The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, a part of the Western Reserve Historical Society and located in University Circle, is a showcase of the history of air and land transport vehicles. It includes airplanes, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and spacecraft. It was founded by Frederick Coolidge Crawford, president of Thompson Products (later named TRW). Crawford collected vintage automobiles, and also was very involved in aviation, being instrumental in bringing the NASA Lewis (now called NASA Glenn) Research Center to the Cleveland area.
His love for aviation and vintage cars, and his understanding of the historical importance to these vehicles led to establishing the Thompson Auto Album in 1937. In 1963, he turned over his collection to the Western Reserve Historical Society and worked to raise funds to house the collection. The building that now houses the collection is named in his honor.
While it’s great to see these vehicles in person, below is a short video “tease” to give visitors an idea of what awaits them at the museum. According to Wikipedia, here are some of the items currently in the collection:
Its eclectic collection of classic vehicles include a replica of 1890s Cleveland main street, antique carriages, early Harley Davidson motorcycles, a Willys Custom Sedan, and a P-51 Mustang racing plane used in the National Air Races. The oldest car in the collection is a 1897 Panhard et Levassor; the most modern car in the collection is a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser concept coupe. As of 2009, the museum has 34 cars that are more than 100 years old, the largest such collection in the world. One of the rarest cars in the collection is an aluminum bodied 1932 prototype Peerless designed by Frank Hershey, which was never put into production and was the last passenger vehicle made in Cleveland.
Further information on the museum can be found on the Western Reserve Historical Society web site for the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum.
Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
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