New Lincoln Museum Headed for Gilmore Grounds

Lincoln will have a new home. It won’t be a log cabin in Illinois or a mansion in Washington, D.C., but a sparkling new structure worthy of the Lincoln name on the grounds of the famous Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Mich.

During the recent Lincoln car meet in the New Hampshire White Mountains, the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation made a dramatic announcement: the long-anticipated Lincoln Motor Car Museum will be built on the campus of the Gilmore Car Museum.

The foundation, working closely with the Gilmore Car Museum and Ford Motor Co., is reviewing architectural plans for a new, dedicated building. The foundation’s public capital campaign is well underway in anticipation of building a 20,000-square-foot building in two 10,000-square-foot phases. Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in 2010.

John T. Eby, chair of the board of the foundation, stated that the Lincoln automobile has a rich history stretching back to the very beginnings of the automotive industry and, “the Lincoln automobiles represent a perfect thread with which to tell the story of the American automobile industry and the people who made it great. The Lincoln museum will illustrate that story and, most important, highlight the people associated with Lincoln.”

The Lincoln story is at the heart of the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation, which was established in 1999 by members of various Lincoln clubs and retired Ford Motor Co. executives. The purpose of this public, nonprofit foundation is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the living heritage of Lincoln automotive products. It has already established an extensive archive in Hershey, Pa.

The Gilmore Car Museum, nestled in a 90-acre park-like setting midway between Chicago and Detroit, was opened in 1966 and displays more than 200 vehicles spanning more than 100 years of the automotive industry. Today, the museum has a reputation as one of the finest automotive museums in the world.

The Gilmore has instituted a unique program to enhance its own extensive automotive collection by inviting selected organizations to share its campus and infrastructure. Michael Spezia, Director of the Gilmore said, “We are delighted that Lincoln will join the Classic Car Club of America Museum, the Tucker Historical Collection and the Pierce-Arrow Museum as part of our partnership program.”

“This is a long overdue initiative,” said Peter Horbury, Ford Executive Director, Design, The Americas, welcoming the announcement of the new Lincoln museum. “Lincoln represents over 80 years of wonderful history and fantastic automobiles. From the early, elegant cars of the 1920s to the pure and simple Continentals of the 1960s, Lincoln has a wonderful story to tell. We look forward to helping the new Lincoln museum become an exciting and educational destination.”