Friday, July 03, 2015

The Museum of Automobiles

I have to start this post by saying that when we walked in and were paying the $10 per person admission fee, the woman asked where we were from. When I said, "Memphis," she responded with this:

"Memphis sounds like a nice place to get away from."


She seemed to have a bad impression of my hometown. I wanted to tell her that at least in Memphis we don't insult our tourists. But I didn't. Because I'm not rude. Unlike her. I'd rather be a pleasant ambassador for Memphis, and I hope her opinion of us isn't worse for our interchange. She seemed amazed when I told her I liked Memphis, so improving her opinion of my river city wasn't going to happen.

Once you run the insult gauntlet getting into the museum, the cars are fun. There were a variety of cars and other vehicles dating from 1904-1967. The Husband got a kick out of the 1933 LaSalle:

because it reminded him of the All in the Family theme song line "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days":

Here's a video The Younger Son took:

of a 1937 Packard that purportedly belonged to Mae West. The music you hear is from a vintage player piano that still works when you put money in it.

This 1923 Climber:

is one of only two known to exist.

This 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five:

was one of the cars of Winthrop Rockefeller (Arkansas governor from 1967-1971), who was instrumental in founding the museum.

This 1963 Lincoln Continental belonged to JFK:

There's a list here of the museum's displays, which include an antique gun collection

and a collection of Arkansas license plates. It was an enjoyable change of pace from the trails on a day when it threatened to rain.


  1. I wonder if that was the lady's standard spiel, or if she just thought it sounded good to say that. Sounds to me like they should have been nicer, since they were making a ton of money on you. Regardless, it appears you really enjoyed the museum and it turned out to be a fun filled day. I would have lingered over the antique guns. That looked interesting. If course, so did the cars you shared. What a diverse collection. I would say it lived up to its name, at least.

    1. Other people came while we were there, and no one else's hometown got insulted :( It was specifically Memphis she thought should be avoided. Odd.

      But yes, it was fun :) A very enjoyable outing.

  2. Perception is a weird thing depending where you stand things look different. Being from Cleveland which is the perpetual butt of jokes and insults on the national scene that I don't understand. Growing up there was a commercial for the electric company proclaiming Cleveland the Best Location in the Nation. For those of us that live here it's easy yo agree with the commercial.

    For most people home town is the best town.

    1. I'm used to the Memphis comments. Memphis is unappreciated in some circles ;) What shocked me was that the museum staff would make the comment to a tourist. That's a first for me.

  3. I like old cars so would have enjoyed the walk around the museum. Can't believe the comment by one of the staff.


    1. There is some kind of car show that's held here. I'll bet it's a treat. I loved the building's architecture, but I didn't see any information on that.

  4. In Sweden there is a real cult for "amerikanare", Americans, which is short for those huge cars you made in the 50's, mostly. The cars in the 80's also made an impression on me, they were so LARGE to my European eyes, but so were the streets and the parking lots. Amerikanare are only driven in summer, very slowly, while drinking beer in the back seat and playing music. Often from Memphis; very, very often from Memphis, where any owner of an amerikanare would happily go any day of the week!

    1. "amerikanare" That is soooo cool! I didn't know that. My family had a 1954 2-door light green Chevy while I was growing up. It was a tank lol. We love playing host to folks from Europe and Japan, because we see how much they love Elvis :)