Until this afternoon I thought that I had already seen essentially all of the world’s great museums. Like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Louvre in Paris, and the British Museum in London.
That’s why after spending hours in these museum giants I seldom visit museums any more. I am sure glad that I made an exception this afternoon by visiting the Harrah collection at the National Automobile Museum in Reno.
All the famous nameplates of yesterday and today are here — and a lot more. I saw dozens of makes that I never heard of before.
Like this 1892 Philion manufactured in Akron, Ohio. This was the only vehicle that company produced.
The museum has another vehicles made in 1892:
I never heard of this vehicle either. It is an 1901 De Dion – Bouton manufactured in Brooklyn.
The most famous vehicle in the museum is the Thomas Flyer. I especially like it because it is a real outdoorsman’s SUV.
“A 1907 Model 35 with 4 cylinders and 60 horsepower, dubbed Thomas Flyer, won the 1908 New York to Paris Race, the first and only around-the-world automobile race ever held,” according to Wikipedia. “The race began in Times Square, New York, on February 12 and covered some 22,000 miles, finishing in Paris on July 30, 1908….The Flyer was the first car to cross the United States, and the first to do so in the winter….Finishing in 169 days was a remarkable feat, considering the lack of roads and services in 1908.”
Not all of the automobiles on display are old. In 1960 a doctor in Los Angeles built this Flying Caduceus, the world’s first jet propulsion land speed car. and raced it on the Bonneville Salt Flats. He had problems controlling his vehicle (unlike me a couple of days ago there!) but bested my time. He achieved 350 mph.
Of the more than 200 antique, vintage, classic, special interest, and one-of-a-kind automobiles on display at the National Automobile Museum, this 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was the one that I immediately fell in love with. Don’t tell Susie!