If there is one aspiration that many car guys have, it seems a large collection of cars would top the list. Large is a relative word, but however you define it, for many, the more cars the better. When gathering a collection, some would like to focus on a particular make or model – like the Chevrolet Chevelle. For others, it seems like having one of everything would be the dream collection. After all, why limit yourself?
This is the car that started it all. On his 16th birthday, the museum owner bought this 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle from a friend for a paltry $600. As soon as he got it home, he spent every waking hour and most of his money rebuilding the car. This was not only his first car, but his favorite car as well. The very healthy 427ci engine under the hood might not be original to the car, but it has been under the hood for as long as it has been in his possession.
While you might think that having a huge collection of classic cars is a great idea, don’t forget that all of those cars will constantly require some sort of care and maintenance. But for one man, the care and maintenance was something he planned on, and the collection that he aspired to gather had to do with many factors.
What’s a collection of Chevrolet cars without a string of Tri-Fives? You’ll find everything from your dad’s 1955 to a dual-carbureted monster of the time.
First, any car destined for this collection had to be all original if it was stock, and unbelievably cool if it was modified. Since the owner of the collection would like to remain anonymous, we’ll just call him Lucky. We chose Lucky, because he has amassed a collection of cars that would make even William C. Durant proud.
In true gasser fashion, the 1955 Chevrolet is ready to race. But first, the 5400-Series Chevy truck needs to get it to the track. We’re not kidding when we say that every car in the collection is occasionally pulled out of the museum and driven.
Whatever you do, don’t get the idea in your head that these cars got parked and simply became 1:1 scale die-cast toys. Every car in this collection is occasionally driven and maintained by a crew of guys that all feel they have a truly great job.
Early Chevrolet Impalas are a staple with this collection, and this 409ci-powered gem is what legends are made of.
Luck is with all of us in this instance, as Lucky feels that these cars should be admired and enjoyed by everyone. For that reason, he doesn’t keep the cars locked away in private storage somewhere. He has placed many of his cars in local museums in surrounding communities so that everyone has access to see them. The impact on each community has been overwhelmingly positive.
How about a Black-on-Black 327ci-powered Chevrolet Chevelle? The Motion sticker hints that there may be more to it.
Recently, Lucky opened his latest museum to the public. For the grand opening festivities, he opened the doors at no charge, to anyone that wanted to see the cars. Enthusiast’s from as far as Florida came to see the collection, with free hamburgers and hot dogs for those that stopped by. Since we know that not everyone was able to join in the festivities at the new digs, we took the day and shot a lot of pictures so we could let you in on the gathering.
Our day began by driving way back into the sprawling rural country side of Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania. What we found was a small community that was as Mayberry as you could ask for. But as nice as everyone in town was to us strangers, we were happy when we found the museum after driving just outside of town, making a left at the old airplane positioned at the end of the museum’s driveway.
Yes, you read that sign correctly. This original split-bumper Chevrolet Camaro has less than 10,000 miles on the odometer.
The gathering of cars and automobilia is but a small sampling of a collection that has turned into a destination spot for automotive enthusiasts. The Eagles Mere Auto Museum may be a small portion of one man’s dream collection of automobiles, but it gives you a chance to relax and remember days gone by. The museum is housed under one roof and showcases over 75 50s and 60s vehicles.
Not only is the collection full of vintage Chevrolets, but the automobilia collection is extensive. Many people visiting the museum have probably never seen some of the toys that are gathered in the collection.
While 95 percent of the collection is comprised of products by Chevrolet, there are also many unique pieces of vintage memorabilia that we’re certain some people have possibly never seen until they visit the building. This is Lucky’s second museum, and represents a period in time when the U.S. auto industry dominated the world of manufacturing.
The owner has a very big fondness for Chevrolet trucks. This NAPCO-converted 1958 Apache actually belongs to the museum owner’s wife. Four-wheel drive GMC and Chevrolet trucks could be ordered with a NAPCO Power-Pak kit, which could be installed on the truck at a later time. Back in 1958, the retail price of the NAPCO Power-Pak was $995. The kit was shipped in a crate measuring 80x30x26-inches, and weighed 1,410 pounds. In a matter of three hours, and after drilling four holes, the truck would be converted into what NAPCO called a Mountain Goat. According to a NAPCO brochure, your full-sized truck will climb steep inclines with ease. One feature was the shift on the fly rubber mounted transfer case with a dual-range option.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans were full of confidence, optimism, and youthful exuberance, and nothing could stand in their way. The automotive designs of the 1950s was captured by low, long, and sleek automobiles, which left their boxy conservative-ancestors in the dust. The cars were also flashier–with tailfins, chrome, and unique paint colors. In the 1960s, it was all about muscle: everyone needed horsepower and speed. The museum highlights both generations; there truly is something for everyone at this place.
Lefty's Garage is a recreation of a local establishment of days gone by. Some of the tools inside Lefty's create an interactive display.
Not only does the museum allow you to explore automobile-related history with a varied assortment of antique neon and metal signs, gas pumps, and other quirky and fun memorabilia, there is even an interactive diorama of “Lefty’s Garage.” This old-time garage is an exact replica of a one-man shop where locals would go to get their cars fixed and grab a cup of coffee. Lefty’s Garage was actually transferred in its entirety from a neighboring town to the museum—complete with oil-stained floors. Be careful walking through the front door though, as Duke, the shop’s German Shepherd mascot stands guard.
The shoebox Nova is a favorite of enthusiasts and racers alike. The chrome twin-snorkel air cleaner tells us that this is a true L79 327ci-powered Nova with 350hp.
This partial collection of American automotive history truly is the ultimate man cave. So that everyone can see the collection, the Eagles Mere Auto Museum is open to the public on weekends, and is definitely worth checking out. If you would like more information about the museum, be sure to check out their web site www.eaglesmereautomuseum.com. We highly encourage a visit.
This engine started life as a small-block Chevy, and then ended up under the hood of a very famous roadster. It’s still a small-block Chevy, but had a set of Moser dual overhead-cam cylinder heads installed. The roadster that the engine was installed in was the second roadster that Tom McMullen, Publisher of Street Rod magazine built.