Michigan International Auto Show
Feb 5 - 8
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Gilmore Car Museum Vehicles

PLEASE NOTE: The following information is from the 2014 Michigan International Auto Show. The 2015 Show details will be posted soon…


  The Gilmore Car Museum – America’s Signature Collection – is like no other car museum in the nation. It’s just 45 minutes south of Grand Rapids and hailed as one of the Nation’s finest. And its’ where you can walk right up to history. For more than a decade, the Gilmore Car Museum has been showcasing just a small sampling of its over 400 extraordinary vehicle collection here at the Michigan International Auto Show. Again this year the Museum has brought an astonishing array of vehicles for your enjoyment. ┬áDon’t miss the rarest and most valuable automobile displayed at this year’s Auto Show… or the alternative fuel vehicle that is over 100 years old and so much more!   Sponsored by: MichiganPublicRadio_logo  

Gilmore Car Museum vehicles expected to be on display

at the Auto Show include:


1898 Leon Bollee

1898 Leon Bollee Voiturette Tricar

In 1895, when 25-year-old Leon Bollee received a patent for his motorized tricycle, his father Amedee – builder of French steam cars – felt his son was obsessed with the “new” idea of gasoline power. The Leon Bollee Vioturette was powered by a single-cylinder air-cooled engine that achieved 800 noisy revolutions per minute, produced 2 horsepower and an astonishing top speed of 28 miles per hour! The vehicle was belt driven, featured a very innovative steering system as well as a seating arrangement that placed the driver safely behind the passenger. Drivers steered with their right hand, while the left hand multi-tasked to operate a single lever to change gears, apply the brake and engage the driving belt. Leon Bollee’s new firm went on to successfully produce automobiles for the next 38 years, yet no more than a handful of these early Voiturettes are known to exist today. Original Factory Price – $650


1906 Columbia

Electric Vehicle Company – Hartford, CT

“Perfection is Exemplified in the Columbia” – Company Advertising

While best known for its bicycles, Columbia began building electric cars in 1897, but later found gasoline cars more profitable. The company actually purchased the “Selden patent” for the gasoline automobile and received royalties on each American made gas powered car produced – that is, until Henry Ford refused to pay, took them to court, and won. Columbia went bankrupt, and by 1913 was out of business.

This restored Touring Car features a double chain drive, a “drip sight” oil gauge mounted to the dashboard and a large light for improved night driving.

Original Factory Price – $4,700


GilmoreCar_1911 Stanley

1911 Stanley Steamer

Stanley Motor Carriage Company – Newton, MA “Stanley – The World’s Fastest Car!” – Company Advertising The Stanley twins, brothers Francis and Freelan, made their fortune by inventing and manufacturing dry photographic plates and later selling their firm to Eastman Kodak. In 1897, they found their second great success by producing Stanley steam powered “motor carriages.” Two years later the brothers sold the car company to the publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, who named the car the Locomobile. The Stanley’s soon re-entered the auto industry, naming their new car the Stanley Steamer. In 1906, a modified Stanley Steamer broke the land speed record at Daytona Beach by reaching 127 mph! While very fast, steam cars were required a complex and lengthy start-up procedure, taking 30 minutes to heat up, and were eventually outsold by simpler, less expensive gasoline-powered cars. Original Factory Prize – $1,125


1926 Rolls-Royce – New Phantom Torpedo Phaeton

Rolls-Royce LTD. – Derby, England Custom Body by Vanden Plas – Belgium No expense was spared in making this custom motor car one of the finest and most luxurious touring automobiles of its day. The rear door panels are crafted from matched walnut and house shelves equipped with perfume flasks, leather glove boxes, accessory cases, and cologne bottles. Built into the cabinetry is a provision for a grooming kit to include brushes, scissors, hand mirror, pomade jars and combs. The curved doors built into the body’s central division houses a full cocktail service including crystal decanters and glasses. The dual windshields with removable wind-wings insulate both for front and rear passengers from the elements, drafts, and breezes. Original Factory Price – $9,500 (chassis only)

GilmoreCar_1930 Model A Mail Truck

1931 Ford Model A – U.S. Post Office Truck

Ford Motor Company – Dearborn, MI “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers…” – Traditional “Motto” of the U.S. Postal Carrier The United States Postal Service began using motor vehicles around the turn of the twentieth century, and by 1918 its fleet of vehicles had grown to nearly 1,000. Most were Ford Model Ts and World War I surplus vehicles of all different makes. By the late 1920′s, the Postal Service knew it needed to standardize its fleet and established specifications for truck bodies based on the Ford Model A and AA. Several of these Model A trucks were still in use as late as 1952. The original Post Office Truck #11317, built on a Model A chassis, was rescued in 1977 and underwent a complete restoration by the donor. Mail Capacity – 96 cubic feet

