Hickory Corners, MI-The Gilmore Car Museum, near Kalamazoo, MI puts more than a hundred pre-WWII vehicles in motion during its annual Pre-1942 Showcase Car Show held on Saturday, May 19th.
The show is dedicated to all motor vehicles built in 1942 and earlier representing both the first fifty years of the automobile as well as cars that established the Gilmore Car Museum collection when it opened to the public in 1966.
At the Pre-1942 Showcase you’ll enjoy seeing several unique cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles from the earliest days of motorized transportation. What makes this event unique is that rather than remaining static in one parking spot all day, most of the vehicles at this show will be in motion.
Owners, often dressed in corresponding vintage attire, are encouraged to start their vehicles and drive them throughout the Museum’s historic campus. Don’t be surprised by encountering an 1880s High Wheeler bicycle (also known as a “Penny Farthing” or “Ordinary”) peddling past the small-town train depot or a 1928 Model A Ford pulling up front of the Model A Ford dealership building.
Guests will enjoy special demonstrations that include the 1886 Benz—an authentic re-creation of the very first motor car—being started and driven. You’ll be fascinated by witnessing a rare Stanley steam-powered auto, much like a steam train, being fired up and driven. When a 1908 Baker Electric car quietly passes by, you could be stunned to realize its 110-year-old technology.
The Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase, held on Saturday, May 19th, will feature early vehicles rarely ever seen, a narrated drive-by parade, vintage-style carnival games for children, and free Model T rides.
One of the Museum’s newest educational programs, “The Abernathy Kids,” will also be unveiled to guests. This is the true story of how two brothers—aged 9 and 6 years old—traveled in a 1909 Brush Runabout from New York City to Oklahoma City in 1910 by themselves. In an era before dependable roads the boys drove over 2,500 miles, came to West Michigan with a special stop in Battle Creek (to see how their morning cereal was made!), before continuing home. Meet the two local youths playing the part of the Abernathy Kids and an identical 1909 Brush Runabout that will be making its way to area schools this year.
Besides the wonderful trip “back in time” throughout the Museum’s historic campus—complete with a working 1941 diner, a 1930s service station, and a recreated dealership row—guests will discover one of the very first Model T Fords built, coming out of the factory in late 1908 as the 131st car completed out of the more than 15 million produced. Inside the 1928 Ford dealership you’ll find the very first Model A produced, which was given by Henry Ford to his close friend and noted inventor Thomas Edison.
Admission for the Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase held Saturday, May 19th is only $14 per adult, with kids 11 and under admitted FREE. Gilmore Car Museum Members are also always free and, as part of Kalamazoo’s Cultural Exchange, members of six additional area attractions (The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Bird Sanctuary and Manor House, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the Gilmore Car Museum) share FREE admission to their current card-carrying members during the month of May 2018.
The Gilmore Car Museum—North America’s Largest Auto Museum—is located midway between and just minutes from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek, MI. It displays nearly 400 vehicles year-round, presents several special events and cars shows, and offers ever-changing special exhibits throughout the season. Visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org to learn more and plan your visit.
The Gilmore Car Museum is a public, 501(c)3 non-profit educational institution, dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the American automobile.