Under The Hood

Check out a museum

With all of the advice and stories we print in Old Cars, I’m just waiting for readers to ask if we practice what we preach. The answer is “Yes!”

In a recent editorial, I urged readers to hit a museum to fend off the winter blues, or to get a different experience in the hobby.  The suggestion came from a trip to the Ellingson Car Museum in Rogers, Minn., that my brother and I took on a cold, snowy day during a Sunday this February.

Many museums, including Ellingson, change their inventories regularly. It had been several years since I had last been at the museum, and I only recognized a couple of the cars. The selection was also good, and it appears that the museum was keeping up with hobby trends. There was a Plum Crazy Hemi ‘Cuda, an unusually correct (and very nice driver-quality) Amphicar, 1938 Maybach convertible sedan said to have been owned by a Nazi general and a “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger stated to have been used in filming of the TV series.

I really “dug” the museum’s 1936 Auburn convertible coupe, 1932 Plymouth coupe, Cord L-29 sedan and 1928 Hudson rumble-seat coupe. I’m a sucker for a 1957 Oldsmobile Holiday, and there was a ’57 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday sedan in a great green shade on display. Course, the Hemi ‘Cuda wasn’t bad, either!

I was also able to spot a few treats for my coworkers. Ron Kowalke would love to make a stock car out of an old “Squarebird,” and the museum had a replica 1959 Thunderbird that replicated the Holman Moody-prepped NASCAR machine. Keith Mathiowetz is restoring an Amphicar, and the car in the Museum was a twin to his car.

Ellingson not only displays great cars, it offers some of its cars and those of others for sale. It’s a great way to keep money flowing in and the establishment open, and it gives local car enthusiasts a place to sell a car. I also noticed that the museum has a club room, which I assume is used by local clubs as a meeting area. What a great idea! I wonder if other clubs have done the same?!

If you want to swing by Ellingson Car Museum on your own, go to: http://www.ellingsoncarmuseum.com . Also watch for the March 22 issue of Old Cars to feature a listing of known museums, as well as several orphan cars.

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