Prison AND car museum … in Montana!

Travelin’ time … this time to Deer Lodge, Montana … to boldly go where no Tortuga has gone!

Meeting friends in Missoula ...
Meeting friends in Missoula …

Yes there is a place that is a car museum (much interest) and a prison (not really hoping to spend much time there). It’s called the “Old Prison”, built in 1871 and in operation until 1979. On a beautiful day, it leaves you wondering how anyone could put up with incarceration!

But the car museum is AMAZING! Every era is represented by lots and lots of cars! I’ve only included a few here …

Click to read it all ...
Click to read it all …

In 1914 they had an electric car that went 211 miles on a charge. Bring it back, Detroit!

Air cooled cars that got 28.8 MPG? The Franklin, produced them from 1902 through 1934 – as luxury cars! Ever heard of a company named REO? yup …  truck maker in Lansing Michigan, with their best selling model, the Speedwagon.

Good lookin' truck ...
Good lookin’ truck … a 1-ton!
The original ... built in the late 1920's and early 30's
The original … built in the late 1920’s and early 30’s

There are woodies, sedans, convertibles, campers too. Is there nothing new?

I could drive this one today. Amazing forest green ...
I could drive this one today. Amazing forest green …
Click to see the Yellowstone Trail ...
Click to see the Yellowstone Trail …

“The Yellowstone Trail was  the first transcontinental automobile highway in the United States through the northern tier of states from Washington through Massachusetts. Yet too few people are aware of its existence or its social, political and economic effects on either the local communities or the nation … ” from www.yellowstonetrail.org.

1933 Kozy Kamp Pop-up Trailer
1933 Kozy Kamp Pop-up Trailer

The pop-up trailer opened up in 90 seconds … sleeping for 4 adults … bed opened automatically … all for $295. Only 950 pounds, with 76″ headroom.

The 1913 Cadillac … which came out of the Henry Ford Company … and the machinations of Ford, General Motors, Chevrolet, Dodge and others … all detailed at the museum, with vehicles of that era.  The Lincoln Continental, developed as Edsel Ford’s personal vehicle …

A little flashy for my taste ...
A little flashy for my taste …

Yup … even air conditioning. The “Thermador Car Cooler” was a swamp cooler that used about a gallon of water in 100-150 miles.

Made by Allstate, Star Mfg., Classic air and others.
Made by Allstate, Star Mfg., Classic air and others.

Hudsons, DeSotos, Studebakers, earliest Jeeps (made by Ford) and more. Then, we got to the era of beautiful cars.

1955 convertible
1955 convertible
1957
1957
Dodges
Dodges
Fords ... this with a retractable hardtop!
Fords … this with a retractable hardtop!
Yes ... t-birds!
Yes … t-birds!

Rows of Corvettes, T-birds, Superbees, Volkwagons, Avantis, original Suburbans, custom one-offs too … everything you could think of. All beautifully restored! This is a 1958 Chevy Suburban – big, heavy, expensive ($2,518) but 4×4.

What a hauler this was!
What a hauler this was!

Well, this place alone could be a two-day visit. Many, many cars … lots of historical information about the cars and their makers. And it was dirt cheap too, and rated as one of the top 10 car museums! This is a must see. Oh, and the prison is thrown in.

Beautiful stonework ... but I wouldn't want to live here.
Beautiful stonework … but I wouldn’t want to live here.

We’ll stop here again – it was that good!

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