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America On Wheels

America On Wheels Now on display...The Fabulous Fins of the '50's and 60's - The Jet Age of Automotive Design
The amazing educational museum that opened in Allentown PA in April of 2008. Features 23,000 square feet of exhibit space and includes cars, racing vehicles, trucks, alternate fuel vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles. The museum also hosts the Allentown Visitor Center for Lehigh Valley visitors to pick up literature and ask questions. www.discoverlehighvalley.com
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01/12/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.12.1924
Olivier Gendebien was born in Brussels, Belgium. Gendebien made his way into Formula 1 though the unusual way of debuting in rallying, racing sports cars, where he got hired by Enzo Ferrari. After considerable success with the Scuderia Ferrari, during his career he won the 24 hours of Le Mans four times, the 12 hours of Sebring and the Targa Florio three times, and he got his chance in F1, where he competed in 15 Grands Prix. His best result was a 2nd place at the 1960 French GP. He died in 1998 at the age of 74.

01/11/2019

This Day in Auto History
11.11.1919
One hundred years ago, Hudson’s new companion marque, the Essex, was publicly unveiled. The Essex enjoyed immediate popularity following its introduction. Essex cars were designed to be moderately priced cars which would be affordable to the average family. Proving durable, their capabilities were checked upon and confirmed by AAA and the United States Postal Service. In 1919 an Essex completed a 50-hour, 3,037.4 miles (4,888.2 km) endurance test in Cincinnati, Ohio, at an average speed of 60.75 miles per hour.[2] The early Essex cars also captured many hill climb records. In a special Essex race car, Glen Shultz won the 1923 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. It had a 108.5-inch (2,760 mm) wheelbase.Initially Essex marketed a line of touring cars (open four-door cars with canvas tops), which was the most popular body style of cars in production at the time. While Essex added an enclosed sedan in 1920, it was the introduction of the 1922 closed coach, priced at $1,495, $300 above that of the touring car. By 1925 the coach was priced below that of the touring car. While Henry Ford is credited with inventing the affordable car, it was Essex that made the enclosed car affordable. By 1929, the Essex was third in U.S. sales, behind Ford and Chevrolet. Essex sales remained strong into 1931 before sales began to trend downward. For 1932 a redesigned Essex debuted and was named the Essex-Terraplane, a play on the word aeroplane. For 1934 the Essex name was no more and the car carried on as the Terraplane. (This item is courtesy of 365daysofmotoring.com)

01/10/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.10.1934
The Nash reintroduced the LaFayette name, for a line of smaller, less expensive autos. In 1935, Nash introduced a series known as the "Nash 400" to fill the perceived price gap between the LaFayette and the Nash. By 1937, it was determined that this perceived gap wasn't so important after all, and that Nash Motors was marketing too many models. The LaFayette and the Nash 400 were combined into a single model called the Nash LaFayette 400 for 1937, and the LaFayette ceased to be regarded as a separate make of car. For 1938, this became simply the Nash LaFayette, and the LaFayette line continued as Nash's lowest-priced offering through 1940. For 1941, the LaFayette was replaced by the all-new unibody Nash 600. (This item is courtesy of 365daysofmotoring.com)

01/09/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.9.1979
Just 33 months after its launch, the millionth Ford Fiesta was built at Ford's Cologne Germany facility, breaking all previous European production records. The Fiesta was originally developed under the project name "Bobcat" (not to be confused with the subsequent rebadged Mercury variant of the Ford Pinto) and approved for development by Henry Ford II in September 1972, just after the launch of two comparable cars, the Fiat 127 and Renault 5. (This item is courtesy of 365daysofmotoring.com)

01/08/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.8.1944
William K. Vanderbilt Jr., patron of automobile racing and the Long Island Motor Parkway, died in New York City at age 65. He is said to have maintained a personal garage of more than 100 cars and 20 mechanics. In 1904, Willie K. Vanderbilt set a new land speed record of 92.30 mph in a Mercedes at the Daytona Beach Road Course at Ormond Beach, Florida. That same year, he launched the Vanderbilt Cup, the first major trophy in American auto racing. An international event, designed to spur American manufacturers into racing, the race's large cash prize drew the top drivers and their vehicles from across the Atlantic Ocean who had competed in Europe's Gordon Bennett Cup. Held at a course set out in Nassau County on Long Island, New York, the race drew large crowds hoping to see an American car defeat the mighty European vehicles. However, a French Panhard vehicle won the race and fans would have to wait until 1908 when 23-year-old George Robertson of Garden City, New York became the first American to win the Vanderbilt Cup.

