What is a car museum without music? Toward the back of the building we found a *working* jukebox! The curator told us it runs on nickels, so I looked through my change until I found one. There were several songs to choose from, and someone pointed out what I thought was the Andrews Sisters' 1940s hit Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and then Auld Lang Syne.
The Boogie Woogie (it turned out to be Tommy Dorsey's Boogie Woogie; you can listen to Myron Floren's excellent rendition here) sounded like it would be by far more exciting, so we listened to it as we browsed the rest of the museum.
These convertibles were real beauties!
The 1923 Milburn on the left was an early attempt at building an electric car. On the right is what I thought was one of the most fabulous cars on display, a 1931 Duesenberg J229.
Isn't she classy? Just look at that engine!
The contraption on the left was used by a child to drive to grade school. In high school (at the age of 15) he moved up in the world with the 1930 Buick Coupe on the right.
The 1931 Lincoln above is the curator's personal favorite. It cost $4,600 new; an advertising slogan was, "Lincolns should be seen but not heard."
A few more of the cars are shown above. I like the colors and designs of the cars from the '50s and '60s. While I wouldn't choose the older cars below as my ideal drive to get me through the wind, rain, sleet, and snow of Iowa they are very interesting to look at at a museum.
At the time they were constructed--in the early 1900s--Iowa was famous for having some of the worst muddy roads in the nation. In fact, the state became a good place for outlaws because the roads were so terrible that the law had a very bad time trying to catch them.
It took a lot of work to improve the roads, but now almost every road in Iowa is either paved or graveled. Whenever we start feeling too nostalgic for the good old days though, a wet spring will come along--just as the frost leaves the ground and before the roads are re-gravelled--and leave us with good old fashioned muddy roads again.
The oldest car I noticed at the museum is the 1899 Haynes-Apperson on the left. It's in pretty good shape for a 115 year old car!
The tour of the museum was definitely very enjoyable! And our $5 entry fee wasn't spent yet--it still covered admission to the adjoining Johnson County Historical Museum. If you're ever in Coralville, be sure to visit this historical treasure trove!