Monday, May 10, 2010

Gilmore Car Museum

Saturday dawned bleak, windy and cold. I was headed down early in the morning to meet some folks from the Midwest Large Format Asylum to photograph the Gilmore Car Museum. As I was driving through intermittent rain showers on the way south, I was consoled by the fact that we would be photographing inside.

After a leisurely breakfast in a small restaurant in Richland, we head the short way north to the museum. The last time I had been there had to be at least 10 years earlier. For some reason, I remembered a dingy, industrial looking place, rather than the clean set of barn red buildings that blended into the neighboring farmland.

Entering the grounds through a gate in a clean white picket fence, I drove past a recreation of a Shell gas station before parking on the lawn. They had moved the ticket area from a smaller building into the bookstore. Unfortunately for the lady manning the area, it was also unheated. She was bundled up and seemed pleased to see us, if only to get her mind off the cold for a few minutes. We chatted for a bit, and after making sure their photography policy hadn't changed, grabbed our gear and headed to the display buildings.

The first display we photographed was a new addition to a set of four interlocked buildings. These at least were heated. Walking past cars from manufacturers I hadn't heard of, races cars of all stripes, as well as old familiar names, we came to the new addition. A building dedicated to Franklin automobiles. We spent the next hour and half photographing these and everywhere I turned, it seemed there was another view I wanted. The museum wasn't very busy, but we got a few comments about our cameras. Before we left, I walked back to look at one of the original Shelby Cobra's, but they had it backed up against a older Corvette and I couldn't find an angle I liked.

I stopped in the building devoted to Pierce Arrows, just to get out of the rain, and ended up taking a few photos, before heading into the building devoted to cars from the Classic Car Club of America. Wandering around, I ended up spending the rest of the time photographing a 1938 Mercedes, that had spent 60 years buried underground in East Germany to escape being confiscate by the Russians after World War 2. Only one of 2 that remain in the world, it was simply a wonderful car and I could have spent a lot more time photographing it.

By that time, it was early afternoon. After quick lunch in the old style 50's diner on the grounds and some more good conversation, we took our leave. I had a excellent time, and left a lot of automobiles that I wanted to photograph. The light wasn't the greatest, so the next time I go, I may have to drag a set of lights along as well. There is also the gas stations and the buildings on the grounds I wanted to photograph, but I skipped because of the wind and rain.

But I have to add the museum to my list of places I need to go back to.

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