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May 3, 2017

Museum Event to Showcase "Authentic Time Travel"

early-era-cars-1So, you might think you’re not into history. In school, you dreaded memorizing dates—those long-past events seemed irrelevant—and you’ve expressed that “seeing a bunch of old things on museum shelves” holds little appeal. Yet you find yourself arguing for your favorite Doctor Who, following the time traveling exploits of NBC’s Timeless, or anxious for the next episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow. On Saturday May 20, 2017 the Gilmore Car Museum, near Kalamazoo, MI, offers the public the opportunity to discover what it describes as “Authentic Time Travel.” It’s then the Museum holds its second annual “Donald Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase,” a one-day event which welcomes original vehicles 75- to 125-years-old to spend the day driving within its historic campus. “You’ll feel like you just traveled back in time,” says Museum spokesperson Jay Follis, “when something you would expect to see only sitting static in a museum actually drives by.” There will be historically notable automobiles you would imagine seeing on Downton Abby, driving home survivors rauch-lang-electric-1915-smfrom the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, or racing off from a 1920s Prohibition-era “Speakeasy,” explains Follis. During this event, history comes alive and is transformed into more than just boring dates and stagnate data by becoming authentic time travel. Here the public can experience free antique car rides, enjoy seeing a representation of the world’s very first automobile—the 1886 Benz decades before Henry Ford’s first car—being driven, and discover several owners wearing the period fashions that match these magnificent vehicles. A 1903 Columbia Electric, the first type of auto driven by a U.S. President, as well as a 1916 Detroit Electric, a favorite of Mrs. Thomas Edison, will also be on hand. A very rare group of true horseless carriages, known as High Wheelers because they resemble buggies, will gather during the event and be seen in motion. One example expected to attend is a Sears vehicle that was ordered new directly from the mail order catalog, shipped to Wisconsin, and used by the same family for decades before it was given to a local historical society. stanley-seam-car-1908-smDemonstrations will highlight the hand-crank starting of the popular Ford Model T “Tin Lizzy,” the lighting of a fire to start a steam-powered Stanley, and revealing the mammoth 522 cubic inch engine of a 1909 Thomas Flyer—something you’d expect to find only in the high-performance muscle cars of the 1960s. Automobiles seemingly right out of the pages of The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, to the pre-World War II cars made popular by gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde, to the classic luxury cars of the 1930s from the likes of Cadillac, Lincoln and Packard, will be at the Saturday, May 20th event. So while not realizing it, history and historic time travel likely holds a much stronger appeal for you—or someone in your family—than you expected! “The Museum hosts nearly two dozen car shows each year,” Christopher Shires, Executive Director explains, “and for this one, we invite both the public and the car owners to become immersed in the experience of ‘authentic time travel’.” The Gilmore Car Museum has grown into North America’s largest auto museum. Today, it is home to seven independent auto museums and displays over 400 vehicles in two dozen historic structures on a 90 acre park-like campus. The public is invited to the second annual Donald Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase on Saturday, May 20th, anticipated to be the largest public gathering of moving pre-1942 vehicles—passenger cars, trucks, and motorcycles—in the region. In addition to the more well-known brands of Buick, Chevrolet, and Dodge Brothers, many of the cars expected to attend carry names long lost to history, including DeSoto, Hudson, Kissel, Nash, Overland, Michigan, Pierce, Reo, Studebaker, and Winton. This special event will also include a swap meet area for pre-1942 car parts, tools, vintage attire, and antiques.jane-dave-lyon-1912-buick-sm Those who enter a vehicle built prior to 1942 into the show at $10 each (sorry—no hot rods, customs, or modified vehicles to be included) are also invited to take part in a free driving tour on Friday, May 19th. Public admission to the show is reduced to only $12.00 per person and includes visiting the entire Gilmore Car Museum campus and all exhibits at no extra charge, with those 11 and under admitted FREE! The Gilmore Car Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road. You can learn more about the Museum and its events at or call 269-671-5089 for more information.