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2023 Detroit Tour Highlights Part 2: Classic Restos - Series 53

By Shannons - Published on 20 October 2023

The United States is home to some of the world's most amazing museums and private collections, especially when it comes to classic cars. One such museum on the Fletch Detroit Tour is the Stahl's Automotive Foundation, founded in 1995 by Ted Stahl.

Ted's family restored a 1930 A Model Ford, which sparked their passion for classic cars, which has grown into one of the biggest premier collections of vintage vehicles and automotive memorabilia.

The Stahl automotive collection displays over 100 classic cars from the brass, depression, pre-post war and modern eras, including one-of-a-kind vehicles such as a 1948 Tucker, a 1963 Chrysler Turbine car and a 1926 AC roadster.  To keep the display fresh, the museum rotates vehicles from storage, where over 100 more cars are kept.

Another must-visit location on the Fletch Detroit Tour is the Gilmore Car Museum, North America's largest auto museum. The Gilmore story began around the early 1960s when Donald Gilmore's wife Genevie bought him a classic car. After that, he was hooked. The museum features over 400 vehicles. Some of the first vehicles in his collection included a 1927 Model T Ford, a 1913 Rolls-Royce, and a 1920 Pierce-Arrow. Restoring that classic Pierce-Arrow ignited a passion for collecting some of the world's most renowned automobiles.

The Museum's 90-acre historic campus features numerous vintage structures, including a restored and fully functioning 1941 Silk City Diner and a recreated 1930s Shell Service Station. Fletch reflects on a previous Classic Restos episode filmed at the Gilmore Car Museum. 

When it comes to Automotive history, we all know that without Henry Ford, our history books would have read differently. Henry was an incredible innovator the Piquette plant was the first building he used in 1904, before the Highland Park assembly line. The Model T Ford was produced here, with over 12,000 built. Fletch revisits an earlier episode on the Piquette factory.

Ken Lincoln Felder is a private collector with a vast collection of classic cars, including Ferraris, European cars, and American GM classics. His collection is usually not open to the public, but the Fletch Detroit Tour has exclusive access.

The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum had an interesting history before it became a museum. It started as the first Dodge dealership outside Detroit in 1917, then became a Willys Overland dealership in 1927 until 1929. The 1930s recession saw the building lie dormant before becoming a Hudson dealership in 1958. In 1999, the Hudson dealership connected with an adjoining building to create a joint museum for Hudson and the Corsair car display by General Motors; both are first-class displays. These are just some of the highlights of the Fletch Detroit Tour for 2023.