#199, Terry Gale, curator of Rambler Ranch in rural Colorado

James Raia

A minute’s drive from County Rd. 21 in the Elizabeth, Colo., Rambler Ranch is perched in a clearing of trees on the outskirts of the small town about 45 miles southeast of Denver. It’s a secluded museum of Americana, a life’s work for Terry Gale as a remembrance of family and the iconic automobiles of yesteryear.

Gale, 60, didn’t plan to own the world’s largest collection of Nash, Rambler and AMC vehicles. But in 30-plus years he’s cultivated an unequaled collection of the small vehicles originally produced inexpensively for the post World War II economy.

A selection of vehicles in Rambler Ranch.
A selection of vehicles in Rambler Ranch.

A lot happened to the long-ago defunct vehicles and life has changed for Gale, too. He started with his father’s 1954 Nash Ambassador and he spent years building his occupation with his deceased former partner Greg Kissinger.

Rambler Ranch: Colorado’s “hidden” museum

The Weekly Driver Podcast recently traveled the museum en route to a writers’ conference in Estes Park, Colo., and Gale is our guest on Episode #199.

Co-host Bruce Aldrich is way this week, but I spent about 2 1/2 hours with the museum’s proprietor. I was the only one visiting that day. The museum has appointment-only hours three days a week and it was closed. But Gale accommodated me.

Row after row of Rambler and other vintage cars at Rambler Ranch.
Row after row of Rambler and other vintage cars at Rambler Ranch.

Gale, a Roger Maris-lookalike, suffers from neuropathy, so he often travels building-to-building on a segway.

Besides his vast interest in Ramblers and other vehicles “no one else collects,” Gale is a historian and aficionado of Americana. He collects vintage appliances and antiques. Memorabiliamand promotional materials cover the walls, floors and shelves. Mannequins are everywhere. There’s a recreated old-style diner. It’s where we talked after a tour of the expansive museum buildings.

A “boneyard” of other Ramblers is used for parts is on a corner of the ranch and is its own museum.

Gale likes new cars, too, with an enviable collection that includes McLaren, Tesla, Rolls-Royce, among others.

Mostly, Gale’s appreciation for what he does is infectious.

Terry Gale's colletion of Rambler and other vintage cars is unequaled.
Terry Gale’s collection of Rambler and other vintage cars is unequaled.

Please join me for a 30-minute conversation with the curator of one of the country’s most impressive car and Americana museums.

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Article Last Updated: October 18, 2021.

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