The Great Car Museum Tour: The Henry Ford

Dearborn, Mich.
Thursday, July 20, 2006

Here’s something I don’t recommend: Trying to do the Ford Rouge Plant tour, The Henry Ford museum, Greenfield Village and the Automotive Hall of Fame all in the same day.

I didn’t make it.

After the Rouge tour, I hit The Henry Ford, a huge museum of transportation and other inventions of the “modern age.” The Rouge tour (which leaves from The Henry Ford) got me back there by about noon.

I had to rush and still didn’t see everything by the time they threw me out at 5:30 p.m.

A few high points.

  • Julian Stage: To my surprise, one of the first and oldest vehicles there was a stagecoach that once ran from San Diego to Julian. A little bit of home.
  • Prototypes: The Mustang I and other dream cars. The Mustang I was a two-seat, running test a small, sporty car that Ford displayed in the early 60s. It lead to the Mustang. There’s also a display of the 1986 Taurus, which at the time was a very significant car… it saved the company.
  • The Galleries: The Henry Ford is a huge place, with several second-level viewing areas to take it all in.
  • Baseball As America: The special exhibit when I visited was all about Our National Pastime.
  • The Home of the Future: R. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House.
  • Rosa Parks Bus: The exhibit “With Liberty and Justice For All” covers the evolution of American freedoms.

I didn’t make it to the IMAX Theater or have much time to check out the exhibit of Baby Boomer toys and stuff.

I did have lunch in the Michigan Cafe, which has a Michigan theme and is decorated with blowups of postcards and travel posters. The food was fair… about typical for an attraction. I saw the Weinermoble Cafe but it was closed by the time I got to that end of the museum.

Back home, I checked out the excellent web site, especially the online showroom of automotive design.

It’s on my list of places to revisit.

Mustang I
Development prototype Mustang I lead to the 1964 Mustang production car.
Cars on display
Significant autos on display.
Through the years
Fords and other cars displayed in chronological order.
DC-3
The place is big enough to hold a DC-3.

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