See presidential limos and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at the Henry Ford Museum

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The limo that President Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated is on display at the Ford Museum. That’s weird, fascinating, exciting, and more than a little creepy.

kennedy-presidential-limo

What’s even creepier is one of the facts I learned from the informational display next to the vehicle. Did you know that after Kennedy was killed, four more presidents (Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter) continued using that very same limo? WTF?! If you’re a president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, why wouldn’t you pull someone aside and say, “Hey, uh, ya know, I’d prefer not to travel in the car that JFK was shot in. Because that’s creepy. Get me another ride!”

The Ford Museum has a large collection of presidential limos from over the years. Here’s President Eisenhower’s snazzy set of wheels:

eisenhower-presidential-limo

And Ronnie Reagan’s limo:

president-reagans-limo

Go back a little further to this 1939 vehicle used by President Franklin Roosevelt. I like the design a lot:

fdr-presidential-vehicle

Let’s keep going back to the other Roosevelt, Teddy. More than 100 years ago, he used this carriage to get around. I hope he wasn’t in a hurry.

teddy-roosevelt-brougham

Other cars at the Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum can be found at 20900 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn, Michigan. It is theoretically possible to get here via public transportation (the 200 bus) from Detroit, but for easiest access, you’ll need to drive, which is fitting considering that this is a museum dedicated to cars.

There’s a lot more at the Ford Museum than just presidential limos. The museum displays a bunch of vehicles from its history. Like this 1957 Ford De Soto!

desoto-holiday-inn

Here’s a sight that is sure to be the highlight for many visitors… the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!

oscar-meyer-wienermobile

Nothing can compare to the glory of the Wienermobile, but here’s something that comes close: An awesome VW camper van. I still plan to buy one of these someday and live in it as I travel around North America for several months.

vw camper van

Look at this bizarrely-shaped vehicle. It’s a 1965 Goldenrod, which held the land speed record for more than 25 years. It was clocked in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in November 1965 at 409 miles per hour, the fastest speed ever recorded for a wheel-driven car. That record stood until 1991. The Goldenrod weighed 8000 pounds and was 32 feet long.

goldenrod-land-speed

Here’s an early version of an electric car, the Comuta-Car. This was a 1980 model, produced after the gas crisis temporarily created an urgency for non-gas vehicles.

comuta-car-electric-1980

One of the oldest cars on display is this Chevrolet Royal Mail from 1915. It was an “edgy” vehicle designed to look like a race car. Imaging cruising around town in this thing! Just be careful- the fuel tank was right behind the seats.

chevrolet-royal-mail-1915

Oh hold on, here’s an even older car! This Ford 999 was produced in 1902 as a racing vehicle. It was said that Henry Ford and his staff were afraid to drive this behemoth:

ford-999-car-from-1902

No car museum would be complete without some modern race cars. Driven by Trevor Bayne, this Ford Fusion won the 2011 Daytona 500. The confetti from winner’s circle is still attached.

daytona-500-winner-2011

Other weird stuff on display

The other items on display range from alternative forms of transportation to completely off the wall items. Here’s a very cool sight – the plane from 1926 that was used to fly round trip from Norway to the North Pole.

north pole expedition plane

There’s a big section dedicated to locomotives. Kylie Minogue would be proud.

locomotive ford museum

I found this one fascinating. It’s a locomotive snow plow, which was attached to the front of a train in the winter to clear the tracks. This 1923 plow blazed a trail for trains in New England and Canada.

locomotive snow plow

Next up was a weird section on machinery. It was interesting, though not especially relevant to cars.

machinery

And here’s where the Ford Museum really begins to stretch its scope. The museum includes a display about “modern technology,” a field so wide open that just about anything can fit under that label. Accordingly, there’s an interactive exhibit in which visitors can stand in front of a screen and project themselves into 1980s music videos.

It’s very weird and freaky, but hey, I’ve always wanted to be in Prince’s “1999” video.

me prince video

As of this writing, the Ford Museum is open from 9:30 to 5 seven days a week.

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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