Q. What is better for car buffs than a top-down day in a classic convertible along a scenic mountain drive?
A, A drive that ends at a terrific car museum with a great buffet lunch at the Gateway Canyons Resort!
More than a dozen LCOC members attending this month’s Western Nattional Meet in Grand Junction, CO, were treated to another day of fantastic scenery, winding mountain roads and a worthy destination on the second full day of the meet. They journeyed in caravan from the Doubletree HQ hotel to a secluded private resort hosting an outstanding car collection, with Rocky Mountain Region hosts Jake Dout in his 2002 Thunderbird and Peter Daniluk in his 1965 Continental convertible alternately leading the group.
The drive offered all the scenic beauty for which Colorado is famous including craggy cliffs, rich fields of grazing livestock, snow capped mountains and quaint old buildings along the way.
The museum was anything but quaint—its glittering collection showed off some outstanding 20th century automobiles. Centerpiece of the museum was a 1954 Olds F-88 concept car a one-of-a-kind artifact conceived by legendary General Motors designer and executive Harley Earl, who is creditied with inventing the “concept car” as a design and a marketing tool. Earl developed the Buick Y-Job and started Project Opel which led to the Chevrolet Corvette. He is also credited with developing the auto tail fin concept which eventually reached its peak with the 1959 Cadillac. The Olds F-88 at the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum clearly shows design cues from the early Corvette, some of which are also on display there, and other G.M. cars which were popular at the time and later.
According to the museum staff, in 1954 the F-88 was a Motorama “Dream Car” and was one of only two complete – with an unconfirmed possible two ‘shells’ – ever created. The F-88 presented here is literally the only car left of its kind and was acquired by the Hendricks Collection at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona for an auction record $3,240,000. After spending decades as a collection of parts stored in wooden crates, the F-88 was painstakingly reassembled and offered for sale at the 2007 auction. This acquisition made automotive history and is the “cornerstone” of the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum. This groundbreaking design and legendary story is displayed in its own special room with a rotating display and period documentation worthy of the F-88!
The Olds is by no means the only classic on display. Beloved and coveted collectibles included Cadillacs, Contientnals, Cords and many others such as Dusenburgs, Hudsons, and Packards. For more photos of the collection click here.