The Museum of Transportation
Oct 18, 2007
|Still from Dr. E. A. Babler Memorial State Park, near Chesterfield, Missouri, 30 miles west of St. Louis.
Two consecutive days of touristing was too much work for us....we had to take Wednesday as a day of rest. The day had been forecasted to be an ugly-weather day, & wouldn't ya know it, the forecaster was correct this time.
Thursday we were re-energized, ready to go again. After organizing the remaining stops on our "want-to" list, we decided that we had two days of touristing left. One would be to the Museum of Transportation, the other one would be to some stops in downtown St. Louis.
We chose to do the Museum on Thursday & hold the downtown area for another day.
Its literature boasts a claim that the Smithsonian Institute recognizes it as being the "largest and best collection of transportation vehicles in the world". It also states that it hosts the most complete collection of American rail power in the world, with over 70 locomotives, along with automobiles, buses, streetcars, aircraft, horse-drawn vehicles & riverboat materials.
It certainly had a large collection of rail vehicles, it had a dozen or so automobiles, but some of the other categories must have been out for a trip around town while we were there. The vehicles that were there did make for an interesting visit.
In the automobile garage were at least three vehicles of which I have never heard.
The first was a DiDia, hand-made in the 1960's, very futuristic, of a totally aluminum body. The car was later bought by Bobby Darin, who later donated it to the museum. A staffer there told us that Jay Leno had unsuccessfully offered the museum $1.5 million for it. The photos can do it much more justice than can my words.
Next on my personal unrecognized list was a Chrysler Turbine, of which several prototypes were made in the early 1960's but which never went into commercial production. The staffer made the same comment about Jay Leno's offer relative to this car. The placard on this car stated that the only other prototype remaining today which actually runs is in the Chrysler museum.
The third unrecognized name was the Moon automobile, of which there were three. These were claimed to be very high-quality vehicles, for which the company sold several times more than it was capable of building. That dilemma was attributed to be the reason that the company eventually demised.
Moving from the automobile display to the train display......
Some of the exhibits were rather routine-ish, but interesting, while others were very non-routine. The most interesting was one designed to remove snow from the tracks via a vertical rotor mounted on the front of the car. This car would be pushed by a locomotive, while its blades would propel the snow to the side. Note particularly the photo in which Vicki is standing beside the car to illustrate its size. This thing was H..U..G..E!!!!
And now we sit, my brain once again emptied out into the keyboard, ready to be filled with our next experiences, whatever they may be.
Have a good weekend.