We visited a small antique car museum today. I'm amazed at the number of these small museums we have found as we've traveled the country. This one was started by Jake Dudley and specialized in cars of the 20's and 30's, but has a real pot pourri of other antiques and collectibles. Apparently Jake served in the Army between 1945 and 1950. When he returned from Europe, he decided that many of the older folks who owned cars before WWII stopped driving them during the war and after the war didn't want to re-learn how to drive so their cars sat unused in garages, barns, and other places. He started to collect them and in 1967 opened the museum in Hood, VA. There are 23 vintage cars in the collection. Most are one owner cars that have not been restored and are in original condition. The museum also has a collection of other things like washing machines, refrigerators, ice boxes, lawn mowers, tillers, gasoline engines, etc. Jake apparently worked for Marriot and was in charge of grounds maintenance, hence his interest in alot of the items related to landscaping.
A couple of the cars have interesting stories. The 1945 Surlesmobile is the only one ever built. It was designed and built in 1937-38 in Japan by Don Surles. It was built on a Jeep chassis. Production was held up by WWII. It was supposed to be a safety car with lots of crush room in the front and rear as well as being capable of rolling over and returning to it's tires. In addition to the safety features, the rear seats could be converted into a bed so it could be taken on long trips. An early RV? The other was the 1948 Playboy built by the Playboy Motor Company of Buffalo, NY. The company, indirectly, was the source for the name of Playboy magazine. The name was suggested to Hugh Hefner by co-founder Eldon Sellers, whose mother had worked as a secretary for the automobile company's Chicago sales office before it went bankrupt. The company only produced 97 cars before going bankrupt in 1951.
Since many of you seemed interested in trying to guess the make of the hood ornaments from our visit to the Luray car museum, I'm giving you another batch to work on. This time there are 8.