Museums: Hershey School ‘limbo’ wagon slated for restoration

One of the Hershey School's 'limbo wagons' is ready for restoration | AACA Museum photo
One of the Hershey School’s ‘limbo wagons’ is ready for restoration | AACA Museum photo

It was in 1959, during the 50th anniversary of the school and home for orphaned boys founded by Milton S. and Catherine Hershey, that the decision was made to provide a more home-style environment. Part of that change included purchasing a fleet of station wagons.

To replace the more formal school buses that had been used for student travel between housing units and the school, the school purchased a fleet of 1962 Chevrolet Biscayne wagons. Those wagons went to Stageway, a coachbuilder in Cincinnati, for conversion to hold a driver and as many as 13 students at a time. Continue reading

Museums: Plywood shaped modern life, even our cars

A 1937 DKW F7 cutaway is part of the plywood exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum | V&A Museum photos
A 1937 DKW F7 cutaway is part of the plywood exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum | V&A Museum photos

So I’m cruising through the daily dezeen.com newsletter and there’s a story about a new exhibit running through November 12 at the V&A Museum, aka the Victoria and Albert Museum, London’s showcase of art and design. The exhibit’s title is “Plywood: Material of the Modern World,” and the first two photographs illustrating the article prominently feature cars — a passenger vehicle and a racing car.

Plywood in cars? Even racing cars? Hey, we know about woody wagons and how in the early days horseless carriage bodies were made from hardwoods. But plywood? Continue reading

Museums: Blackhawk showcases ‘Transatlantic Style’

Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo
Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo

Saturday is Deuce Day at the Petersen

Just unveiled and running through September 30, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, offers what figures to be one of the most talked-about exhibitions of the year — “Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome.”

Featuring about two dozen stunningly designed automobiles, the exhibition is based on the book, Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style, by author Donald Osborne and photographer Michael Furman. Continue reading

Cousins: Camaros, Firebirds seize spotlight at AACA museum

AACA Museum celebrates 50th birthday of GM's F-body cousins -- Camaro and Firebird | Photos by Nick Kurczewski
AACA Museum celebrates 50th birthday of GM’s F-body cousins — Camaro and Firebird | Photos by Nick Kurczewski

With the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro in 1966, followed one year later by its mechanical twin cousin, the Pontiac Firebird, an all-out performance battle was officially launched between General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. Targeted squarely at the Mustang, Ford’s runaway sales hero that had been launched for the 1964½ model year, the GM duo had a tremendously difficult task ahead of them: unseat the very vehicle that inspired the term “pony car.” Continue reading

Garage-find classics rule at this AACA museum exhibit

1913 Empire went into a barn after farmer's sons rolled it over | Nick Kurczewski photos
1913 Empire went into a barn after farmer’s sons rolled it over | Nick Kurczewski photos

To restore or not to restore, that’s the question many classic car owners face at least once during the lifetime of a vehicle. Do you keep the car’s original patina and celebrate the imperfections that come with old age? Or, is the better choice to undertake a complete restoration and make the car sparkle like it was new again?

In the case of the AACA Museum’s new showcase exhibit, “Garage Finds: Unrestored Treasures that Survived Time,” that difficult decision has already been made for you. Of the more than 40 cars on display, many are veritable time-warp examples, vehicles that have miraculously escaped the wraith of rust-inducing winters and fender-bashing shopping carts. Continue reading

AACA Museum comments on ‘merger situation’

Staff at AACA Museum (above) say it offered land on its campus for new AACA headquarters | AACA Museum photo
Staff at AACA Museum (above) say it offered land on its campus for new AACA headquarters | AACA Museum photo

(Editor’s note: Classic Car News received a response Tuesday from the AACA Museum to recent reports about the end of merger talks with the Antique Automobile Club of America. We share that response below.)

The old car hobby recently learned of the Antique Automobile Club of America’s decision to defund and end formal relations with the AACA Museum.  The two organizations have been in merger negotiations for approximately two and one half years and at one point had a jointly signed letter of intent to move forward.  The Club reneged on their commitment and ultimately rejected a total of 11 different proposals from the Museum before announcing their decision to end the relationship. Continue reading

Commentary: What should we make of AACA, museum turmoil?

AACA annually stages its huge Hershey swap meet| Dennis David photo
AACA annually stages its huge Hershey swap meet| Dennis David photo

Should we care that the Antique Automobile Club of America and the AACA Museum planned merger into one entity failed? There is a fair amount of speculation as to why the merger hit the rocks. Neither side has been particularly forthcoming with details to help us understand the issues. Continue reading

Former curator returns as AACA Museum executive director

Jeff Bliemeister takes the wheel as executive director of the AACA Museum | AACA Museum photos
Jeff Bliemeister drives backl as executive director of the AACA Museum | AACA Museum photos

Jeffrey E. Bliemeister is returning to the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum as executive director of the institution in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Bliemeister was the museum’s curator from early in 2003 through November 2011.

Bliemeister, which starts his new position December 12, succeeds Mark Lizewskie, who left in August. Lizewskie became general manager of D.L. George Coachworks, a restoration facility. Continue reading

NY World’s Fair Thunderbird takes Magic Skyway ride to Hershey

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Car entering the Magic Skyway | Disney Wikia photo

Once upon a time, a 1964 Ford Thunderbird convertible seemingly transported people through “time” at the 1964 World’s Fair held in New York. The car was part of the Magic Skyway within a Ford Rotunda that spanned several city blocks at the fair grounds.

Continue reading

AACA Museum loses yet another executive director

Mark Lizewskie leaves museum | Ed Hyman photo
Mark Lizewskie leaves museum | Ed Hyman photo

Yet another executive director has left the Antique Automobile Club of America museum, which has announced the resignation of Mark Lizewskie effective August 23. According to the official news release, Dennis Beck, the museum’s accounting manager, will serve as acting general manager for an interim period. Continue reading