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Space Farms Zoo & Museum, Wantage New Jersey


Billy Kingsley
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You may be wondering what a place called Space Farms Zoo and Museum has to do with cars, but they have an extensive museum of pre-war cars...and everything else. I have never seen as many artifacts as I did at Space Farms, which, by the way, has nothing to do with outer space. Space is the family name of the family who founded and run it! While I have only been to Space Farms once, I saw maybe 1/4th of what they have. I didn't even get into the Carriage building, tool building, and barely touched the tractor building. They have pretty much everything in some capacity. 

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It's not just car stuff. They have an incredible collection of Native artifacts, some of which passed down through the Space family, making it the only museum I know of that displays their own pre-Columbian artifacts in a museum setting.

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It IS a zoo too. Saw only a fraction of the animals. 

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But I know you really want to see the cars, so here they are:

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The collection is almost exclusively pre-War...with some being pre-WWI.  Because of the high fence they are a little difficult to get photos of. 

 

but not impossible.

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This is a 1918 Premier, said to be one of only two left extant. It's photographed extensively in my photo album.

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Then you go into the second room, and the cars are a wider variety, and perhaps (Premier notwithstanding), even rarer. 

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It's not every day you find a car from 1903, after all.

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or a White, unless you are Ed. (Unfortunately, the hardest car to photograph)

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The first/only Kissel I've ever seen. 

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The first/only Jewett I've ever seen

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Honestly, I was so overwhelmed by what I was seeing, that my pictures kind of stink. I need to go back-it's about an hour from home- but they are seasonal, so I have not gotten a chance yet. 

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This one was hidden in one of the tool buildings

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They have car parts on display too. My only small complaint is that some of the radiator caps have been taken off the cars and put into the showcase. That may be to keep them from getting stolen, but it seemed a little strange to me. 

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I saw 9 brands of car that I had never seen in person before, or at least I didn't have any photographic proof and thus didn't remember, the most new brands I've seen at a museum since 2003. It also spurred me on to made the visual chart of what I had seen/photographed. Currently at 234 different brands.

 

I took over 1000 photos on my first trip, and I just barely scratched the surface. It's an amazing place and well worth the time to explore it. 

Space Farms Zoo & Museum album | El Camino Billy | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy.

 

Edited by Billy Kingsley (see edit history)
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Hey Billy,

    It’s not uncommon for museums to misidentify cars from time to time.
    In the interests of clarity, the picture and nameplate for the “1931 Kissel” which says it has a 126 HP Kissel engine, which this museum ha, is not correct. The Kissel that you have in your photograph I believe is a 1928 Kissel with a six cylinder or small eight cylinder engine. Without more pictures I cannot be more precise but my identification is based on these Kissel facts;

    A. There are no Kissels from 1931. The last Kissel-named cars were made in 1930.

    B. Kissel ceased making cars with their unique “horse collar” radiators in 1928. After that, all Kissel radiators were flat conventional looking “white Eagle” embossed radiators.

    C. Kissel 8-126 big eight engines were only used on Kissel 1929-1930 Deluxe White Eagle models. The pictured car is not a deluxe model with side mounts nor is the hood anywhere near long enough for the Kissel 8-126 engine.

    The Kissel in your pictures is not listed in the Kissel registry. It could be a hitherto unknown original or a mistaken restoration. If one could get the engine number and/or the cowl number for the car, we could easily identify it more correctly.

    Thanks, Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Thank you for the info! The person who had the passion for the cars passed away more than 20 years ago which may explain some of the inaccuracies. I certainly don't have enough knowledge to know the difference, as this is the only Kissel I've ever seen in person.

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Hey Billy,

   I went to the Space Museum website and did some digging. 

   They describe their Kissel that you have pictured in their website as a "1928 Kissel 70 Cabroilet", not as a 1931 Kissel 126 as the display plate says. The model 6-70 Kissels were the small 6-cylinder models in 1928.

   Im kind of gratified that my guesses from a few days ago turned out right!

   Thanks, RON

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I just mentioned Space Farms Zoo and Museum to my wife and she said 'I've been there when I was growing up'.

She lived 40 minutes south of the Museum in the town of Hopatcong, NJ.

We both worked at a summer camp in the Catskill Mountain area of NY and we're fairly certain that we would take the kids there on a field trip every year.

Too many years ago for specific memories, but it's on my list of places to go to when we travel again.

 

Thanks for posting the museum Billy.

 

Do you happen to have a photo of the Willys Knight 1931 Victorian Coupe Deluxe on display in the Space Museum?

 

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by wmsue (see edit history)
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Gem of a place. The Space family are great patriots, public servants, volunteer firefighters, etc etc.

Worth a stop if in the northwest corner of NJ in the High Point area, not too far from I-84 NY/NJ/PA border.

Thanks for posting Billy.

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/23/2021 at 4:35 PM, wmsue said:

I just mentioned Space Farms Zoo and Museum to my wife and she said 'I've been there when I was growing up'.

She lived 40 minutes south of the Museum in the town of Hopatcong, NJ.

We both worked at a summer camp in the Catskill Mountain area of NY and we're fairly certain that we would take the kids there on a field trip every year.

Too many years ago for specific memories, but it's on my list of places to go to when we travel again.

 

Thanks for posting the museum Billy.

 

Do you happen to have a photo of the Willys Knight 1931 Victorian Coupe Deluxe on display in the Space Museum?

 

 

Thanks

Bill

Sorry for the late reply, I don't come to this section very often. 

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That's all I have for now

 

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