Branson Auto Museum closed for repair after tornado

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Branson Auto Museum is closed pending repairs after it was damaged by a tornado that touched down in the Missouri tourist destination last week. Several Highway 76 businesses that were in the path of the tornado and high winds are closed for repair.

The Branson Auto Museum is located on the world famous "Strip" in Branson, in the former "Engler Block" crafts mall. The EF2 tornado that struck around 1:30 a.m. Feb. 29 brought winds of up to 130 mph as the twister hopped along the Branson Strip, damaging about four dozen commercial structures including six of the town's 50 theaters and 22 of the 200 hotels and motels.

As the photo indicates, there was damage to the outside of the museum building and its famous sign. It is unclear the interior suffered any damage. Understandably, efforts to contact museum personnel have been unsuccessful.

According to news reports, cleanup and repair in Branson is expected to take weeks. Still, officials in Branson say the town is open for business.

The Branson Auto Museum was conceived in August of 2007 and opened on May 15, 2009. The museum boasts rooms of hot rods, speedsters, coupes, convertibles, Model As, muscle and race cars -- more than 100 automobiles in all. A new addition is a room of tractors and other antique farming equipment. The museum includes a gift shop and Sculpture World, a gallery of bronze sculptures and fountains.

The museum cars and inventory change regularly and, this spring, there are plans to add lots more tractors and farm implements to their collection. In the coming year, they plan to add a collection of steam engines, too.

To learn more about the museum, visit www.bransonmuseum.com.

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