From The Executive Director, Linda Merkel
America On Wheels just celebrated its second anniversary
with a fun-filled day that included a Bulldog Beauty
Contest, a tribute to Earth Day and an educational
seminar that kept our visitors riveted throughout
the day! We are heading into our third year with a
full tank of great news, exciting events and electrifying
exhibits that we believe will keep people coming back
A Terrific Two
Our second anniversary celebration was highlighted
by the Bulldog Beauty Pageant and contestants included
Leo, who played Gladstone in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes
movie and a skateboarding dog who thrilled the audience.
Judges included WFMZ Channel 69 news reporter Jaccii
Farris and columnist Bill White of The Morning Call.
We marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a
presentation from John Costenbader who spoke on the
history of the Ford Motor Company; and a great outdoor
exhibit from members of the Smart Alecs Car Club of
the Lehigh Valley who parked their cute and mighty
gas-sipping Smart Cars on our plaza to welcome visitors.
Growing, Learning and Teaching
But even more exciting things are just down the road!
I am proud to tell you that the Pennsylvania Department
of Community and Economic Development approved our
grant application and awarded us $200,000. These funds
will be used to renovate the second floor of the administrative
offices. We plan to use most of this space for educational
programs and special events. The rest of the floor
will house an eatery, tentatively called The
Hub Cap, where we intend to sell light refreshments,
ice cream floats and sundaes.
We are also thrilled and honored to have received
a $4,800 grant from The Collectors Foundation
in support of our summer curator internship. This
student will assist the staff in developing and coordinating
our educational programs, cataloging our collections
and researching relevant material for upcoming exhibits.
"Pure Muscle - Fast, Fun and Furious"
The 1960s ushered in a host of changes throughout
society. Civil Rights, Flower Power, Summer of Love
and a world-changing war were viewed daily on our
black-and-white TVs. A new generation was rocking
out to the sounds of Elvis, Jimi, Janis, The Beatles,
The Doors and The Stones. But in Detroit, the only
music being heard was the rumbling sounds of a new
generation of cars that revolutionized the "Street
Scene." The beginning of May saw the arrival of a
dozen of the finest examples of the muscle cars that
matched the revolutionary zeal of this decade. Mustang,
GTO, Roadrunner, Camaro, Javelin and Corvette - nameplates
that elicit excitement just thinking about them are
now on display in our Changing Gallery. They look
so fast just sitting there, your hair will blow as
you walk by.
Following the Muscle Car exhibit, which will remain
throughout the summer, our Changing Gallery will take
on a distinct new accent as we present a dazzling
array of French vehicles.
More Exhibits, More Fun
We look forward to continuing to offer an outstanding
array of exhibits, events and educational programs.
New additions to our galleries -- on loan from Herb
Singe, Jr. -- include a 1909 Marsh Metz motorcycle
once owned by actor Steve McQueen and a 1913 Harley
Davidson Model 9-A with its unique handlebar-mounted
acetylene gas tank used to illuminate the head and
tail lights. The Bonneville Streamliner -- which set
land speed records at the Salt Flats -- is prominently
displayed near the entrance. We are also very excited
to display a 1988 Itladesign Aztec concept car. Unveiled
originally at the 1988 Turin Auto Show, it is one
of only 25 produced.
And remember -- in 2011 Chevrolet turns 100 years
old and the museum will be showcasing a century of
It's All Thanks To You
America On Wheels is grateful for the dedication,
time, talents and hard work provided by our outstanding
volunteers. They are truly the heart and soul of our
organization. You cannot put a value on volunteering,
but it makes a huge difference in our operations.
The museum staff and Board of Directors thank our
volunteers for their continued efforts to make America
On Wheels a world-class museum.
We look forward to an exciting year and it is a pleasure
sharing this good news with you. Despite the current
economic climate, we have been fortunate to receive
funding from various government and charitable organizations,
allowing the museum to continue to provide its visitors
with an outstanding museum experience.
If you have enjoyed your time at AOW, I encourage
you to become a member of our organization. It is
through the ongoing support of our members that we
are able to showcase the many unique and authentic
vehicles that enrich our lives and add to America's
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