Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
Alex and I visited the Crawford Museum in University Circle on Cleveland's east side (not far from the famed Cleveland Clinic) on a recent Saturday. The Museum is operated by the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Many of the cars in the Crawford collection were built in and around Cleveland, like this 1899 Winton.
Not sure what this unrestored "barn find" is; there was no placard. I like the seating arrangement.
Come away with me Lucille, in my Curved Dash Oldsmobile....
This 1904 Royal Tourist was also built in Cleveland.
There are quite a few steam-powered cars in the collection. Here we see a Franklin and a Stanley.
Here's a car you've never heard of, a 1908 Elmore:
This runabout was available by mail order from Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1909. It arrived with "some assembly required," I would suspect.
This is a 1910 Stearns touring car.
Stearns was noted for its use of the Knight sleeve-valve engine in cars marketed under the name "Stearns-Knight." In a sleeve-valve engine, the intake and exhaust ports are in the sides of the cylinders, and are opened and closed by the movement of a cylindrical sleeve fitted around the cylinder. This hand-cranked display unit demonstrates how the Knight engine works:
The Knight engine was smooth and ghostly quiet, but like all sleeve-valve engines it was expensive to build--limiting its use to high-end cars. Engines with "poppet" valves (the kind we use today) worked just about as well and were much cheaper. Sleeve valves were used in some high-performance World War Two aircraft, but disappeared from automotive applications in the mid-1930s.
Also from 1910, this Hupmobile which drove around the world as a publicity stunt:
The electric transmission was expensive, and had no noticable performance advantage over its conventional competition. 700 Owen Magnetics were sold between 1915 and 1921; this is one of only four still in existence.
Sitting next to the '29 Jordan is this 1926 Chandler roadster. I love the snappy two-tone scheme on this one.
Another car you never heard of: a 1924 Rollin, built by the Cleveland Tractor Company.
There are several Packards in the collection, including this block-long 1930 model.
In the Art Deco department, we have a 1934 Chrysler Airflow,...
...a 1941 Cadillac,...
....that hot-rodder's favorite, the 1940 Willys 440 coupe,...
...and a magnificent Cord 812.
The Ramble Seat option never made it into production. You were surprised by this?
The electric car collection includes several Cleveland-built Bakers...
I'm not sure the EV-1 has much better range than the R&L--but it has a sound system and cupholders! Who says there's no such thing as progress?
There's a 1964 Avanti in the collection, but this is no ordinary 1964 Avanti.
Only nine production Avantis were built with the optional 304.5 cubic inch supercharged 300+ HP R3 engine--and this particular R3 is in fact the very last Avanti built by Studebaker. It's in unrestored condition with less than 10,000 miles on it.
It's parked next to a "Forward Look" Chrysler 300D, which makes this the swankest spot in the entire Museum.
The upstairs gallery is not as well lit, which forced me to use low-light mode on my camera, which made it very susceptible to camera shake. Not all the photos I took up there were presentable. Gives me an excuse to go back, I suppose.
Here we see a 1905 Hupmobile and a 1910 Stevens-Duryea.
Also found upstairs is this 1907 Woods Mobilette cyclecar. About three quarters the size of a "real" car, it seats two in a semi-tandem arrangement--the passenger's seat is set back by the axle, and the passenger's feet end up next to the driver's hip.
There were three other cars on display that I found particularly interesting, but I want to save them for a separate post of their own.
The aviation collection concentrates on the National Air Races, which were held in Cleveland from 1929 to 1949.
The Museum is open from 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. It's co-located with the WRHS's other museums and its library, and one admission gets you in to the entire complex.
--Cookie the Dog's Owner