Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Volo Auto Museum

Typical hood ornament for 1930's era Fords

Would you pay $9.00 admission to walk inside a car dealership? If not, I can't say I wouldn't blame you, but there is an auto dealership in Northern Illinois that gets away with charging admission, and people keep coming back for more!

The dealership is the Volo Auto Museum in the little town of Volo, Illinois. The reason it is called a "museum" and not a dealership has to do with the type of vehicles sold: classic muscle cars for the 50's and 60's, plus famous cars from Hollywood movies and TV shows.

The muscle cars aren't just hotrods with huge blowers sticking out of the hoods and giant slicks for rear tires, but most of the cars (over 250!) are fully restored to original, stock condition; and some are not even restored, but carefully cared for originals. The usual muscle car suspects can be found in plentiful supply: GTO's, Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Road Runners, Chevelle's, Cameros, and Corevettes.

But there are also famous movie and TV cars to be found, including a "K.I.T.T" from the famous Knight Rider TV series, and the original Batmobile. You can also find the Cadillac Ambulance from "Ghost Busters" on site, as well as a "Blues Brothers" 74 Dodge Monaco police cruiser. Yes, even the most famous movie car of them all is at Volo: the DeLorean from "Back to the Future", complete with the "Mr. Fusion" (though I did not bother to check if the flux capacitor was properly installed).

1940 Cadillac LaSalle

But my favorites are in the pre 1950 building. There you can see some real goodies, like a '46 Lincoln Continental V-12, a '40 Cadillac LaSalle, and a '31 Cord Carbriolet.

1934 Packard V-12 Convertible

But if you're wondering what car I'd most like to drive away in, it would be, hands down, the 1934 Packard V-12 convertible sedan. Now there's a car you don't see on the road everyday. The price of the car is not advertised, though it is for sale: no doubt the price is somewhere near that of a small, seaside mansion in Malibu.

It's a fun place, and if you aren't into cars, there's a huge antique shop on the premises, and lots of other small retail outlets.

The Volo Auto Museum is unique in that there aren't too many museums out there where you can actually buy the exhibits.

<>< TM

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