February 2-5, 2017
Gilmore Car Museum Vehicles
PLEASE NOTE: The following information is from the 2016 Michigan International Auto Show. The 2017 Show details will be posted soon…
What started in 1963 as a hobby for Donald S. Gilmore, a retired executive of pharmaceutical giant The Upjohn Company, soon grew to over 45 cars. At the urging of his wife Genevieve, the not-for-profit Gilmore Car Museum opened its doors to the public in 1966 with Otto Kneble of Star City, IN becoming its first paying customer. Who could have envisioned fifty-years ago that The Gilmore would become one of the largest and most respected auto museums in the nation?
Today, more than 500 amazing automobiles ranging from horseless carriages to classic Duesenbergs, the elusive Tucker to Model T, and even Muscle Cars are showcased in the museum just an hour south of Grand Rapids.
Over 100,000 visitors are drawn there annually – not just for the cars, but for the park-like campus that includes several historic buildings, a 1940s diner, a recreated 1930s gas station, and a recreated vintage auto dealership now.
Barry McGuire, host of the Car Crazy TV series recently described the museum like this: “There is no place on earth like the Gilmore – its 90-acres of car guy Heaven!”
The Gilmore Car Museum agrees and has presented a stunning array of automobiles during the Michigan International Auto Show since 2004. In honor of the museum celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2016, they have assembled a grouping of cars from the 1960’s for exhibit this year.
Gilmore Car Museum vehicles expected to be on display
at the Auto Show include:
1960 Buick Electra 225 Convertible
This top-of-the-line Buick represents the last vestige of the 1950s car design featuring huge tail fins and heavy chrome. Within just a couple of years the designs of the 1960s had taken on a sleek, sporty and forward moving feel. This car is loaded with options, such as rare factory-installed air conditioning, automatic headlight dimer and power windows, which include the front vent windows. Two highly unusual items came standard – a driver set speed alert buzzer and a speedometer reflected into an adjustable mirror.
1960 Lincoln Mark V Convertible
This massive car represented the top-of-the-line Lincoln for 1960 and was a continuation of the 1958 – 1959 models. These ultra-luxury cars were the largest unit-body construction cars ever built weighing in at over 2.5 tons are comparable to today’s largest SUVs. By 1960, the 430 cubic inch V8 had been detuned to 315hp in the interest of improving fuel economy – it went from 9mpg to 12mpg. Automotive styling for the decade would soon shake off the 1950s and take on a much smaller, sleeker appearance.
1963 Corvette Z06 Coupe
This factory production-built 1963 Z06 Corvette Coupe was originally assigned to the Corvette Development Group under the direction of chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. It was used as a General Motors powertrain development car, where advanced engines were installed for test and evaluation. It retains the 1964 fuel-injected engine, prototype 4-speed transmission with overdrive and aluminum wheels with prototype two-bar spinner bars as installed by Chevrolet Engineering.
1963.5 Ford Galaxie 500
“Total Performance” was Ford’s slogan for 1963 and midway through the model year delivered a car with muscle: the 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 427.
The Galaxie 500 and 500XL hardtop received a new semi-fastback roofline, dubbed “Sports Hardtops,” and became a hit in the showroom and on NASCAR superspeedways, carrying Ford to the ’63 NASCAR title. While the engine actually displaced 425 cu. in., Ford named it “427” to play off NASCAR’s maximum engine size restriction.
1963 Studebaker Avanti
Studebaker, the nation’s oldest automaker, began in 1852 and produced wagons and carriages during the US Civil War. By the 1960s the company was struggling and the radically designed, fiberglass bodied Avanti was their first new offering in 10 years. Promoted as “America’s Only 4-Passenger High-Performance Personal Car” it attempted to merge the sophistication seen in the Rivera and the sportiness of the redesigned Corvette.
1966 Lincoln Continental 4 dr. Convertible
The Lincoln Continental for the 1960s was completely redesigned in 1961 and had lost much of the “land yacht” appearance associated with its late 1950s predecessors. The new elegant design was 15 inches shorter, featured slab sides, minimal chrome and center opening suicide doors. This stately automobile will forever be known as the Kennedy Lincoln as it was a limousine version of this car that the president rode through Dallas in.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
Built in Maranello, Italy this Ferrari featured a V-12 engine that produced 300 horsepower, the same as Ferrari race engines, and had a top speed of 166 mph. Today it is on the top of many Ferrari enthusiasts’ wish list, but at the time it could be purchased right out of the dealership showroom. Hollywood actor, Nicholas Cage (Gone In Sixty Seconds, National Treasure), was the previous owner of this magnificent automobile.
1969 AMX Sport Coupe
When American Motors unveiled the AMX (American Motors Experimental) in 1968 it was the first steel-bodied, two-seat American production sports car since the Ford Thunderbird debuted in 1957. Designers created the AMX by slicing 12” out of the company’s Javelin body, eliminating the rear seat, and making it a true two-seat sports car. This unrestored sport coupe was purchased new at Zantello AMC Rambler in Allegan, MI.
1969 Chevy Camaro Z-28
The 1969 Camaro is without question the most popular and sought after Camaro ever produced and has become an icon of the 1960s. While it wasn’t the fastest muscle car ever offered, its single-season styling and unique combination of engine, disc brakes, exhaust, and induction options make the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 arguably the most desirable and coveted Z28 of all. It was selected as Car and Driver Magazine’s Reader’s Choice in 1969.