Check out a museum

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With all of the advice and stories we print in Old Cars, I’m just waiting for readers to ask if we practice what we preach. The answer is “Yes!”

In a recent editorial, I urged readers to hit a museum to fend off the winter blues, or to get a different experience in the hobby. The suggestion came from a trip to the Ellingson Car Museum in Rogers, Minn., that my brother and I took on a cold, snowy day during a Sunday this February.

Many museums, including Ellingson, change their inventories regularly. It had been several years since I had last been at the museum, and I only recognized a couple of the cars. The selection was also good, and it appears that the museum was keeping up with hobby trends. There was a Plum Crazy Hemi ‘Cuda, an unusually correct (and very nice driver-quality) Amphicar, 1938 Maybach convertible sedan said to have been owned by a Nazi general and a “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger stated to have been used in filming of the TV series.

I really “dug” the museum’s 1936 Auburn convertible coupe, 1932 Plymouth coupe, Cord L-29 sedan and 1928 Hudson rumble-seat coupe. I’m a sucker for a 1957 Oldsmobile Holiday, and there was a ’57 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday sedan in a great green shade on display. Course, the Hemi ‘Cuda wasn’t bad, either!

I was also able to spot a few treats for my coworkers. Ron Kowalke would love to make a stock car out of an old “Squarebird,” and the museum had a replica 1959 Thunderbird that replicated the Holman Moody-prepped NASCAR machine. Keith Mathiowetz is restoring an Amphicar, and the car in the Museum was a twin to his car.

Ellingson not only displays great cars, it offers some of its cars and those of others for sale. It’s a great way to keep money flowing in and the establishment open, and it gives local car enthusiasts a place to sell a car. I also noticed that the museum has a club room, which I assume is used by local clubs as a meeting area. What a great idea! I wonder if other clubs have done the same?!

If you want to swing by Ellingson Car Museum on your own, go to: http://www.ellingsoncarmuseum.com . Also watch for the March 22 issue of Old Cars to feature a listing of known museums, as well as several orphan cars.