On any other Sunday I would probably be taking the day to do service work on the truck or trailer ...
Last Sunday I had to pick up a donated Model T parts cabinet for transport to the museum.
Around noon I found my self in Robert's living room looking at this ...
And this ....
In the family room was a steam engine popcorn machine ....
After stops at several buildings we took a ride out in the country.
To a unassuming grey cinder block building.
This was our last stop.
I eased the garage door up ...
I was looking for a Model R that Jerry was hoping to get loaned to the MTFCA Museum ...
After some maneuvering I found it in the far corner.
There was no hope of getting any closer ...
What a shame.
What a lost opportunity to see the road again.
These cars sit forgotten in the dark.
Circumstances are such they will remain that way.
In accordance with Robert's wishes - the location
of these cars will remain undisclosed.
WOW! What a great time machine that collection is. I bet there are 100's of similar situations all over the country. The time is coming when we'll see more and more of them come to light. I know of one like that here in BC with about 80 cars in it. They haven't been seen for the last 45 years or so.
Thanks for sharing the pictures Jim
Surely there are other cars in this type of storage.
It is unfortunate to say the least ....
There were other buildings with cars ...
Jim, It's sad seeing all those cars hidden there when he really wanted them to be displayed for all to see. Maybe after the cabinet is in it's new home we will send him a few pictures and he will reconsider. By the way, we finished the ceiling in the Vintage Garage and now have room for it there. Let me know if we should get it or if you are planning on bringing it over. Thanks for all you do for our museum. Hope your truck problems are finally over. Jerry
I asked Robert if he could travel, I invited him to the June Homecoming to see for himself what the MTFCA is really about but he was not interested.
I believe he is a Lifetime Member, he had a stack of Vintage Ford magazines by his chair in the living room.
I noticed after I had give him my copies I carry in the truck ...
Robert offered his collection to the town for free if they would build a " living museum " to house it - he has a treasure of household antiques he wanted also to display.
He had some items on exhibit at another museum, they had a Board of Directors change & gave him short notice to come get his stuff or they would keep it.
He is afraid if he sends a car to a museum - it will be stripped of valuable parts.
At 83 he has given up hope .....
The parts cabinet is at 503 Diesel with Matt in Lewisburg, OH.
Great story and pics Jim. Great in the sense that these treasures are in a place where they are kept out of the weather and protected. This proves again that finds like this are still out there.
One day they will come to light and hopefully be enjoyed by future generations again.
There are stash's of cars, parts and vintage items that were behind the barn or on the back side of a farm or ranch that have rotted down over the years. At least these haven't.
Over the years cars have come to light in the opposite condition these are. We car guys have seen that happen to many times. Its good to see these in great shape. That's the upside of this post in my mind.
What a great collection of cars. It is a shame they're imprisoned there apparently for a long time to come. An even bigger "shame on you" to the idiotic town that declined such a fantastic offer. With so many towns practically living on nothing more than tourism, you would think this town would jump at the chance to have something as great as this as an attraction to bring people and therefore spending time and money in their town.
I can show that electric in my garage museum if he wants ;)
I'll bet there's at the very least hundreds of barns and buildings just like this one all over the Country. The house looks pretty crowded too. By the pics shown it seems like you have to walk sideways in some of the rooms. Folks with that bent of mind can't seem to let go. Don't know. Lost youth or whatever. "Rosebud" LOL. Still, he owns the collection and it may see the light of day sadly after he's gone.
I know of a place in Northern New York that has a barn full of hit and miss flywheel engines, Some of which are so rare I believe that they may be the last surviving engine of there make. There are a couple that are not even listed in either the yellow or the red books. There is one made completely of brass. In all I think there is around 300 engines in there.
It's one thing to donate a collection to a town for a museum, but it's another thing to have the money to keep the collection & museum going. Perhaps the town knew this. Museums DO NOT make money, they cost money. If you have a collection you want on display in a museum, make certain you have the endowment to go along with it to keep it open AND maintained.
Been there, done that, was once a professional curator, now out-of-work curator trying to live on piano tuning (the only other trade I had to fall back on--other than fixing toytrains, another way to lose money; or I could have opened a restoration shop, but I don't have a shop! (30 years ago I did--and I also don't have the stamina to do that 8 to 10 hours a day anymore). Reason I'm out of work? City Administration decide they could run 5 museums without any paid committed staff, other than the parks employees fixing the buildings when necessary.
David, I agree with you. As much as I enjoy going thru museums, most of them are a money pit to the town or the person that owns it. It is sad but it is true.
Why anyone would see a negative in someone like this preserving a large stash of
cool is beyond me. Our media-induced society is all about the latest app, newest
phone, movie, or whatever other stupid trendy thing the feeders of consumers can
dream up to make a buck.
Old junk don't pay. You either have the affliction for old and cool, or you don't, but
it does not make money like making and selling new plastic cars, electronics, song
downloads, or any other of the myriad of chinese trinkets we are perpetually bombarded
So, what happens ? It molders in quiet repose and is lusted after by fruitcakes and
erstwhile dreamers like us. Trouble is, most of US cannot separate what we THINK should
be, and what actually IS. The town that turned this collection down is more than likely
filled with more people in tune with modern media marketing economics than the VERY
specialized mindset it would take to assemble such a collection into a viable tourist draw
that *might* sustain itself, or add to an existing tourist-oriented venue like a historic
downtown that has mustered itself around its own historic background.
The owner of this stash clearly knows cool when he sees it and has surrounded him-
self with a wonderful ambiance of "awesome". But only 1 out of 100 people "get that".
The rest don't give a #@! and only want to read some more incoming text and get a
sandwich at Subway.
There are more old cars than people who want them. Plain and simple. I am always
thrilled to see a stash like this. I prefer it to polished and perfect. But it all takes money.
Money to buy, money to house, money to protect .... all money that generates exactly
NO money. SO it takes dedicated dreamers and erstwhile nutters to HAVE that money'
from outside sources, to pour it into a large non-revenue-generating prospect such as
preserving old cool.
Hat's off to this guy for doing what he's done. I hope the legacy can be continued
uninterrupted when he passes.
Robert first fell in love with a TT truck he saw. The next vehicle he bought was a model T. He started collecting in the early 1960s. He never really drove any of the model T's he collected, he just enjoyed them. I doubt his intent was to be at this point in his life with limited resources and his collection sitting in a dark neglected space. At the end of the day, what is best for collectible cars is not always possible for what an owner can do.