The Gilmore Car Museum offers so much to see! After visiting so many of the associated car museums, we were headed toward the last one on our tour which was devoted to Hudsons. However, on the walk over we stopped in another big barnlike structure which housed some very interesting cars.
|1940 American Bantam Model 65 Standard Coupe|
|1946 Stout Scarab 46 Experimental aka "Project Y"|
William B. Stout was a noted engineer who came up with a number of advanced concepts in both the automotive and aeronautical fields. His 2-AT "Air Pullman" all-metal monoplane of 1924 used some of the ideas of German aviation pioneer Hugo Junkers and was eventually developed into the famous Ford Trimotor airliner. Stout started the Stout Motor Car Company in 1934 to build the Stout Scarab, an extraordinary car that used lightweight metal in its construction and an advanced independent suspension for a smooth ride. It featured wonderful streamline Art Deco styling but its complexity made the Scarab very expensive and only nine, no two of which were identical, were built when production ended in 1939. Commentators have likened its concept to today's minivan in terms of space utilization.
The Scarab concept was dusted off after World War II by Stout after discussions with auto executive Joe Frazer, who had purchased the assets of the defunct Graham-Paige Company and wanted a new design. The 1946 Stout Scarab Experimental, or "Project Y," was developed in conjunction with Owens-Corning and had a frameless fiberglass body, air suspension, wraparound windshield, belt drive rear wheel drive, and push-button electric doors. The body, more conventional than the 1934 Scarab, was designed by Howard "Dutch" Darrin. The prototype car, which cost $100,000 to build, featured a rear-mounted 90 hp Ford V8 but was never put into production as the estimated sales price of $10,000 for this futuristic car would have been too high for the market. It was the first car to be built of fiberglass and the concept paved the way for the 1953 Corvette and the 1954 Kaiser Darrin.
|1940 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet|
This Continental was purchased new and owned by the brother of the Gilmore Car Museum founder.
|1917 Mercer 22-73 Runabout|
Mercers were expensive cars and no more than 500 were produced in a year, with only 150 of those being Raceabouts. However, personnel changes were to roil the company as Roebling family members passed away--including Washington Roebling II, a key manager, who perished in the Titanic disaster of 1912!--and Porter left in 1914. In 1919 the company was taken over by a Wall Street group headed by a former Packard Vice-President and his attempts to build a new automotive giant on the General Motors model based on Locomobile, Simplex and Mercer quickly failed. By 1925 Mercer existed in name only although an attempt was made to revive it in 1931 when a single prototype was built.
This 1917 Runabout, offering considerably more creature comforts than the hairy-chested Raceabout, was powered by a four cylinder engine of 70 hp and rode on a 132 inch wheelbase. It weighed 3,500 lbs and was priced at $3.750; 150 were built that year. This particular car was owned by a gentleman who actually spent his childhood years on a farm located on what are now the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum.
|1903 Ford Model A Runabout with Tonneau|
|1910 Ford Model T Touring|
|1919 Stutz Series G Bulldog|
The Series G Bulldog here is similar to the famous Bearcat in mechanical terms, with a 4 cylinder 80 hp engine, but had a four passenger touring body with a top, full windshield and side curtains for $2,850.
|1917 Packard Twin Six 2-25 Touring|
|1911 Buick Model 32 Roadster|
The next building we came to featured cars from the Hudson Motor Car Company. This building was the original one put up by Donald S. Gilmore to house his growing car collection and opened to the public as a museum in 1966. Hudson was founded in 1909 and set a record, selling 400 cars in its first year of production. The company shifted into six cylinder models in 1913 and proclaimed itself the largest producer of six cylinder cars in the world and that same year announced a stock dividend of 100%. In 1954 Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator to become the American Motors Corporation, which was eventually merged into the Chrysler Corporation in 1990. In 1929 Hudson produced 300,000 cars, its best year, and although it weathered the Great Depression its glory days were behind it. Use of the Hudson name was discontinued after 1957.
|1937 Railton Rippon Special Limousine|
The unique example on display at the Gilmore was the car ordered by Col. Reginald Rippon of Rippon Brothers, Britain's oldest coachbuilders, for his personal use. Constructed at the Rippon workshop in Yorkshire, the car featured fitted luggage, two sliding sunroofs, and a toolkit, all matching the car, along with a secret compartment for Col. Rippon's sporting rifles. The inlaid walnut cabinet in the rear opens up into table tops and included a silver cognac flask and other amenities. The car, with aluminum coachwork, has built-in jacks and is powered by Hudson's 245 cu. in. eight cylinder engine making 122 hp.
(Note: this car was on loan from the Hosteler Museum collection of Hudsons. That museum was closed and its contents auctioned in August 2018, with this car selling for $462,000)
Railton cars would be built on Hudson underpinnings until 1940, when war production took precedence. Macklin sold his interest in the company to Hudson in 1939 to concentrate on powerboats which were produced for the Royal Navy.
|1927 Hudson Supercharged Tourer|
|1928 Hudson Convertible Sedan|
(NOTE: This car was on loan from the Hosteler Museum of Hudsons. That museum was closed and its contents auctioned in 2018)
The final attractions at the Gilmore Car Museum for us was a small building that had a display of pedal cars:
Also on display was a 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca de Ville used in the 1967 Disney film "The Gnome-Mobile," about a pair of children trying to save a redwood forest where "little people," a group of gnomes, live. Walt Disney, who was a friend of museum founder Donald Gilmore, sold the Rolls-Royce and the accompanying movie set of its back seat, four times actual size, for the price of shipping. Apparently the Disney company never releases any of its sets so this is quite an unusual attraction.
|...and the massively scaled-up version|