Thursday, July 22, 2010

Deer Lodge, MT Automobile Museum

If you love old automobiles, this is a MUST see.  I don’t know squat about them, but loved the old auto/camping photos there and the Burma Shave signs.

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Burma Shave signs preserved.

While the automobiles were interesting, I found the camping photos and displays even more interesting.  This is a 1933 Cozy Camp Pop-up Trailer… and you might be able to see the 1933 Ford wheels under the trailer.  “Quality and Comfort in one handy unit.”  The vehicle was on load from David S. Woodworth of Tehachapi, CA.

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Automobile Camping, circa 1923.  Automobile camping proliferated in 1he 1930s.  The photographs in this series were taken at a Deer Lodge “Tourist Camp” now occupied by a KOA Campground.

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Yellowstone National Park.  Not understanding the convenience of an automobile, an Army Captain complained, “What was the sense of whizzing past the beautiful scenery of the Yellowstone region when they could whiz about everywhere else?”  Courtesy Montana Historical Society.

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And some of the autos on exhibit:MT_WYO_2 071

 

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1974 Citi Car.  The most successful electric car from the standpoint of production quantity has been the Citi Car.  It was built in Florida.  The small two-passenger car had rather strange styling which now became typical of many small electrics.  Made of Cycolac Plastic, the Citi Car is quite boxy but with flat slope from the front bumper to the roof.  This car has a range of up to 50 miles between battery charges.  The batteries can be fully recharged 400 to 600 times.  Total production 608.  List price: $2,988.  This car is on loan to the Museum from the Robert Woodburn of Bozeman, MT.

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1968 Volkswagen Van.  The introduction of the van was an immediate hit with small businesses.  Variations soon evolved including a pickup, a double car camper, the Kombi, and the Microbus.  By the end of the first model production run in 1967, millions had been sold.  In 1968 the series 11 type 2 transporter was introduced with a full line of models from high top to double cab, to camper and Kombi.  With the all-round windows that made driving easier for viewing.  In the 1960s Americans, Australians, and New Zealanders discovered that touring Europe was fun and cheap.  The favorite mode of transportation was the VW Kombi van.  This car is on loan from Sherman Anderson of Deer Lodge, MT.

In 1965, my husband and I bought a VW van… and only had it one day when we totaled it.  I was one month pregnant with Chris, born April 1966.  I’ll have a photo and add it later.

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