Tour Day #5 (9/4/19) – from Van Wert, OH to Valparaiso, IN.

Van Wert, Ohio to Valparaiso, Indiana - Google Maps

Judging from the photographs I received, I’m not sure Jay followed the day’s itinerary.  This was his first day with Charlie Enxuto, photo and travel buddy.  From the photos, it looks like they spent the entire day at the Auburn Cord and Duesenberg Museum. This is an automobile museum located in Auburn, Indiana. It is dedicated to preserving cars built by Auburn Automobile, Cord Automobile and Duesenberg Motors Company.

Check out some of these cars:

I think the car in the first photo is a boat-tail Auburn.  I think the last photo is a 1932 Cadillac(?).  Don’t the guys look happy? Charlie — how are you managing to look younger?  (NOT fair!)


Above is Charlie with a Cord police car.

Above is the Inner frame of a Cord and the finished product.

There are also some non-car items…  Above left is John Dillinger‘s machine gun.  The the sign on the right explains why Indiana produced an automotive legacy.

And one final car photo before we move on to the next day.  Jay says, “Cool car at the Auburn museum.  I think it’s a Cadillac.”  So what’s it doing in a Cord-Auburn-Duesenberg museum? Right era, wrong mark; but a beautiful specimen.


Tour Day #6: from Valparaiso, IN, to Sterling, IN. and Tour Day #7: from Sterling, IN, to Marshalltown, IA.

These were days the e-devices weren’t connecting, so I don’t have an explanation of the shots the guys sent me, but here you go:

And here’s one I recognize as George Preston’s Garage:


His famous, porcelain sign-covered gas station, is a prominent landmark in Belle Plaine. George’s father bought the station in 1923 and moved it to this location for his four sons to operate. At that time, it was located on the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast paved highway. George began to collect memorabilia of all kinds, including an Oil Pull diesel tractor, a Case steam tractor, a Model T Doctors Coupe, and a two-headed calf, stuffed and mounted inside the garage. He covered the station with porcelain signs, advertising gasoline, oil, tires, root beer and what-not.

Tour Day #8:  Marshalltown, IA to Council Bluffs, IA.

Marshalltown, Iowa to Council Bluffs, Iowa - Google Maps

One of the morning photo stops was Niland’s Café an historic gas station. Charlie Reed saw great opportunity in capitalizing on the site’s prime location by building his gas station and cafe on a yet unpaved gravel road. He later joined forces with his nephew, Clare Niland. The cafe was originally called the “L & J Cafe” and was open 24 hours, 7 days a week as both the Greyhound and Jefferson bus lines stopped here. The motel units replaced the original cabins on the grounds in the 1940s. The restaurant is now owned by the City of Colo. The Niland family donated it to the city with the stipulation that it be operated as a restaurant.

Another morning stop was Mamie Eisenhower’s Birthplace in Boone, Iowa, but I don’t have the photos yet.  (Hope to have them soon!)

Here’s the Mahanay Bell Tower and Abraham Lincoln Statue:


This is the very first statue of Abraham Lincoln to be built beside and dedicated to the Lincoln Highway. The statue is a replica of W. Granville Hastings’ statue in Cincinnati, Ohio. The bronze statue is life size, and it stands on a two-tiered concrete base. A bronze plaque with the closing paragraph of Lincoln’s second inaugural address is affixed to the upper portion of the base.

Right nest to the statue is the Jefferson Bell Tower. It must have been on one of his trips to Florida that Floyd Mahanay fell in love with the idea of a bell tower. His inspiration was the Bok Memorial Carillon Tower in Lake Wales, Florida. Mahanay died on May 15, 1947, telling no one in Jefferson about his plans for a bell tower. After the death of Mrs. Mahanay in 1962, family attorney Francis Cudahy found an immense amount of literature on bell towers in the Mahanay home at 507 W Harrison. A sheet of detailed plans for the Jefferson tower was attached to the will, and the will itself provide for financing, location, and even the words to be inscribed on the plaque. Nearly all of Floyd’s estate was designated for the bell tower, and some of Dora’s estate was used to complete it. Mahanay directed in his will that his money go to his distant heirs if the city did not accept the tower. The structure, 32 bells, carillon and patio had a combined cost of about $350,000. He was very specific in his will, indicating that 50 percent of the music played should be sacred and patriotic. Daily concert times were set and Easter, Christmas and July 4th concerts were directed.

Next stop #5: Moss Corner where there are two Abraham Lincoln Monuments built in 1924 by Civil War veteran James Edward Moss, who lost his left leg in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in 1863. They were restored in July 2001.

Moss Corner

Hotel night at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Council Bluffs, IA, and tomorrow we’ll go to Kearney, Nebraska.  See you there!


One thought on “CARS, CARS, and… MORE CARS!

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