....it’s easy to go around if you find yourself there at that time. The only complaint I have about the Gilmore is I don’t  get to spend enough time there.

Not to take anything away from the museum.....but before you criticize the rural location (not you Ed).......walk over to Gull Lake.  It is a stone's throw from the museum.  If you like beautiful lakes, you will Love Gull Lake.

Edited by John Bloom (see edit history)
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I plan on buying a retirement home there in 18-24 months. The Mrs. loves sailing, and Gull Lake has a great Sailing club that’s very competitive. As I told a few of the locals a few weeks ago........There goes the neighborhood!

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