Fletch's 2013 USA Tour Revised - Classic Restos: Series 48
Trips to the USA with Shannons Marketing Manager Mark Behr have been a regular part of Classic Restos. These have been on hold over the past two years, but there are plenty of great memories of the people, places, and sights visited.
Fletch chats with Mark about their first tour back in 2013, and Fletch admits Mark planned most of the itinerary. There were many highlights but none better than the Gilmore Car Museum located in Hickory Corner, outside Detroit. The Museum is over 90 acres, with the collection presented in several massive timber barns from the late 1800s that have been fully restored on a beautifully presented property and acclaimed by many as one of the best motor museums in the world.
Fletch chats with Michael, the Gilmore Car Museum executive director. Michael describes the Museum as a diverse and eclectic collection, with experiences that connect people with the automobile's history, heritage, and social impact. Impressively, most of the 435 vehicles on display are owned by the Museum. The others are on loan from collectors, including the Classic Car Club of America, to support theme displays. The Gilmore Museum also features a period diner, fuel station, a full Lincoln Museum, and a Cadillac Museum under construction at the time of the tour.
Another 2013 tour highlight was the Stahl Museum, with over 80 cars on display ranging from the 1886 Daimler prototype to the muscle cars of the 1960s. With particular emphasis on the great cars of the 1930s and 1940s, a period of style and constant evolution. Along with a vast display of memorabilia. Fletch talks with Bill, the curator of the Museum, about one of the feature vehicles. A very rare 1948 Tucker, 6-cylinder water-cooled flat engine. Bill also reveals how the Stahl Museum acquired this very collectable vehicle.
Another excellent Museum outside of Detroit, in South Bend, Indiana, is the Studebaker Museum, a massive 55,000 sq ft display over multiple levels in a climate-controlled environment. Studebaker has always been synonymous with style; while sales may not have reflected this, they are today very collectable cars. Studebaker is one of the oldest car companies in the world with a rich history. They started making wagons and building an electric car in 1902, with Thomas Edison buying their second vehicle manufactured. Fletch catches up with Museum curator Andrew, who reflects on the company's history and the 120 vehicles the Museum features.
A trip to the US for Fletch wouldn't be complete without a trip to Tiffin, Ohio, to visit Murray Park and his family, now long-time friends. In 2013 Fletch chatted with Murrays' daughter Christina, just 16 years of age, about her car project, a 1958 Desoto Fireflite. This one will delight the hearts of enthusiasts, seeing the next generation of enthusiasts keeping the passion alive. Understandably this may have something to do with her father having 1,000 cars in his collection.