Here in Eastwood country, we are spoiled with the diversity of all types of automotive enthusiasts. It seems we have everything from antiques, to brand new sports cars being tuned, modified, and restored. It’s pretty common to see all sorts of unique enthusiast driven vehicles out for a drive on a nice Sunday afternoon. Many times when I have friends coming from out of town to visit, they comment on some sort of cool car that they saw as they got near my house. Often they are surprised at my unenthusiastic reply…. you could say we are a bit desensitized around here!
I think our deep automotive heritage in this area is the answer to why it seems to be “in our blood” to tinker with our vehicles. Why, miles from Eastwood headquarters, Boyertown Body Works (also known as Boyertown Carriage Works) operated and produced many early commercial and industrial bodied trucks. Or, if you want to touch on 2-wheeled motorized history, let’s not forget Reading-Standard Motorcycles that built some early motorcycles that are highly sought after these days.
Because of all of this heritage, not only do you see a ton of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles around, we are also lucky enough to have some cool little antique vehicle museums in the area. Recently I was given an “all access” tour of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. This museum specializes in primarily historic vehicles built in our general region. You will find everything from early horse drawn carriages, to very early coach built motor vehicles. This is the stuff you only read about in magazine articles and see in photos from prestigious shows like Pebble Beach.
As I walked through the museum, I was amazed at how LITTLE I really did know about some of these vehicles. I consider myself to be pretty well versed in automotive history for my age. But I found myself constantly looking over the descriptions of these vehicles, trying to figure out WHAT they were, and WHERE they came from. I think this type of stuff is the most interesting when viewing cars at a museum. I want to see things I’ve never seen OR heard of before, and learn their history. That is what going to a museum is all about right? It’s interesting to read the history on how these auto builders came about, many times they weren’t even from a automotive background, but horse drawn coach builders, bicycle builders, or even industrial workers. I can only imagine how hard it was to design, and build an automobile with no prior designs to really look at, or experience on what “works”, and what doesn’t!
Here are a few shots of some of my favorite installations on display at the museum when I visited. Please watch this space for my next post where I climb around some dusty cars in the private storage warehouse for the museum. I stumbled across some “electrifying” finds!