1950 Nash Rambler Convertible

Date:
1950
Creator:
Nash-Kelvinator Corporation | Nash Motors Company

This 1950 Nash Rambler convertible was an attempt to market a small automobile to the American public. Other independent automobile manufacturers had produced small vehicles, but none to the success of the Rambler. The compact Rambler was attractive, well equipped, and sensibly priced. But in the 1950s, big cars ruled. Only by 1960 did the larger "Big Three" auto companies produce an "in-between-sized" car.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
87.176.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of American Motors Corporation.

1949 Airstream Trailwind Travel Trailer

Date:
1949
Creator:
Airstream, Inc.

This familiar riveted, aluminum-skinned trailer was introduced in 1936 by trailer manufacturer Wally Byam. As tourism flourished after World War II, the Airstream gained a reputation as the quality leader in the travel trailer industry. Its popularity spawned well-organized caravans to famous travel destinations across the country.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
87.178.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1987 Ford Thunderbird Stock Car, Raced by Bill Elliott

Date:
1987
Creator:
Ford Motor Company

In May 1987 at Talladega, Alabama, Bill Elliott drove this car to the fastest official lap ever run by a stock car when he qualified for the Winston 500 at 212.809 mph. In July Elliott car returned to Talladega and won the Talladega 500 in the same car. The term "stock car" originally meant a car from a dealer's stock, one that was unmodified. For many years racing stock cars were indeed based on real production automobiles. By 1987, however, racing "stock cars" only looked stock. Read more »

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
88.84.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Melling Tool Company and Melling Racing.

1952 Federal 45M Truck Tractor, Used by Cole's Express

Date:
1952
Creator:
Federal Motor Truck Company

When this truck was new, about 120,000 tractor-trailers traveled the roads. By 2000, there were over two million. New interstate highways helped long-haul trucks dominate the freight business. Americans developed a romantic image of truckers as modern cowboys roaming concrete trails, speaking their own language on CB radios. Drivers became heroes of movies and music. But real truck driving is demanding, sometimes dangerous, and often boring work.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
88.381.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Galen L. Cole.

1984 Plymouth Voyager Minivan

Date:
1984
Creator:
Chrysler Corporation

Plymouth Voyager advertising called this the "all-new space-age American family wagon," and it really was a new kind of vehicle. Shorter than typical sedans, station wagons, or large vans, the new "mini-vans" were easy to drive but could carry seven people, plus lots of luggage, camping gear, or sports equipment. They were instantly popular with buyers and were immediately copied by other manufacturers, foreign and domestic.

Identifier:
90.248.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Chrysler Motors Corporation.

1981 Checker Marathon Taxicab

Date:
1981
Creator:
Checker Motors Corp. (Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Most people think of Checker as an operator of taxicabs, but from 1922 through 1982 they also manufactured cabs. Checkers featured big back seats and trunks and rugged, durable construction. This Checker's basic design dates to 1956 and was substantially unchanged until production ceased in 1982.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
90.370.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Twilight Taxi Parts.

1972 Lincoln Continental Presidential Limousine Used by Ronald Reagan

Date:
1974-1987
Creator:
Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury Division. Wixom Plant | Research and Engineering Center | PPG Industries

President Ronald Reagan was getting into this car when he was shot by John Hinckley on March 30, 1981. The car carried Reagan to the hospital. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and George H.W. Bush also used this car. In 1982 the front sheet metal was updated, but since a 1982 grille no longer fit properly on the 1972 body, a 1979 grille was used.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
92.104.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

1949 Mercury Customized Convertible

Date:
1949
Creator:
Barris Kustom Industries | Carson Top Shop | Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury Division

Long, low, and well rounded, stock 1949–51 Mercurys became the favorite cars of 1950s customizers. When lowered even more and smoothed out by filling body seams with lead, these Mercs were called "lead sleds." This car shows many early customizing techniques. It was updated in the 1960s with sparkly Metalflake paint and blue "scallops."

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
92.110.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1960 Buck & Thompson Slingshot Dragster

Date:
1960
Creator:
Buck, Sam | Chassis Research | Thompson, Bob

Dragsters are designed to do one thing: cover a quarter-mile from a standing start as quickly as possible. They contain nothing that does not contribute to that goal. To maximize traction, weight is concentrated as close to the rear wheels as possible. In this style car, popular from the mid 1950s through the early 1970s, the driver actually sat behind the rear wheels, "like a rock in a slingshot". This car was built and driven by two young men from the Rockford, Illinois area, Bob Thompson and Sam Buck. It was very successful in the Midwest from 1960 to 1963. Read more »

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
89.327.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Bob Thompson.

1974 Ford C-700 Truck, Used by Roadway Express

Date:
1974
Creator:
Ford Motor Company | Whiting Door Manufacturing, Corp.

Roadway Express, Inc. operated this Ford C-series truck in Lexington, Kentucky. The truck's functionality proved useful to the company's local pickup and delivery service. Designated unit 23704, it was a workhorse for the company for sixteen years, before being retired to The Henry Ford.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
90.191.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Roadway Express, Inc.