Search This Blog

Monday, December 06, 2010

I had a Quick 90 Minute Visit to "America on Wheels" in Allentown PA

America on Wheels is a new auto museum in Allentown PA. Admission was $6 for those over 62. It has about 75 cars - trucks - motorcycles - and bikes.
This is Lee Iaccoca's original 1963 Ford Mustang. Lee was an Allentown boy that went to Lehigh University. He was later vice president of Ford and president of Chrysler. He is credited with the Mustang and the mini-van.
Morgan - MG - Triumph were three fantastic sports cars imported from England in the 50s that turned America on to smaller cars. Morgan's - the green one - are still made exactly as they have been for 100 years. They have a wood frame - but now you can get a V8 engine in them.
England's Mini Cooper was selected as the most important car in Europe. In 1959 - it had front wheel drive - a transverse mounted front engine - little 10 inch tires - and it sat 4 people comfortably. Now BMW bought the factory and makes the Mini - completely different car. The new Mini looks like a giant next to the old Mini Cooper.
Sears sold this Cushman scooter for under $200 in the 1950s. Cushman's were American made.
This is the first GMC Suburban. Sold in 1935 - it sat 8 people.
In the 1900s - this Detroit Electric was more popular than gasoline autos. Why? Women did not like crank starting the other cars - it was dangerous. The electric started by push button.
In 1974 - Citicar was made in Sebring FL. It cost $2400. It goes 30 mph for 30 miles. It has 6 six volt batteries. Like a golf cart - you plug it into your househld outlet. they sold 3000 of these cars - my neighbor on Seminole Drive - has one.
This is the famous GM EV1. In 1995 - GM made several thousand of this car. They leased them out for customers to try. The customers loved the car - it had a 90 mile range - and could go fast 70 mph. The rumor goes that the oil companies put pressure on GM - and the cars were collected up and publicly CRUSHED. Legend has it being an impressive car - even with the old lead/acid batteries.
This is a boat/car that was made in Germany. They made under 1000 of them. My claim to fame is that I had an employer in Kutztown that owned two - and he used to allow me to use one of them at both work and for pleasure. You could drive it on the road and right into the water. Then you pulled a lever - and shifted over to propellers for in the water. I wonder if this was one of Dykes Riggs's cars. He employed me - he sold mobile homes.
This is the taxicab from the movie - "It's a Wonderful Life!" Jimmy Stewart traveled in it in the movie.

See m0re of the museum here -