Bill kept saying that when we were in Billings he never got a chance to go into Cabela's. Our destination today was to have him get his "fix" in his favorite section of Cabela's. The store was very different from all the other ones we've been to.
On the eastern side of the Cabela's building was the Classic Car Collection. I wasn't too sure about what they would have since it was one man's collection but we went inside anyway. It didn't look like much from the outside. It was over on the RV parking side of the building. The old folks admission was $7.00.
We were immediately met by a volunteer docent who explained how the museum was originated. It opened on Black Friday 2011 so word isn't really out about it.
Bernie and Janice Taulborg (who are in their 80's) collected cars for 41 years and stored them in seven buildings on an old dairy farm near Omaha. None of his children were interested in them. He wanted the collection to stay together and a friend suggested a display for the public as a non profit corporation.
The building is a rented warehouse from Cabela's. They had to add plumbing and lighting. The floors machines were used for 3 days before they applied epoxy to the floor which took 3 coats to cover. The warehouse doors were replaced with windows. They have added dividers with some beautiful murals. There are large video screens explaining the transformation of the building and also about Bernie and his love of cars. Bernie donated 130 cars for the museum. Other people have donated or loaned cars for a total of 177 cars. I don't think they could fit anymore into the 50,000 square feet of the building.
Bill saw this engine and said he thought he could work on this one. What do you think?
I'll tell you a few stories I remember and then just post some pictures because I can't remember which car was which.
I think this might be a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith Limo which is the only one of its kind. Built for the 17th Earl of Derby, the car has been certified by the Rolls Royce Registry.
This was a Cadillac that Evel Knievel had modified so that he could haul his motorcycle.
One of the first cars to drive on the Lincoln Highway and then driven again 100 years later.
This is a one of a kind Jewett Woodie that was built by Bernie Taulborg using a wrecked sedan. Jewett never made a woodie.
The unique thing about this Ford is right next to it is an unrestored one.
This was a Willy's
A receipt for a check to purchase one car was found in the glove box.
The Atlas Oil Company is a 1950's era gas station and the drive in theater has the speakers and the ticket booth that was all that was left after a tornado. There were muscle cars, pick -ups and even a collection of tools.
The docent walked with us through the entire exhibit telling us stories about the cars. All the volunteers were helpful and very friendly. They all thanked us for coming. We highly recommend stopping if you are in the area. There's RV parking.