Posts Tagged ‘collectible auto’

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum – Return to Mecca

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

This weekend I had a chance to visit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. For me this is a return to Mecca. ACDAM is the place that probably ignited my interest in collectible autos. If you are ever in the northeast corner of Indiana, you have to visit ACADM.

1936 Cord convertible coupe

1936 Cord convertible coupe
Copyright © 2011 Dennis E. Horvath

Let me tell you about this automotive gem. ACDAM is the only auto museum occupying an original factory showroom and administration building. The art-deco structure was built in 1930 for the Auburn Automobile Company and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Galleries on the first floor showcase Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles. Some of these are one-of-a-kind automotive icons, while others are original unrestored examples.

The museum dedicates a large portion to Indiana-built automobiles from the 1890s through 1960s. In addition to the namesake cars, the Cars of Indiana Gallery on the second floor shows a cross section of cars like Marmon, Studebaker, and Stutz that brought world wide acclaim to the Hoosier state. One of my favorites here is an Indianapolis-built 1919 Cole Aero-Eight TourSedan.

1919 Cole Aero-Eight TourSedan

1919 Cole Aero-Eight TourSedan
Copyright © 2011 Dennis E. Horvath

Second floor galleries feature design examples across a wide spectrum. The Gordon Buehrig Gallery of Design focuses on the process of design at the company. Buehrig is probably most famous for designing the 1936 Cord Model 810 in addition to the 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster and many Duesenberg Model Js. E. L. Cord’s office and design studios remain with period correct trappings from the company’s heyday. One item I particularly like is the many clay styling models of the Cord Model 810. These give an idea of the attention to detail required in designing this creative auto.

I always enjoy finding new treasures during my visits to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. Everyone I recommend it to agrees with my accolades for this Indiana automotive gem. You should be sure to visit ACDAM on a trip to the midwest.

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My reflections on the Chevrolet Centennial

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

November 3, 2011 marks Chevrolet’s Centennial. What a great time to reflect on this automotive icon.

My connection to Chevrolet goes back to my childhood because all the cars that my dad owned were Chevys. The first one I remember well was a 1953 Two-Ten 2-door sedan with a Blue Flame Six engine. This car was replaced by a coral pink with white top, 1957 Bel Air 4-door sedan with a 283 V-eight engine. I remember washing this car many times and cleaning the vinyl interior with saddle soap. This probably launched my desire to own a 1957 Chevy of my own.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe Copyright 1957 General Motors

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
Copyright © 1957 General Motors

Yes, my first car was a 1957 Bel Air sport coupe, that I covered in an earlier blog. This iconic car would be the first in a line of my Chevrolet ownership. I ordered a LeMans blue with black vinyl top 1969 Chevelle 2-door coupe with a 307 V-eight engine before I got out of the Navy. I drove this sporty car through college, when I entered corporate America.

The Chevrolet brand served me well as company cars. The first of these was a silver with black vinyl top 1975 Malibu 2-door Colonade Coupe, followed by a two-tone blue 1980 Citation 2-door hatchback coupe and a 1985 Citation 4-door hatchback sedan.

As you can see, I owned some of the brand’s best over some 30 years. The 1957 Chevrolet is still popular in today’s collectible marketplace. The mid-1970’s Chevelles and Malibus were respected in their market. The 1980’s Citations were somewhat popular as economic models.

It was great owning one of Chevrolet’s most popular models. I salute the Chevrolet Centennial and wish the company much success in its next 100 years.

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Connecticut law could affect auto hobbyists nationwide

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Auto hobbyists nationwide should be aware of pending legislation in Connecticut. H.B. 5580 restricts access to antique vehicle registration and increase fees.

The bill increasing the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles” has been passed by the Connecticut Joint Committee on Planning and Development. The committee amended in Committee the bill to increase the age requirement for registration as an antique to 30 years old and increase the tax assessment amount on vehicles registered as antiques to $2,500.

H.B. 5580:

  • • Increases the tax assessment on antique vehicles from $500 to $2,500.
  • • Increases the age requirement for antique vehicles from 20 to 30 years. This mandating standard plate fees using the same calculations used to assess taxes on regular, daily driver vehicles.
  • • Ignores the fact that existing antique, collector, rare or special interest motor vehicles constitute a small portion of the vehicle fleet and are well-maintained and infrequently operated. It also ignores that collector cars are generally only used for club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades and occasional pleasure driving.

Currently, vehicles 20 years old or older are eligible for antique status. Antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles are currently assessed at a rate of $500, and owners pay personal property taxes on that amount. The bill will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Connecticut residents are encouraged to contact their representatives to voice their opposition to H.B. 5580.

In these times of attempting to increase tax revenues, auto hobbyists nationwide are encouraged to review legislation in their respective states to ensure that similar “anti-hobby” bills, which negatively impact our hobby, are modified or not enacted.

I encourage you to monitor The Specialty Equipment Market Association Action Network (, to find about auto hobbyist legislation across the country.

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