Classic Auto on Display – Harold Warp Pioneer Village

If you love antique automobiles, Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Nebraska is the right place to go. It has 350 antique cars, 17 flying machines, 100 antique tractors, all displayed in chronological order of development. According to their web site it’s the largest private collection of Americana. There are signs with each model of transportation, vehicles and other items. These signs were written by museum’s founder Harold Warp. The signs gave a brief of history about the exhibits. I have learn a lot of automotive history by reading these signs, needless to say, these antique cars are beautiful and stylish.

The exhibition of transportation starts with numbers of wagons, then the cars by the order of development, and airplanes hanging from the ceiling. We spent 5 hours in the museum, and could not finish seeing all the items. Here are some examples of the antique wagons and cars, and hope you enjoy as I did.

1893 Sicilian cart (carretto): It is vivid colorful style native to Sicily, Italy. They were often painted using religious and historical scenes. There is a special sililian cart museum in Italy.

1893 Sicilian cart (carretto)

The Tallyho: The wagons were brought to USA between 1870 to 1900. It was first used by the English Royalty for fox hunting. Tally-ho is a traditional cry (yell) made by the huntsman to tell others on sighting a fox. Wealthy people used them for hunting and watching races. The hunting dogs were carried under the seats.

The Tallyho

The year 1886 is considered as the birth year of the modern car when German inventor Karl Benz patented his “Motorwagen”. However, the beginning of the cars were mostly scant and expensive. It is generally regarded the Ford Model T, introduced in 1908, as the first affordable automobile. Ford “T” made car travel available to middle-class Americans.

The museum has: 1903 world’s oldest production Ford, which has wined many antique trophies. 1912 Ford “T”, first Ford with steel body.

1903 world’s oldest production Ford
1912 Ford “T”, first Ford with steel body.

At the turn of the 20th century, although the main transportation were still by the horses, the newly invented motor vehicle — available in steam, gasoline or electric versions — to get around. But the steam cars were dying. Because steam vehicles required “fire up the boiler” before driving, and water can be freezing in the winter. I was excited to see the antique stream car in the museum.

1909 Stanley Steamer

Long before Elon Musk’s Tesla cars, electric automobiles retained popularity among female drivers in cities, especially with upper-class women who disliked the noise and smell from gasoline cars. Electric cars are severely limited by a shortage of charging stations, limited traveling distance by disappointing battery capacity and highHigh costs.

1915 Wood’s electric auto: The company was started by Clinton Edgar Woods who literally “wrote the first book on electric vehicles.”

Chevrolet captured the low priced car market throughout the 1920s. In 1927 Ford was forced to shut down for 6 months to replace Model T with the new Model A. During this period, Chevrolet took over Ford as the best-selling car in USA for the next 25 years.

Chevrolet Sedan 1928

Louis Chevrolet, a famous race driver and automobiles maker. In 1911, William Durant and Louis Chevrolet found the “Chevrolet Motor Car Company” headquartered in Detroit. The “490” Chevrolet was introduced in 1916.

1916 Chevrolet “490”

Classic automotives Lincoln, Cord and others had beautiful styles as today.  

1929 Lincoln Fordor
1931 L-29 Cord
1929 Roosevelt built by Malmon

I truly appreciate Mr. Horold Warp for his museum. Born to poor Nebraska homestead, he established this Pioneer museum after he became millionaire from plastic business. He not only collected these gadgets, but also wrote important info on the signs for each item, which unfolded the development of American lives.

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