Sarasota Car Museum Florida Usa

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:47:23

The Sarasota Car Museum is an attraction based in Florida, featuring over 100 antique, classic and famous automobiles.

It covers the entire history of the automotive industry from the earliest horseless carriage to modern concept cars. Amongst the collection are unique vehicles, high-end luxury cars, exotic sports cars from around the world and classic American cars from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

History

The museum first opened its doors to the public in 1953, as ‘Horn’s Cars of Yesteryear’. It was founded by Herbert and Bob Horn, brothers from Iowa whose passion for restoring old vehicles had led them to amass a large collection of vehicles from across the country.

The museum was an instant success, featuring over 70 vehicles and a large collection of music boxes, pipe organs and early jukeboxes.

This expanded to include a collection of unusual bicycles and early motorcycles, as well as recreations of a blacksmith’s shop and a livery stable.

The museum was purchased in 1967 by businessman and car collector Walter Bellm, who expanded the building and the collection, adding several cars from his own personal collection.

After running the museum for 30 years, Bellm sold it in 1997 to current owner Martin Godbey. Godbey’s interest in American cars has seen the collection expand once more, and today makes claim to be the “nation’s oldest continuously operating Car Museum”.

Attractions and exhibits

Classic cars

The museum is home to a wide range of notable vehicles, from examples of the earliest days of motoring to celebrity-owned vintage cars and high-powered American muscle machines. Exhibits include:

  • A collection of cars owned by members of the Beatles including John Lennon’s psychedelic 1956 Bentley SI, his 1965 Mercedes Benz 230SL and a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD bought a year before his death. Also featured is the 1965 Radford Mini Cooper 'S' once owned by Paul McCartney.

  • The notable Rolls Royce collection of John Ringling, one of the founding members of the Ringling Brothers’ Circus

  • A dragster belonging to the pioneer and “father of drag racing” Don Garlits

  • A collection of classic American cars from every period and manufacturer including Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chrysler and Studebaker.

Other attractions

The museum also features an arcade featuring antique games, an exhibition featuring an extensive collection of antique cameras, and a large collection of over 1,200 antique music boxes including several of Thomas Edison’s earliest phonographs.

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