Yesterday afternoon, Jordan, Phillip and I took Dad and Deb to Auburn, a town about 20 miles north of where we live. Auburn hosts a very famous collectible car auction and has several car museums. Our destination was the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. The focus of the collection is on cars from the 1920s and '30s, but it ranges from some of the very earliest cars to several very modern models, including the Chrysler Prowler, a very cool vehicle from less than ten years ago.
I hadn't realized that Indiana was such a center for auto manufacturing and I think all of us arrived at the museum with several misconceptions, including the assumption that Duesenbergs were made in Germany. The size of many of these old luxury cars was astonishing, as much as 25 feet long by the time you put the trunk--yes, a literal trunk--on the back bumper.
This one caught my eye partly because of the Oregon license plate . . .
and partly because of the etched glass side windows . . .
We all got a kick out of this 1910 Auburn Model S Roadster because of the "mother-in-law seat" at the back . . .
The price of this Model S Roadster was about $1600 new and it was considered to be quite sporty. We laughed a lot at that mother-in-law seat, though, and the fact that the way the car was arranged there was absolutely no way for the person in that back seat to communicate with the driver. We also laughed at the fact that in addition to having no shelter from the weather and no doors, there were no restraints in the back so we could easily imagine that passenger flying right off on a sudden turn . . .
There were also a few well-preserved, unrestored cars in the collection, such as this one that is very similar to the one above.
My favorite car was either the first one that we saw upon arriving, a recreation of a 1931 Cord that was owned by Jean Harlowe's husband . . .
Or this one, which I had just recently read about in a magazine. It is a 2007 Bugatti Veyron 16.4, an amazing vehicle for many reasons, starting with its retail price of $1.4 million. It has a top speed of 254 mph and the informational sign noted that at top speed, it will run out of gas in 12 minutes, which is fortunate since at top speed it will also wear out its tires in 15 minutes! It goes from zero to 100 mph in 5.5 seconds . . .
Grandpa Phillip's favorite car was this 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which is very similar to the first car he ever owned . . .
Looks like the Fonz, with Richie and Potsie . . .
I'm not at all a big car guy but I thoroughly enjoyed our two hours walking around the collection. The cars are beautiful--real works of art--and there's a lot of historical information to glean.