HICKORY CORNERS, Mich. _ In 1912, a car purchased out of a Sears catalog arrived by train in Waupaca County, Wis. In the 105 years since, the car is not believed to have ever left that county. The original family used it for decades and it eventually went to Chet Krause, founder of the Old Cars Weekly and the Iola (Wis.) Car Show, both located in Waupaca County. The car then went to Waupaca County collectors Dave and Marlese Lindsay, and then to the Iola Car Show itself. It now resides in the Iola Historical Society collection.
On Saturday, May 20, 105 years after it came to Waupaca County, the little Sears will cross Lake Michigan and land in Hickory Corners, Mich., for the Gilmore Car Museum’s Donald Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase, a one-day event welcoming original vehicles 75-125 years old to spend the day driving within its historic campus.
Not only is it tough to find a place to safely drive an early car, it’s nearly impossible to find a place where these cars can be seen in motion at all. The Donald Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase will offer both.
Edwardian cars already expected include a 1903 Columbia Electric; highweelers; and an 1886 Benz representation. Cars of The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath eras and the prewar cars made popular by gangsters such as Bonnie and Clyde will also be at the May 20 event, so look for flathead Fords and multi-cylinder Cadillacs. All cars on display will be of factory stock configuration only.
There will also be free antique car rides for the public; owners wearing period fashions; demonstrations of hand-crank starting the Ford Model T “Tin Lizzy;” the lighting of a fire to start a steam-powered Stanley; and a display of the mammoth 522 cubic inch engine of a 1909 Thomas Flyer. There will also be a swap meet, and those car owners who register for $10 will also be invited to a free driving touring the preceding day, on May 19.
The Gilmore Car Museum has grown into North America’s largest auto museum. Today, it is home to seven independent auto museums and displays more than 400 vehicles in two dozen historic structures on a 90-acre park-like campus.
Public admission to the show is reduced to $12 per person and includes visiting the entire Gilmore Car Museum campus and all exhibits at no extra charge, with those 11 and under admitted free.
Learn more about the Museum and its events at www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org or call 269-671-5089.