Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Don't forget the St. Louis Car Museum

If you’re looking for a wide variety of vintage tin, the St. Louis Car Museum just may be the ticket. From full-on Classics, to hot rods, to muscle cars, their 50,000-sq/ft showroom has a little something for everyone.

When we went to the Gateway City last week for our car story recon mission, I didn’t really have this place on my radar. I’ve seen their ads on occasion, and they had cars at the Mecum auction in Kansas City last month, but it just didn’t register when I headed out.

Luckily, I did get a little reminder from an unlikely source—one of their competitors. Earlier that day, we visited the Hyman collection, and one of the guys that worked there suggested that we check out the St. Louis Car Museum. I’m glad he did, because I got to see a great bunch of cars housed in a pretty cool facility.

This place is first-and-foremost a classic car dealership, so most everything is for sale. A majority of the cars are owned by the museum, but some are either on consignment or just being stored.

They don’t automatically let you wander around in there, either. The receptionist is serious about her gatekeeping duties, and casual browsing is not readily encouraged.

But once you get in, it’s worth the effort. Sales Manager Jon Faust was kind enough to meet with us in the showroom, and pointed out how diverse the selection was. And he made a good point, because a nice 2010 Grand Marquis was breathing the same climate-controlled air as a stunning, custom Darrin-bodied ’39 Packard 120 Convertible Victoria.

There were several cars that caught my eye. Their shiny, black ’41 Cadillac Sedanette wasn’t perfect, but I think it would make someone a dandy driver. A bright pink ’60 Plymouth Suburban wagon was an attention-getter at the Mecum auction in KC last month, and it was no less so in this setting. And one could only imagine that the ’51 Pontiac ambulance would be a hit at the local cruise nights this summer.

Other standouts included an extra-long 1936 Lincoln Model K Touring Convertible that looked every bit as regal as the $249,000 price tag suggested, a ’62 Pontiac Catalina coupe that featured an aluminum engine, and a little electric-powered Bugatti Type 52 kiddy car with an asking price of $59,900. Nice—but BHo is going to have to make do with his bike.

Dad didn’t go, but when I got back, he was particularly interested in hearing about a ’58 T-Bird convertible that he saw in an ad. It was there, and pretty nice, too. The light Cascade Green almost clashed with the dark, teal-ish green interior. Turns out my granddad had one just like this, and dad always liked it.

My wife and BHo seemed to be especially impressed with the murals painted along the ceiling, with little Route 66 scenes as if you’re traveling across the country. BHo also liked the “Monkey Band” cart, which was a trailer with a little animatronic monkey orchestra that someone like the Shriners might pull in a parade.

What we’ve learned here is that the next time you go to St. Louis to look at car stuff, don’t forget to make a stop at the St. Louis Car Museum. With their large and varied selection, there’s bound to be something that trips your trigger. For more information, visit their website at

And if you’re not ready to take a road trip today, maybe the slideshow below will tide you over for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing and fascinating place; a hybrid between a museum and dealership? I'll definitely have to check it out; the classic cars look stunning.