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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


It is crazy how we sometimes miss something near by while searching all over the place? Like people who travel all over the world, but never see this beautiful country. The Saratoga Automobile Museum was on the radar scope along with several others I have not hit yet. 
It is in Saratoga Spa State park which is many different venues including theatres and guess could be considered a cultural center.
The building is fantastic and started life as a Bottling Plant, behind those big windows is an area that can be rented out for events.
My first impression was slightly confused, it is the first museum I have been at that many modified vehicles, but I soon picked on the theme. They rotate vehicles in one area and right now the exhibit is REMADE in AMERICA, the museum just closed briefly to remove this exhibit and a Mustang Tribute enters. Check the schedule because they have a great schedule of events and in part 2 will discuss the past weekend events that I attended. 


After reading the signage and in house magazine "Horsepower" I understood. Restored or rest-o- mod or just slightly customized and each vehicle has a little story from the owner. Still slightly disappointed I took the elevator upstairs and see museum quality classics. 
Cars produced in New York State!
Franklin from Syracuse, Pierce Arrow from Buffalo in an exhibit called East Of Detroit. Playboy of Buffalo and Maxwell of Tarrytown, yes that remained an auto production plant until recently. Maxwell was acquired by  Walter P. Chrysler so its a Mopar?

A tribute to New York State racing.

A little bit of everything else.

 Hemmings Motor News Concours d'Elegance September 26-28 2014.
Don't bypass the state and county museums, sometimes you actually find classic cars in there!
What a surprising Fire Truck collection in here and there is much much more to see besides the vehicles obviously!

 FDR's Car
A 911 exhibit as well.

After living through this I just brushed through quickly.
If you are up in Albany stop in, the museum is free.
Built in Elmira NY the 1929 Hungerford Rocket car is part of the collection although absent the day I was there, no one in the museum could tell me where it was? 
Those who know me realize I do not just give up, I research!
Some people do not get how much I enjoy rolling down back roads and scenes like this pop up a lot, can not always stop and if I did will never get anyplace. The countryside is just beautiful and full of old iron!
 The Hungerford Rocket car is in the NYS Museum Storage facility along with 1000's of other artifacts that fit every category,keep in mind this was a dark warehouse so photos were a little tough
 The Hungerford Rocket car (aka "Shirley Lois: Moon Girl") was built on a 1921 Chevrolet Chassis in 1929. It had a conventional power train as well as a rocket propulsion system. Only one of the jet nozzles was functional. The others were for appearance. The original Chevy engine ran until it reached 50 mph. The driver then cut in the gasoline powered, forced air rocket engine. The car body was made out of linoleum and cardboard allowing passengers to kick their way out if there was an accident. The car went 70 mph and shot out a 20 foot flame while getting 2 miles per gallon. 
When built 85 years ago it looked like this!

   A wooden toy of the rocket car
I really want to thank Geoffrey Stein for arranging the visit and check out the museums publication above written by Mr. Stein.

 This is where almost everything 911 related is stored, brings back bad memories
 Did the firefighters and Police officers using these vehicles survive?
 Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's 1967 Lincoln just back from the NY auto show

 As the sign explains a circus wagon found as is sitting in a field!

 Great old bus restored by the staff! The 5th Avenue bus company operated and built this bus back in the mid 20's

 Larrabee truck?
 Old NY State police motorcycle and side car
Mr. Stein also wrote a history of Motorcycles built in NY State
 Steam powered tractors
1903 Weebermobile built in Albany
Albany inventor Christian Weeber built his cars just down the street from the Legislative building on Central Ave. I believe a Church is now at the location, but the back of the building may have been part of the original auto factory?  Mr. Weeber was building experimental cars as early as 1898

 Part of a a past exhibit of racing in NY
Could be a museum of vintage speed equipment!

 A text book example of old school dragster

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