#168, Hershey’s world class auto museum reopens

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Its official name is the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, but it’s almost always called the AACA Museum or the Hershey Auto Museum.

By any name, the museum in Pennsylvania is among the country’s most active facilities honoring the history of automobiles — and it’s reopened.

Jeffrey Bliemeister, the museum’s Executive Director, is our guest on this week’s episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

The AACA Musuem, among the countrys most prominent auto museums, has reopene.
The AACA Museum, among the country’s most prominent auto museums, has reopened.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Bliemeister the status of auto museums around the country during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, we talk about the AACA Museum and its approach to presenting the ever-fascinating world of vintage vehicles.

The museum’s vast digital experiences — tours,  ride-alongs and collection chronicles — are all highlighted on the AACM website and YouTube channel. In-person visits began again on January 4.

(A storm in the area temporarily stopped in-person visits again, but the museum has re-opened.)

One compelling vehicle on display is a 1933 LaSalle. The artwork on wheels, sometimes known as the Cadillac Companion, was manufactured from 1927-1940. It was slotted between the Buick and Cadillac lineups, and like Cadillac, was named the Frenchmen who explored America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The museum’s LaSalle is a two-door convertible coupe with a rumble seat. It has most of the features of the Cadillac line, including the 115 horsepower V8 engine. The trim and detail distinctions and an approximate $500 price difference set the two lines apart.

Restored in the late 1970s, the car was shown then placed in long-term storage. It was donated to the Museum in 2017 by Walter Van Nuys of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

A new exhibit showcases the world of “Hemis.”

As the website explains:

“Most people associate the word “Hemi” with Mopar/Chrysler vehicles; however, there are many more vehicles that have a “Hemi” engine that might surprise you!

“The term “Hemi” refers to hemispherical combustion chambers – learn more about these robust engines and the vehicles they power.”

The auto museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is oftne referred to to as the AACA Museum of the Hershey Auto Museum. One of its current exhbits showcase "Hemis."
The auto museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is often referred to as the AACA Museum or the Hershey Auto Museum. One of its current exhibits showcases “Hemis.”

Please join us for a lively discussion about all things auto museums.

The AACA Museum, Inc., is located at 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, Pa. Tel. (717) 566-7100. Visit its website: AACA Museum.

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The podcast is in its third year, and we’ve had a diverse collection of guests — famous athletes, vintage car collectors, manufacturer CEOs, automotive book authors, industry analysts, a movie stuntman and episodes from auto shows and car auctions.

Please send comments and suggestions for new episodes to James Raia via email: [email protected].

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