© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
I sit on the board of the National Association of Automobile Museums, and last week I traveled to Dearborn, Michigan for a NAAM strategic planning session. We met in the Benson Ford Research Center, where I was able to spend an extra day researching some of our cars.
|The first car built by Henry Ford - 1896 Quadricycle|
Of course, "Driving America" was the star attraction for me. This exhibit showcases the enormous influence the automobile had on American culture. Over 180 cars plus information panels, artifacts, and high-tech touch screen displays cover topics such as road development, marketing, recreation, employment, trucking, auto safety, luxury, and racing. More photos are posted over on our Facebook page.
|1920s child's car seat|
|The first Ford Edsel produced.|
Another interesting exhibit is "Presidential Cars." It was very sobering to see the 1961 Lincoln that President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated. I was surprised to learn that it had been modified to add more safety features, including an armored steel top and bullet-proof glass, and that Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter used it occasionally.
Of course, the exhibits about the Ford motor car are excellent too. The "exploded" Model T has always been a favorite of mine, but I also enjoyed the Model T assembly exhibit. Here, visitors get to add parts and assemble a Model T each day, which is then disassembled before the next day to start the process all over again.
|Yours truly attaching a rear fender|
Alas, I didn't have time to take the tour of the Ford Rouge Factory or visit Greenfield Village. Hopefully I will be able to return to the Detroit area again some day.