My recent excursion to the Detroit, Michigan area for the North American International Auto Show came courtesy the good folks in the Ford Social Media department and the opening dinner was held inside The Henry Ford museum.
What a place. Honestly, I had never heard of this museum before despite it opening its doors in 1929.
With a name like “The Henry Ford” one would think it is merely another car collection, this one paying homage to one of the founding fathers of the auto business in this country.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What The Henry Ford is is an homage to America originally begun by Mr. Ford himself.
And opening soon is a stellar exhibit called “Driving America.” We were privy to a sneak preview of the show and if you are an aficionado of the automobile in America you have to get yourself to The Henry Ford, which is located adjacent to Greenfield Village, also created by Mr. Ford to honor America and American life of days gone by.
The Driving America Exhibition opens Jan. 29 with a preview party on the 28th. For myself, I could not take in enough of the wonderful vehicles and displays inside this unique showplace.
And the automobiles in the new collection are more than just Fords – Driving America showcases a little of everything including that “electric car” someone killed a couple of decades ago.
There are interactive displays in many areas of the new exhibit as well as snippets of Americana that include a Holiday Inn sign, the “Golden Arches,” and a restored and operational diner circa 1946 where visitors can actually hang out and order “diner-style” food.
At the front of the hall is a procession of US Presidential carriages marking such notable administrations as Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan, including the Lincoln Presidential Limousine in which Pres. Kennedy was assassinated.
By the numbers, Driving America covers 80,000 square feet, features more than 100 vehicles (and more than 60 cases of artifacts) and includes 18 interactive 42-inch touchscreen displays.
Of course you will want to take in the rest of The Henry Ford while visiting the Driving America exhibit. Highlights of other areas of the museum include the restored Montgomery city bus where Rosa Parks made her historic stand (sit).
And prepare to be humbled by the chair Pres. Lincoln was sitting in inside Ford’s Theatre when he was shot. The bloodstains are still evident in the seat material, and who knew it was a rocking chair that he was using at the theater that fateful night?
Farm tractors, furniture, a home of the future and even a few fullsize airplanes and actual steam locomotives round out the collection on display inside The Henry Ford.