Ralph and Sharleen's Road Trip.
Short on time, Big on Adventure
By Sharleen Barbagallo
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For the trip back home, I was armed with a book I had recently stumbled upon called Richard E. Osborne's Tour Book for Antique Car Buffs. It proved to be a great resource for two car nuts looking to discover car related places of interest on their journey back East. The book has information on Auto, Truck and Motorcycle Museums across the U.S. and Canada, antique car dealers, salvage yards- Any place that would be of interest to a car nut. As we drove through each state, we scanned the book to see if we were close to any of the places mentioned in the book. Jackpot in Indiana! We arrived in South Bend, Indiana late Saturday night and found a room at a Days Inn, at what I believe to be the dirtiest hotel in the whole United States (but, that's a whole other story!).

Pinching my nose closed outside the dirtiest hotel in the U.S.A.

The next morning, we drove to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend and it made me forget all about that nasty hotel, almost. The Studebaker Museum was relocated to a new facility back in 2006. It is a beautiful space and an outstanding museum.

What a glorious day for going topless!!
Outside the Studebaker Museum

The Studebaker family's evolution, from Blacksmiths in the 1700's, to the largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles in the 1800's, eventually shifting to manufacturing automobiles in the early 1900's, is a wonderful history to discover. The Museum tells the story of the Studebaker family and the history of America in a way that is engaging and fascinating. They have an impressive collection of horse-drawn and motor-vehicles. We could have spent the whole day exploring this one museum, but, alas, we wanted to take in two more museums before the day ended. When we walked out of the Studebaker Museum, it was such a warm, sunny day, we decided to drop top right there in the parking lot before we continued on our journey. But, how could we drive on the highway when we could travel with the top down on some back route across Indiana?

 The Studebaker history- From Blacksmiths to Automanufacturers

The Quality of the cars was very good

Ralph Posing with the beautiful Neon

Impresive Musclecar Displays are a norm at the top Museums

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1969 Road Runner Convertible
383-4V A727 Automatic