"The St. Louis Museum of Transportation houses one of the largest
and best collections of transportation vehicles in the world."
John H. White
The Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center is open during normal operating hours. It houses the automobile collection of the Museum of Transportation. Here are some of the rare and classic autos and trucks on display.
The road vehicle collection of over 200 items includes a 1901 automobile
built by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. (oldest of only nine such cars
known to still be in existence), as well as the only operational Chrysler
turbine car on public display.
Some of the highlights
St. Louis Motor
Carriage Co. Automobile
Produced by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Co., it originally cost $1,200 and is
the oldest of nine of this make known to exist today. It is powered by a one-cylinder,
7-hp engine; employed the first float carburetor; is equipped with a tilting
steering wheel; and has a chain drive to the rear axle.
|George Dorris and his wife, Edith Jenkins Dorris, are pictured on an outing in St. LouisĂ Forest Park in 1901. Mr. Dorris was the carĂs designer.
1919 Dorris panel truck made in St. Louis, MO.
Darin "Dream Car" is
a one-of-a-kind custom car designed by Detroit clothing designer Andy
Di Dia in 1953 and completed in 1960.
See more details.
The Chrysler Turbine
is one of only 55 produced by Chrysler in 1963. This is the
only operational turbine car on public display.
See more details.
In 1952, Ford Motor Co. began a test program to explore the use
of gas turbine engines for automobiles and trucks. It initially tested
150-horsepower regenerative turbine engine in a 1954 car, but the results
were lackluster. Ford’s emphasis then shifted to trucks, and an
improved version of the engine was tested in a tilt-cab truck tractor
in 1956. In 1957-58, a 300-horsepower, 704-cubic-inch-displacement engine
was developed, and this 1959 tilt-cab CT-1100 truck tractor was the first
vehicle used to test it. The results impressed the Department of Defense
enough to contract with Ford for a 600-horsepower engine which was used
in 1964 in a truck tractor that made cross-country trips at costs comparable
to those of diesel engines. A small fleet of improved turbine-powered
trucks was then used to collect operational experience and data operating
between Ford plants in Michigan and Ohio, and one engine was installed
in a Continental Trailways bus. The main advantages of the turbine engine
were low noise, emissions, oil consumption, and vibration; easy cold-weather
starting; extended overhaul life; high torque at low speeds; and instantaneous
full-power capability. But high fuel consumption at idle and costly manufacturing
materials needed because of their high operating speeds and temperatures
prevented successful turbine use in cars or trucks, and Ford gave up
development in 1973. This truck tractor was donated by Ford in 1971.