Museum of the Horseless Carriage

There has been a desire for many years to establish a museum completely dedicated to Brass Era cars and the pioneers who made them a reality. As this possibility was analyzed it became obvious to a committee looking into its feasibility that there was only one way to do it successfully. The idea is now  becoming a reality. The willingness of the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan to accept the Museum of the Horseless Carriage as one of the partner museums on their 90-acre property is really the only practical answer. With some financial assistance from the Horseless Carriage Educational Institute the legal work to establish a new tax exempt 501(c)3 Michigan corporation and negotiate a 50-year legal agreement with the Gilmore Car Museum was accomplished in early 2020. 

The next steps are somewhat more complex. We have begun a three-year capital campaign to raise $3,000,000 which will be used to build the 10,000 square foot building, pay for the display materials and furnishings, as well as create a $1,300,000 endowment to insure its long-term viability. The first step in that process has been to create a display in the existing Steam Barn at the Gilmore which is now complete.  This display  features a full-size replica of the original Wright Brothers plane hanging from the ceiling. We have obtained an original photo of Orville Wright and his sister riding in a 1903 St. Louis and George Dorris III has loaned us a 1903 St. Louis for the display as well. There is a large balcony area so visitors can view all this from above the display area. We now have on loan a very significant group of cars to complete the display in a way that tells the story of the early development of the automobile. 

One of the most exciting elements in this program has been the plan to have a national signature event at the museum annually.  The first event, A Celebration of Brass@ The Gilmore, took place in July of 2021 and was a great success. There is a video on this site featuring the highlights of that event. The two-day celebration was followed by three magnificent days of touring through the Michigan countryside. A similar event will happen every July. 

All of this will only happen if supported financially by the Horseless Carriage community. If you would like to help make all of this a reality please contact Bob Ladd at 717-269-5508 or jbobladd@ptd.net. or make a check payable to: Museum of the Horseless Carriage and send it to Bob Ladd, 640 Zinn’s Mill Road, Lebanon, PA 17042.