GilmoreCar_1931 Cadillac

1931 Cadillac 5-Passenger Sedan

Cadillac Motor Car Division, General Motors Crop. – Detroit, MI Coachwork by Fisher Body “The Finest MotorCar in the World!” – Company Advertising Cadillac introduced its mammoth V-16 and V-12 engines in 1930, which sparked the multi-cylinder race among fellow luxury automakers Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln, and Marmon. Ironically, due to the onset of the Great Depression, the debut of the larger engines came at a time when the fine car market was struggling the most. Only those luxury automakers who also offered an entry-level option, such as this V-8 model – available in multiple body styles featuring coachwork by either Fisher or Fleetwood – were able to successfully from the Depression. Ads from this era show that Cadillac made an effort to market its automobiles to women with lines such as, “women take special pleasure in driving these magnificent cars.” This award winning example took home a First Place at the renowned Meadow Brook Concours and Second in Class at the world famous Pebble Beach Concours and is displayed within the Cadillac-LaSalle Museum on the campus of the Gilmore Car Museum. Original Factory Price – $2,795


1938 Mercedes 540K Sport Tourer

Daimler-Benz AG – Stuttgart, Germany Coachwork by Sindelfingen Hidden away for nearly 60 years! Prior to World War II, Mercedes-Benz was arguably the world’s most prestigious European automaker – the cars of kings and captains of industry alike. Only two 540K Sport Tourers were built in 1938 with this being the only surviving example. At the start of WWII, the original owner of this ultra-rare automobile secreted it away in the basement of his Dresden, Germany home in an effort to protect it from the ravages of war and conceal it from enemy troops. After bricking up the basement door and windows and filling much of the area with topsoil he planted several rose bushes, thus creating an unseen bunker that remarkably survived the bombing of Dresden near in February 1945. This auto remained hidden for nearly 60 years, underwent an award winning restoration in 2005 and ultimately made its way to the United States. This spectacular automobile is undoubtedly the rarest and most valuable vehicle displayed at this year’s auto show. Production – 2 (this is the one that remains) Original Factory Price – $10,000 (est)

GilmoreCar_1948 Lincoln Continental

1948 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

Lincoln Division, Ford Motor Company – Detroit, MI “Nothing Could Be Finer” – Company Advertising The very distinctive 1948 Lincoln Continental marked the end of the large V-12 engines for Lincoln and the last of the Continentals until the mid-1950s. In 1951, the Museum of Modern Art selected the Continental as one of the eight automotive “works of art” and in 1959, Time magazine ranked the Continental as Top Ten choice among the 100 Best Dressed Commercial Products. One of the hallmarks of these cars was their rear-mounted spare tire and today, any rear-mounted spare tire is commonly called a “Continental Spare.” Original Factory Price – $4,746

GilmoreCar_1954 Kaiser

1954 Kaiser Darrin

Kaiser Motors Corporation – Toledo, OH Body by Glasspar Company – Santa Ana, CA “The Sports Car The World Has Been Waiting For” – Company Advertising The Kaiser Darrin, designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, debuted in the fall of 1953 and was priced about $900 more than the all-new Chevy Corvette. Both the Darrin and Corvette featured fiberglass bodies and six-cylinder engines, but the Darrin also included a unique three-position convertible top and doors that slid into the front fenders. American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, who during World War II launched more ships than any other shipbuilder, formed the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation and began producing autos in 1946. Original Factory Price – $3,668

GilmoreCar_1966 Mustang

1966 Ford Mustang Fastback

Ford Motor Corporation – Detroit, MI 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang In April of 1964 the Ford Motor Company introduced a small, sporty car which caught the rest of the auto industry totally off guard and captured the hearts of the American car buying public. As the saying goes, “The rest is history!” During 1966 the Mustang continued to sell like ‘hot cakes’ and became the third best-selling individual nameplate in the American auto industry. This 1966 Guardsman Blue Fastback 2 x 2 was special ordered by Gerber Payne Ford in Fremont, MI and is equipped with highly coveted High Performance 289 K Code option that also served as the basis for the Shelby GT 350. Original Factory Price – $2,934