With the Hot Rod Power Tour ending this year in Detroit, we couldn’t let the opportunity escape us when we were invited to visit the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan for a special guided tour. When we got there we expected the typical museum experience. We had no idea what was in store or the special access we would be granted.
The Henry Ford Museum was born out of the automotive industrialists love for preserving items of historical significance as well as items used by the common man. The complex is massive! The 90+ acres houses an amazing collection of Americana including automobiles, trains, planes, various manufacturing machines, trinkets, crafts and more. It even is home to many different buildings of historic significance. The dwellings were brought to the complex from locations around the world and re-assembled brick by brick to their original grandeur. Notable buildings include Thomas Edison’s original Menlo Park, New Jersey Complex, the Wright Brothers North Carolina Cycling/Airplane fabrication shop and a replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
We were overwhelmed to say the least. There is no way to see everything in one day but we were lucky that we had a private guided tour and were able to hit the highlights as well as see a few things that the general guest does not (i.e. Behind the scenes)
On our special tour we were able to view some amazing vehicles including some of the vehicles the museum was preparing for a new 80,000 square foot exhibit titled Driving America coming in 2012. Vehicles such as the first Ford Mustang prototype, various race cars including Bill Eliotts number 9 NASCAR, Jim Clark’s 1965 Indy winning Lotus and the Edelbrock flathead equipped 1960 Buck and Thompson Class D Slingshot Dragster.
We were also able to visit the massive archives of the museum and see some really amazing historical pieces including letters from Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Edison. We were given the opportunity to leaf through personal photo albums/scrapbooks from various events including multi family camping trips the Ford family took with the Edison and Firestone families. There was so much to see and such little time.
Next we were escorted around the Greenfield Village area via Model T’s to view the various buildings that Ford has collected over the years. Buildings such as Edison’s Menlo Park Complex. The original laboratory where Thomas Edison invented the Light bulb and so many other incredible inventions was re-located here back in 1929.
Other notable buildings include Henry Fords birthplace, and the first house to enjoy electrical service among many others we didn’t have time to visit. While in the Edison laboratory, Vic, Nancy and Christi were able to record their voices on an original Edison Phonograph which was a real treat. We also visited the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop/Airplane Fabrication Shop where they constructed the first Airplane. American ingenuity at its finest.
By now the day had flown by and it was getting late. We were treated to one more really incredible honor. A formal dinner for our entourage in one of the historic Greenfield buildings. Here, Vic was presented with a really nice framed image of the 1960 Buck and Thompson Edelbrock Equipped Dragster. The atmosphere was really amazing as we sat there eating, socializing and taking in all the historic Americana and nostalgia of the Henry Ford Museum.
We had heard that this place was amazing, but we had no idea it was that AMAZING! Special thanks to The Henry Ford Museum for the special tour and access! If you haven’t been yet… GO!
Check out all the awesome pictures from the museum below.