The day after my last post about the lack of snow here in Michigan, we received a blessing from the snow Gods, which blanketed northwest Michigan with heavenly winter goodness, and allowed some of us to head north and hit the trails. We, however, still have a bit of work to do on Bill’s Invader, so hopefully next weekend we’ll get to do some riding. Instead, this weekend we spent Sunday with some friends and visited the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town area. I’d been here before a few years ago with a photog friend, and knew it would be a place to return with my gearhead husband, who as I expected, was in seventh heaven.
The museum is home to 30 classic cars with Ypsilanti history, including #92, the Fabulous 1952 Hudson Hornet, my all time favorite classic, which also appeared in Pixar’s Cars, as Doc Hudson (Paul Newman). The Hornet luxury car line was introduced in 1951, and in 1952, the Hornet would go on to win 27 of 34 NASCAR races.
The building was also an original Hudson Sales and Service dealership, opened in 1927 by Carl Miller, and became the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in 1995, owned by Jack Miller, whom we got the chance to meet and talk to today. It’s a great place to spend a few hours on a weekend day, browsing the artifacts collected over the years, some of them original records dating back to it’s opening. My favorite is the shop area, where several cars sit with their hoods popped open, amidst tables of tools, awaiting more work, the shop smell of motor oil and ancient signs hanging from the wood rafters taking you back years. In addition to Hudson’s, there was a Tucker, Kaiser-Frazers, Corvairs, a Nova, and a Rolls Royce, amongst others. Admission is $5, and so worth it.
We spent several hours wandering around the museum, taking photos and going through all the history: old uniforms, keychains, brochures, you name it. Finishing up, we then crossed the street and had lunch at the Sidetrack Bar and Grill, known for their fried pickles. The place was jammed, as it usually is, and we shouldered our way to a table. As we sat and talked, both an Amtrak and also later a freight train whizzed by outside our window, shaking the entire building.
After lunch we parted ways and made plans to meet up again, next time possibly the Henry Ford in Dearborn. It was a frigid January day, and I’m still trying to shake the chill as I write this post. It felt great to be out shooting again (it always does) and I look forward to visiting and exploring Depot Town again and all it has to offer, perhaps on our bikes, when the dandelions return.