Have you ever heard about… the Museum of Automobiles? – Design Museum
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Have you ever heard about… the Museum of Automobiles?

Have you ever heard about… the Museum of Automobiles?

When someone thinks of a museum the first thing to come to mind isn’t a museum of automobiles or anything the likes. It’s always the quaintest building you could think off, full of sculptures, paintings, and pseudo-art-critics. Well, let’s take a look at a different kind of museum, with a different kind of pieces on exhibition.

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In this new section of our blog, we take a look at museums which you might never, ever have heard of. “Are there any more obscure museums than one about automobiles?” Absolutely. “Everyone knows that there’s a museum dedicated to cars, duh”. Well, yes and no. See, that might be true, and for all we know, it is, almost everyone knows about it. The issue is, we look at cars as tools, sort of like shoes, albeit much more intricate and expensive ones. But some are works of wonder which should be displayed in a museum, a museum of automobiles! Especially the forefathers of our friends on four wheels. So, this goes out to every car enthusiast who didn’t know this existed, if there are any.

Have you ever heard about… the Museum of Automobiles?

Out in the little town of Morrilton, Arkansas, right on top of Petit Jean Mountain, there’s a special slice of mechanical heaven called The Museum of Automobiles.

Museum of Automobiles
The Museum’s Installations

It is a small town, actually, not too far from Little Rock, but this love and care for early and mid-20th century chariots put this small cozy town on the maps. It opened in 64, by a Rockefeller no less, curious because the most recent car in the museum’s collection is a 1967 Ford Fairlane 500 Ranchero.

Museum of Automobiles
A little piece of Americana, innit? Oh wait, that’s Brit. A little piece of Americana, Yippee ki-yay!

There are much bigger museums of automobiles in the world, such as the Shanghai Auto Museum, but this one has a personal, intimate touch to it. You actually feel the love these exhibits get on a daily basis, instead of just being another piece of a collection. In fact, the Museum actually housed Winthrop Rockefeller’s classic and antique car collection, but 68 vehicle collection was eventually sold upon his death.

Museum of Automobiles

It wasn’t until 76 when a non-profit organization went on to request a load of vehicles on loan from collectors all over the US to be put on display at the Museum of Automobiles. Most of the vehicles on display there now have been fully donated to its collection. One of the most famous is the 1923 Climber Touring Car, made on the same state. It is one of the, if not THE, cornerstone of the museum’s collection. Very neat indeed. Or swell? Nah, nobody ever says swell. Neat is where it’s at.

Museum of Automobiles
An Artifact

It isn’t terribly expensive to visit the museum (unless you’re not from the US, plane tickets can be expensive), and it sure is more than worth it, even if you don’t really care, or ever cared, about those four-wheelers we mistreat so much every day. Some of them are quite quaint and are very much museum pieces by design, they are almost works of art.

Museum of Automobiles
A magnificent 1948 Chrysler Windsor. What delicate curves, what delicate curves…

Here’s the complete list of vehicles on display, taken directly from the Museum’s own website, maybe you’ll find one or two in there that’ll sharpen your appetite:

  • 1904 Oldsmobile French Front
  • 1908 Sears Model J Runabout
  • 1909 Buick Model 10
  • 1912 Ford Model T Touring
  • 1912 Paige Beverly Touring
  • 1913 Metz Runabout
  • 1914 Cretor’s Popcorn Wagon
  • 1915 Ford Model T Couplet
  • 1916 Smith Motor Wheel
  • 1917 Maxwell Touring
  • 1920 Ford Model TT School Bus
  • 1923 Climber Touring
  • 1923 Ford Model T 1-Ton Gasoline Truck
  • 1923 Star Station Wagon
  • 1924 Chevrolet Superior Touring
  • 1924 Chevrolet 1-Ton Truck
  • 1924 Auto Red Bug
  • 1926 Chrysler Sport Coupe Model G-70
  • 1928 Ford Model A Touring
  • 1929 Ford Model A Towncar
  • 1929 Ford Model A Station Wagon
  • 1929 Marmon Coupe
  • 1931 Ford Model A Coupe
  • 1932 Chevrolet 4-Door Sedan
  • 1933 La Salle Town Coupe
  • 1935 DeSoto Airflow
  • 1937 Packard Towncar Model 120-C
  • 1937 Ford Phaeton
  • 1937 Chrysler Airflow C-17
  • 1939 Lincoln Zephyr 2-Door Sedan
  • 1939 Ford Tudor Standard
  • 1939 Ford Tudor Deluxe
  • 1939 Packard 120 Convertible Sedan
  • 1941 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Truck
  • 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe 4-Door
  • 1941 Willys Americar Plainsman
  • 1947 Hudson Pickup
  • 1948 Willys-Overland Jeepster
  • 1951 Cadillac Fleetwood 75
  • 1952 MGTD Roadster
  • 1952 Volkswagen Beetle
  • 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air
  • 1954 Chevrolet 150 Station Wagon
  • 1955 Ford Thunderbird
  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible
  • 1957 Cadillac ElDorado Broughtm
  • 1958 Corvette
  • 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible
  • 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood 75
  • 1967 Ford Fairlane 500 Ranchero


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