We slept in, since the museum doesn’t open until 11 am on Sundays. After a slow start and some coffee, we made our way over to the museum to check it out for ourselves.
We started on the second floor, checking out some extremely non-automotive things. All along the ramp to the second floor is a whole lot of sports memorabilia. This continues into several rows of glass cases between the ramp and the vehicle displays. I had to go all the way to Florida to see a basketball signed by Larry Bird, even as a lifelong New Englander who grew up when Bird and the Celtics were at their peak in the 1980s. There’s another entire row of Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia, as well as collections of dollhouse sets, dolls, Barbies, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Oh, right, you want to hear about the cars. Here’s a Tucker, one of only 51 built and 47 remaining. This one, like many others, was featured in the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream. They let me test drive it, and this was the result.
Just kidding! This is actually a replica built for the movie specifically to be crashed. There’s a scene where they drive around a test track for 24 hours straight, and the car rolls over at the end of it.
This is the car they rolled instead of a priceless Tucker. It’s actually a Studebaker with a bunch of Tucker lookalike parts screwed onto it. Up close they’re obviously fake, but in the movie it looks just as good as the real thing. The roll cage was also something to behold. It’s even stronger than what I’m used to seeing in rally cars. But those are built to be there just in case you crash. This car was fully intended to crash, so they built the cage strong to protect the stunt driver.
Here’s another famous vehicle: the Batcycle from the 1960s Batman series, complete with the sidecar that Robin could drive away in on his own. This was part of a larger Batman display with two Batmobiles from the movies, a replica of the 1960s Batmobile, and even the Penguin’s Duck car.
There is sooooooooo much to see here! Not just cars, either. There’s an extensive motorcycle section, a few boats, a whole bunch of outboard motors, Abraham Lincoln’s horse-drawn hearse, custom Steinway pianos, and a firearms collection, including Wyatt Earp’s pistol and Buffalo Bill’s rifle. They call it a car museum, but I think it’s more of a pop culture museum that happens to include a whole lot of cool cars, new and old. You could get lost in here for an entire day, and if it wasn’t for other plans, we would’ve. If you’re ever anywhere near Tallahassee, I highly recommend it, even if you have absolutely no interest whatsoever in cars. Trust me, you’ll find something that interests you here.
I only snapped a few pictures, because we were busy shooting lots of video. Keep your scanners peeled for the video (or two!) of the Tallahassee Automobile Museum coming up on our YouTube channel.