• December 27, 2013

The Automobile Driving Museum’s 2013 acquired cars.

The Automobile Driving Museum’s 2013 acquired cars.

The Automobile Driving Museum’s 2013 acquired cars. 150 150 Automobile Driving Museum

Not only is the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) America’s only car museum where you get to sample the exhibit with a test drive, but it also takes you to a place no other museum can.

So put on your driving goggles, look both ways to make sure you don’t scare the horses (or the ladies), and hand-crank the motor.

Or pretend you’re a starlet in the 1950s with a pocketbook full of change and a desire to be seen in the day’s most impressive automobile.

Or climb inside Dad’s convertible and let the scent bring you to a place where you and sis are getting soft serve after a Little League game.

The Automobile Driving Museum now has three new additions to a roster of cars 130+ strong. Each vehicle will bring you to a place of fantasy . . . or home:

1909 Ford Model T

The populists stole the moment from the robber barons starting on August 12, 1908 when Ford’s Model T began production. Despite tales to the contrary, the Model T was not initially available in black nor did it begin life as a mass-produced vehicle. What the Model T was, to quote Henry Ford, was “large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.” The Model T not only put America on wheels, but it also was a step in the direction of what we know today as globalization. By 1911, Ford was building flivvers in the UK and, soon, South America and Australia. The world would not ever be the same.

1956 Continental Mark II

1956 Lincoln Continental MKII

For two brief model years, Ford had an elegant, hand-built coupe that was the antithesis of the Atomic Age excess that was rapidly gaining speed in America. At a cost of $10,000, this vehicle was four times as expensive as a Ford Sunliner convertible. And even though Ford already had a luxury brand in Lincoln, the corporation thought enough of this vehicle that a new new brand – Continental – was created. Christened the Mark II, it was thought of as the spiritual successor to the classic 1940 Lincoln Continental (sometimes known as the Mark I). With about 3,000 built, the Mark II was quite successful considering the price, but it was rumored Ford lost $1000 on each one. Competing with the world’s best vehicles like Rolls-Royce wasn’t hard for the Mark II, but eventually Ford thought best to discontinue the Mark II and create the 1958 Mark III, a much cheaper but gaudier luxury car that was everything the Mark II was not.

1968 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

In comparison to the above two cars, a 1968 Pontiac Catalina convertible is not a “great” collectible: it doesn’t share a historic place like the Model T nor does it have the panache and grace of the Mark II. However, it’s a paean of the Great American Cruiser, that vehicle that dominated American highways in another era. Finally shedding its vertical headlamps (a trademark since 1963), the 1968 Pontiac Catalina was loaded with style and power, an affordable offering for Americans who were attracted to Pontiac’s youthful image. Power started with a 2bbl. 400 but could go up to the 428 HO with up to 390 horsepower, an engine bigger and more powerful on paper than any motor for the GTO. With a full tank of gas, you could be ready to go to Vegas in style, but visit the ADM and we’ll at least give you a ride around El Segundo.

And that’s the beauty of the ADM – not only can you ride in a car from another era, but you can get transported to another era.