Return to Homepage
 
... Dedicated to the TV Addict in All of Us

   The place to be....for the Characters, Places & Things on Television

What's New at TV Acres  
 
  Home > Index > Articles Archive > William E. Swigart Automobile Museum  
 
Articles Archive 

Cruisin' on a Summer Afternoon: A visit to the Swigart Automobile Museum. (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)

Friday started off like the rest of the week with 90 degree temperatures, so I decided to hit the road, feel the wind in my hair and travel along Interstate 22 to check out the William E. Swigart, Jr. Automobile Museum just three miles east of Huntington, Pennsylvania.

Swigart Museum - Front Entrance
The Front Entrance of the Swigart Museum

After an hour and a half on the road I arrived at my destination and pulled into the museum driveway. Little did I know, that I was in for an added treat. For outside the museum in a van painted with the words WALY 103.9, there sounded the music of the Beach Boys and the lyrics "Fun, fun, fun, till her daddy takes her T-Bird away."

As the song ended, 103.9 DJ K.C. O'Day chimed in to remind listeners that she was camped out at the museum for a Friday auto event called the "WALY Cruise-in" that was sponsored by Tri-Star Motors.

The gathering included free hot dogs, root beer (while they lasted) and an assortment of classic cars from the 1950s to the present, including a brightly painted orange 1957 Chevy, a black 1959 Ford Edsel and a nicely detailed 2001 PT Cruiser decked out with PowerPuff Girls artwork.

Swigart Car Show
A couple of classic cars at the WALY Cruise-in

Of course, the star of the show was Herbie the Love Bug, the original vehicle used in the Disney movie The Love Bug (1968) which is housed in the Swigart Museum on permanent display.

Outside of the museum, a replica Herbie sporting eyelashes over its headlights, and a trunk hood that suddenly moved up and down, entertained the children and adults in attendance.

Herbie the Love Bug Replica
Stunt Double of Herbie on display outside the museum

Inside the museum, a classic collection of automobiles from the early 20th century were on display. Paying a $5.00 admission, I wandered through these hallowed halls of automotive history that were filled with mint-condition masterpieces shimmering with polished brass and chrome.

The exhibits included an 1895 horse-drawn, chemical-pumper fire truck with red and gold trim, a black 1916 Scripps-Booth stretch limo, a 1930 DuPont 'Le Mans' Speedster, a 1937 Cord Phantom convertible, a white 1936 twelve-cylinder Duesenberg convertible with black rag top - first owned by actor Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester from THE ADDAMS FAMILY), and a 1938 red and cream-colored American Austin Bantam 60.

1936 Deusenberg Automobile
1936 Duesenberg Convertible

Also on display was a maroon 1947 Tucker prototype ("The Goose") and a silver 1948 Tucker (No. 13 of only 49 ever made) and used in the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream starring Jeff Bridges.

Tucker Automobile
Silver 1948 Tucker (No. 13) at the Swigart Museum

Free literature on automobiles manufactured in Pennsylvania and lists of all American automobiles were on hand during the tour, as well as a wonderful collection of "automobiliana" such as lights, horns, antique bicycles, toy cars, and a period clothing.

Continued on Page 2 >


 

Back to Top

 
 
Home | Site Map | Search | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Archive
Copyright © TV Acres. 2000-2013 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All photos are the property of their respective companies.