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Rare Oakland Vehicles on display at AACA Museum

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Hershey, PA - The AACA Museum, Inc. Williams-Clyne Gallery is home to a display of early Oakland vehicles through October 20th guest curated by the Keystone State Chapter of the Pontiac-Oakland Club. Throughout the summer there have been a series of vehicles on view from GTOs to larger cruisers like the Bonneville. This last variation of their display boasts a 1916 Oakland Model 50, a 1923 Oakland Model 6-44 and a 1923 Oakland Model 6-44 Touring Car. Two of these three automobiles are the only known survivors of their model year. Oakland Motor Company was a Division of General Motors that built automobiles from 1907 through 1931.

The 1916 Oakland Model 50 is still owned by members of the Gapp family who were the original purchasers of the car in Walhalla, North Dakota in January of 1917 from a multi-car dealership. Mr. John Gapp (the original owner) never drove the car and had only purchased it for his eldest son when he turned 13, the legal age to drive at that time in North Dakota. The car stayed on the family farm and was put in a crate for storage in 1934 where it remained until 2013. The car was finally removed from the container when it was inherited by the grandson of the original owner. This Model 50 Oakland has a V8 engine and is classified as a 7-passenger limousine. It is the only known surviving model from this year. The power plant is a two-piece, 365 cubic inch, Northway engine which is split lengthwise like an airplane engine.

The 1923 Oakland Model 6-44 is a two-door, five-passenger coupe and is the only one from this year known to exist. In 1923, Oaklands were offered only in two color combinations. One was blue with black fenders and the color combination of this car, a maroon body with black fenders. This car is equipped with a floor mounted, three-speed transmission and a 6-cylinder engine and has a 12-gallon fuel tank. The model number 6-44 represents the car’s engine size which translates to a 6-cylinder engine producing 44 horsepower. This car was originally purchased new in Ohio and sold for $1,445.

The third car on view is a 1923 Oakland Model 6-44 Touring Car. The original cost of this car in 1923 would have been $995. The current owners purchased the car in 1988 from a collector in Lancaster. It had been repainted and had a new top installed by a previous owner. The Body wood and sheet metal remain in good original condition. The chassis and engine are original except for a correct replacement rear axle.

This gallery was created as a changing exhibit space that allows the AACA Museum, Inc., to partner with automobile clubs by providing an area to display unique vehicles and tell their stories. The Keystone Chapter of POCI is presenting the current display telling the story of Pontiac-Oakland vehicle history. The Keystone Chapter has been operating since the mid-70s and is extremely active today in keeping alive the history and enthusiasm for the Pontiac-Oakland nameplate. The Southeastern Pa Chapter is the oldest continuous operating chapter in the international club--which includes chapters from around the World. The club's deep roots in Pennsylvania make the AACA Museum, Inc. the perfect location to showcase their vehicles, history, and club benefits to enthusiasts.

Other featured exhibits currently on view at the AACA Museum, Inc. include Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation with more than fifty Studebaker vehicles. One highlight of the exhibition is the 1962 Sceptre prototype on display for the first time in an east coast museum. Harley-Davidson: History, Mythology, and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle shares more than thirty unusual motorcycles recounting the history of his legendary brand. Raymond Loewy: A Retrospective imparts details on this amazing industrial designer known for his work with Studebaker and many other very prominent brands. The exhibition also includes one of Raymond Loewy’s personal vehicles, a customized 1964 Corvair. The Raymond Loewy Retrospective is being done in cooperation with The Hagley Museum and Library and the Raymond Loewy Estate and will be on view in the Members 1st Gallery.

Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI)

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POCI currently has over 9,000 members in 76 active Regional and Specialty Chapters throughout the US and abroad. POCI's Mission today remains much the same as envisioned by its founders:

  • To pool together as much information as possible to assist Pontiac, Oakland, and GMC owners in the restoration and preservation of their vehicles,
  • To promote interest in Pontiac, Oakland, and GMC vehicles, their history, restoration, preservation and, above all,
  • To make owning a Pontiac, Oakland, or GMC an enjoyable experience.

About the AACA Museum, Inc.

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The AACA Museum, Inc., a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses, and motorcycles in unique lifelike scenes representing the 1890s through 1980s on a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. As one of the largest automotive museums in the country, AACA Museum, Inc., features special exhibits that change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles.

The AACA Museum, Inc., has been and remains an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, not affiliated with The Antique Automobile Club of America. 

The Museum is in South Hanover Township, just off Route 39 and one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pa. Regular admission is $12.50; seniors age 61 and older, $11.50; juniors age 4 to 12, $9.50; and children age three and under, free. Admission is also free to AACA Museum, Inc., members and Antique Automobile Club of America members with a current membership card.

The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. For more information, call (717) 566-7100 or visit

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