2014 Great Circle Tour travel blog

Dentist's mailbox near Syracuse

Studebaker Skylark out on the road

Chenango County countryside

A Post Office with a light house

Reflection of a bridge

Which way? Totem at the Pillow & Pantry

Window in the garage at the Pillow & Pantry

Lumber kid climbing the telephone pole

The moon rising in the reflection

Clouds at sunset

Sherburne, NY is home of the Pageant of the Bands in June

Bike Night at Gilligan's Island in Sherburne

Chenango County Courthouse

Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich, NY

Some of the more unusual hood ornaments at the museum

Brass hardware on some of the early antique cars in the museum

Some of the fire apparatus in the museum

Some of the 1950's classics on display

Cobra

1912 International Truck/Runabout

1912 Waverly Electric - What do you know, were going back to...

1938 Bantam - I saw one of these at the Lane Museum...

Art Deco 1930 Henderson Model KJ - This motorcycle was on display...

Cord's were awesome looking - 1937

1930 Lincoln Dual Cowl Phaeton V-12 grille and hood ornament

Clever location of the fuel filler on a 1947 Cadillac

Does anybody remember the push button automatic transmission shifter?

The end of the big tail fins in 1959 - DeSoto Adventurer

1959 Ford Edsel grille

1968 Chevy Camaro SS - another favorite for me

 

1954 Oldsmobile 88

Some of the barn finds on display

I need this sign on the back of Winnie

Home made car - body panels of diamond plate

Old milk truck like the ones that used to deliver to our...

Popup camper manufactured in Norwich, NY starting in 1930

1948 Playboy

Colorful wheel and tire from a 1912 Maxwell

1925 Stutz Roadster Model 693 badge and radiator cap

Picture window in a building across the street from the museum

Old barn along the way back to the airport

Barn flag

One of the waterfalls on the way to the airport

Barns in the fog and rain

Chuck's Southern Comfort Cafe in Burbank, IL

Conchinita Pibili at Chuck's


We arrived in Illinois Saturday a week ago. I had to fly east to New York for some work, but in the meantime Sue stayed with old Friends Mary and Ken in Schaumburg. I spent the week in Sherburne in the Chenango Valley area of New York, about 50 miles southwest of Syracuse. Surprisingly it’s a still a pretty rural area. I drove to Norwich the other night for dinner at Gus’s Steakhouse and on the way I discovered Northeast Classic Car Museum. Before I left on Friday, I went over to the museum for a visit. It’s a collection of over 150 cars and a few motorcycles stretching from the early 1900’s to the 1980’s. Most nicely restored, but there were still a few barn finds on display. The museum seems to focus on cars made in New York State. It was started by George E. Staley, an entrepreneur who served in World War II as a fuel system specialist for Bendix Aviation. Staley’s expertise gave him an opportunity to tune up the famous B29 Enola Gay before it left the Pacific Ocean island of Tinian to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. After the war, Staley started a business on Long Island to refurbish aircraft components. He retired in 1994 to his family farm in upstate New Y0rk. Staley began his collection with almost 90 cars. The collection was the world’s largest accumulation of Franklin automobiles which were manufactured locally in nearby Syracuse from 1902 to 1934. Franklins were a favorite of aviators, Charles Lindbergh was a loyal customer. This connection inspired the company’s “Airmen” series cars that sported a spinning propeller hood ornament (one is in the hood ornament collage). Staley took the high standards he applied to his business and his restoration shop to the museum. Many cars on display have picture albums showing the history of their restoration. On the west wall of the main reception area is a huge painted New York State map chronicling the 116 different makes of cars produced since 1894. From Buckmobiles, made in Utica from 1903 to 1905, to the famous Pierce-Arrow brand made in Buffalo, New York was apparently a hotbed for automobile manufacturing.

I particularly enjoyed the collection of 1950’s cars. I remember most of them from when I was growing up. Cars were emerging from the dull models of the war years and immediate post war year that you could get any car that you wanted as long it was black. By the end of the 50’s, most cars had enormous tail fins and were huge. As quickly as they appeared between 1957 and 1959, they were gone in 1961. One of my favorite cars was the 1961 Chevrolet Impala. There was a 1930 Henderson motorcycle on display that I saw last summer at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville as part of an Art Deco period display of cars. I’m amazed at some of the car museum we’ve found as we travel across the country. I’m glad that the people that loved cars were able to accumulate the resources during their life to preserve these magnificent automobiles.

I arrived back in Schaumburg on Friday night. We’ll be here until Tuesday morning when we’ll hit the road again. Stay tuned.

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