Greenfield Village may be best place ever for a car show

1937 Ford convertible, matching Monark bicycle and the home of Henry Ford's favorite teacher, John Chapman | Larry Edsall photos
1937 Ford convertible, matching Monark bicycle and the home of Henry Ford’s favorite teacher, John Chapman | Larry Edsall photos

Let’s consider the best location for a classic car show.

On one hand, there are the Main Streets in all the small towns in America, streets where, long before American Graffiti would transport us back in time, teenagers would cruise each weekend, but where the classics and the hot rods of a bygone era now park perhaps one gloriously nostalgic day or weekend per year.

On the other hand, there are the fairways of some of the world’s finest golf courses, given over for a weekend not to carts but to cars, not to caddies but to Caddys. There are no pars or bogies to be made this weekend; we’re here to appreciate the way engineers and designers have combined metal and leather and rubber into rolling sculpture.

On the other hand — I know, there should be only two hands, but I’m not finished, so don’t be so picky — there are baseball diamonds, which can truly become Fields of Dreams for a day, or even for an evening under the lights, when transformed into automotive showplaces. For example, the annual kickoff — sorry, mixed sports metaphor — of the Copperstate 1000 vintage rally in Arizona.

A 1972 Buick Skylark in front of the historic Edison powerhouse
A 1972 Buick Skylark in front of the historic Edison powerhouse

On the other hand, there are the grassy lawns and parking lots of car museums, where, in the event of rain, and of cars owners who kept their pride and joy dry and at home, you at least can go inside and see the museum’s car collection.

And then there is Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, Michigan, where Henry Ford collected historic American buildings and created his own small town, and where two car shows are staged each year — the Motor Muster in the late spring and the Old Car Festival in the late summer.

For Motor Muster, owners of cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and military vehicles produced between 1933 and 1977 can park among the historic buildings, there to be enjoyed by those who have come to see them, and by those who have come simply to see the village and its historic artifacts.

And, in the event of threatening or even inclement weather that might keep down the usual car count — as was the cast last Saturday — right next door is The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, where the Driving America exhibit that showcases the history of America’s love affair with the car and its automotive lifestyle is just one of the many and educational attractions.

The Motor Muster takes place throughout each Father’s Day weekend while the Old Car Festival, featuring vehicles through the 1932 model year, is scheduled for September 9-10 this year. For additional details, visit the Henry Ford museum website.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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