Hooniversal Joints- The Swigart Museum

SweigartMuseum

The world is full of great car collections, some of them in the least likely of locations. If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Huntingdon PA, a tiny burgh of about 8,000 hugging the bends of the Juniata River –  which in 2009 was also voted the nation’s 5th-coolest small town by Budget Travel magazine – then you might want to make a stop at one such collection, the Swigart Museum.

Founded by W. Emmet Swigart more than 85 years ago, the collection is packed fender to fender in a single climate controlled room while automotive memorabilia crowds into the gift shop in front. Should you be jonesing for a VHS copy of LeMans or The Love Bug this is your place.  They also have what is claimed to be the world’s largest collection of vintage license plates and radiator badges.

But what about the cars? Well, the Swigart Museum is noteworthy for maintaining among its displays a a number of unique antique automobiles including a 1936 Gordon Buehrig-designed Duesenburg 12 Gentleman’s Speedster, 1916 Scripps-Booth Town Car, and not one, but two Tuckers, one of which happens to be the 1947 “Tin Goose” prototype. All in all, the not for profit museum counts about 150 cars in its collection – rivaling Jay Leno – and offers viewing of between 35 and 50 in the museum at any given time. That time better be between Memorial Day and Halloween as that’s the only time the museum is open for guests.

More details about the museum, including the address and hours of operation, may be found here. For those of you unable to make a trek to the pine-covered mountains of  Central Pennsylvania any time soon, there’s a slide show of some of the Museum highlights after the jump.

 

All Images ©2013 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

6 Comments

  1. I went to the Swigert museum last year. Very interesting place quite literally in the middle of nowhere. When you walk in you are face with a load of diecast toys and even oddities like a diecast zeppelin from the 1920's. Then you start to notice the radiator's on the walls or how they have license plates in the back room from all over the world for the last ninety years. It's not a very large building but I'll be making the three hour trip back to see it again.
    Hopefully the link works to take you to the album https://plus.google.com/photos/109883235140111009
    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tTeUdq_uOCA/UFJsFMoQ8gI/AAAAAAAAUn4/8I7sAfTW5sc/w519-h779-no/DSC_0982.JPG&quot; width=500 />
    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4XzeX-RUKCQ/UFJl8TFqQdI/AAAAAAAAUvM/zC0fDqxoXUQ/w1423-h614-no/DSC_0918.JPG&quot; width=500 />
    And the reason I went to it. I love the little American Bantam. I have quite a fascination with this car.
    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-n8LfDvf_J_k/UFJqr6R6cyI/AAAAAAAAUys/RuB9rO6kkrg/w783-h779-no/DSC_0970.JPG&quot; width=500 />

    1. The town is halfway between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh if you are ever looking for it on the map.

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