America on Wheels on track for the holidays

“Train Time Charity Holiday Exhibit” chugs back into America On Wheels for 2010 season
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This holiday season America On Wheels offers popular British car and art exhibits coupled with special events throughout December. Above, the 1967 Morgan +4, the sportier version of the popular Morgan 4/4, was the first Morgan to have 4 wheels.

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ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The popular “Train Time Charity Holiday Exhibit” model train exhibit chugs back into America On Wheels a the 2010 holiday season display that also features the return of the Toys For Tots campaign and a special, short-term exhibit of popular British cars.

The Train Time exhibit, Toys for Tots and the exhibit called “The British Are Coming!” began the day after Thanksgiving and runs through the end of the year. In addition, America On Wheels will host a special art exhibit titled “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” featuring the works of renowned artists James Doddy and Charles Vlasics.

The model trains will be on display in every gallery of America On Wheels and engineers will be operating the trains during normal visiting hours throughout the season.

This is also the second year that America On Wheels is working with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on its traditional Toys for Tots collection campaign to benefit underprivileged children. Visitors are encouraged to bring a wrapped toy and place it on the Mack Truck driven by Santa Claus that is on display in the lobby.

In addition, a full calendar of special events and offers are scheduled throughout the holiday season ranging from a “Meet The Marines” day to free admission offers to a holiday wreath decorating contest.

“We were very proud last year to work with the Marines on this terrific annual effort to help make Christmas better for so many children and we look forward to an even more successful campaign in 2010,” said America On Wheels executive director Linda Merkel. “We really have something for everyone this holiday season.”

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” will also debut Nov. 26 and run through Feb. 1 on the second floor of the museum.

Nationally recognized and honored artist James Doddy is a true Renaissance man. An expert in the visual arts as an accomplished graphic designer, illustrator and painter, Doddy is an active member of the U.S. Air Force Art Program and currently has six paintings permanently displayed in the Pentagon, Washington DC.
Charles Vlasics, known for his painting of Indianapolis 500 legend A. J. Foyt that hangs in the racer’s Houston, Texas home, was the featured artist in the 1993 edition of Car Collector & Car Classics Magazine. He was the poster artist for the prestigious 1993 Concourse d'Elegance of the Burn Prevention Foundation in Reading, Pa. and Mack Trucks commissioned Vlasics to depict its 100th Anniversary in artistic form.

 “The British Are Coming!” features a selection of automobiles that highlight the sportiness, durability and luxury of vehicles from across the pond, including:

  • A 1967 Austin-Healey 3000, the most luxurious of all the Austin-Healey's of this era;
  • A 1962 Austin Mini Cooper, the early version of the popular mini that has been featured in many Hollywood movies;
  • A 1952 Jaguar XK-120, a truly luxurious car honored with several awards from the Antique Automobile Club of America in 2000;
  • A 1950 MG-TD, one of the last MG models released before the company was bought by the British Motor Corporation, this car won significant awards for its impeccable restoration, including most recently, Best In Show at the New England MG T Register Gathering of the Faithful in Mystic, Conn.;
  • A 1967 Morgan +4, the sportier version of the popular Morgan 4/4, the first Morgan to have 4 wheels;
  • And a 1961 TR3, the British-produced car that is more commonly found on American roads than in England.

Special event dates for the upcoming holiday season include:

  • Nov. 26 -- Chik-fil-A Day as Chik-fil-A of the Lehigh Valley Mall will give out 100 kid's meal coupons to the first 100 kids;
  • Nov. 27 -- Seek and Find Day! Enter to win a train starter kit and the first 100 kids will get a special token! Special appearance by Pip the Mouse from 10:30am – noon.
  • Dec. 2 -- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Scouts in uniform will receive free admission and Santa will be here too;
  • Dec. 4 -- Meet the Marines! Visit America On Wheels to thank local Marines and donate a toy. Santa will be here 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 11 -- Children's Safety Demonstration Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come visit and hear from a variety of organizations and professionals on hand to help keep kids safe in a variety of situations. Santa will be here too!
  • Dec. 12 -- Judith's Reading Room will be our featured guest and visitors can donate to this great organization and support wounded soldiers by bringing in new or gently used books. For more information, go to
  • Dec. 18 -- FREE Admission Day with donation of new unwrapped toy.
  • Dec. 19 -- Holiday Tunes. Enjoy holiday tunes at the museum from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Dec. 22 -- $1 Off Admission Day. Come vote for your favorite wreath displayed though out the museum!

Easily accessible to a half-dozen other renowned cultural institutions in Allentown, AOW celebrates our nation’s love affair with motorized and non-motorized over-the-road transportation and its permanent exhibits range from the Nadig – one of America’s first automobiles, produced in Allentown – to the massive Mack Trucks that helped America become the most powerful nation in the world.

AOW also offers hands-on playtime exhibits and learning centers for the children and a souvenir shop for race fans and anyone with an affinity for our automotive legacy.

For more information: Visit the museum’s website at call the museum staff at 610-432-4200, or e-mail

America On Wheels is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and students ages 13 to 16. Children 12 and under are admitted free for this special holiday exhibit.

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