01/07/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.7.1969
Fifty years ago, Fiat acquired a 50% stake in Ferrari. The immediate result was an increase in available investment funds, and work started at once on a factory extension intended to transfer production from Fiat's Turin plant of the Ferrari engined Fiat Dino. New model investment further up in the Ferrari range also received a boost.

01/06/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.6.1954
The Kaiser Darrin went on sale. The Kaiser Darrin, also known as the Kaiser Darrin 161 or in short as the Darrin, was an American sports car designed by Howard "Dutch" Darrin and built by Kaiser Motors for the 1954 model year. Essentially a revamp of Kaiser's Henry J compact, the Kaiser Darrin was one of its designer's final achievements and was noted for being the first American car equipped with a fiberglass body and doors that slid on tracks into the front fender wells. The car was named both for Henry J. Kaiser, head of Kaiser Motors, and Darrin.

Pedal-car display in the South Gallery
01/06/2019

Pedal-car display in the South Gallery

01/05/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.5.1924
Walter Chrysler, a General Motors executive who had pioneered the introduction of all-steel bodies in automobiles (instead of wood), introduced his first motorcar. After his departure from GM in 1920, Chrysler had breathed new life into the failing Maxwell Motor Company. The first Chrysler-built Maxwell was put on display in New York City's Commodore Hotel, where it drew admiring crowds. In 1925, the Maxwell Motor Company was renamed the Chrysler Corporation.

01/04/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.4.2004
The elegant 165 mph Aston Martin DB9 Volante made it's world premier of at the 2004 Detroit Motor Show. The DB9 Volante was the convertible version of the DB9 coupe. The chassis, though stiffer, used the same base VH platform. To protect occupants from rollovers, the Volante had strengthened windshield pillars and two pop-up hoops behind the rear seats. The hoops could not be disabled and broke the car's rear window if deployed. In an effort to improve the Volante's ride while cruising, Aston Martin softened the springs and lightened the anti-roll bars in the Volante, leading to a gentler suspension. The retractable roof of the Volante was made of folding fabric and took 17 seconds to be put up or down. The Volante weighed 130 pounds more than the coupe. The coupe and Volante both shared the same semi-automatic and automatic gearboxes and engine. The DB9 Volante was limited to 165 mph to retain the integrity of the roof. (This item is courtesy of 365daysofmotoring.com)

01/03/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.3.1969
Fifty years ago, Michael Schumacher was born near Cologne, Germany. The German racing driver raced in Formula One for Jordan Grand Prix, Benetton and Ferrari, where he spent most of his career, as well as for Mercedes upon his return to the sport. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever, and regarded by some as the greatest of all time, Schumacher is the only driver in history to win seven Formula One World Championships, five of which he won consecutively. The most successful driver in the history of the sport, Schumacher holds the records for the most World Championship titles with 7 , the most Grand Prix wins having won 91, the most fastest laps at 77, and the most races won in a single season with 13. On December 29, 2013, Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months until 16 June 2014. He left the hospital in Grenoble for further rehabilitation at the University Hospital of Lausanne. On September 9, 2014, Schumacher was relocated to his home where he continues to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately. On the eve of his 50th birthday, Schumacher's wife Corrina issued this statement on Facebook: You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him.'

01/02/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.2.1974
President Richard Nixon signed the 55 MPH national speed limit into law.

01/01/2019

This Day in Auto History
1.1.1919
One hundred years ago, Edsel Ford succeeded his father, Henry Ford, as president of the Ford Motor Company. That same day, the company announced that it would increase its minimum wage to $6.00 per day. Henry Ford made history in 1914 by increasing the minimum wage in his factories to $5.00 per day, far more than his competitors were paying.

12/31/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.31.1918
One hundred years ago, General Motors officially acquired the United Motors Corporation, which combined the scattered interests of William Durant into a single entity. (This item is courtesy of 365daysofmotoring.com)

We will be closed on Monday, December 31, and Tuesday January 1, but we look forward to seeing you at America On Wheels ...
12/30/2018

We will be closed on Monday, December 31, and Tuesday January 1, but we look forward to seeing you at America On Wheels again starting January 2. We thank you for our wonderful 2018 with visitors, field trips, camp programs, lecture series, exhibit rotations, memberships, caring contributions and support for our awesome museum!

12/30/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.30.1918
One hundred years ago, the Camden Motors Corporation of Camden, NJ registered its 'Frontmobile' trademark. The original producer of the Frontmobile, the Safety Motor Company of Grenloch, NJ, had just abandoned production after two years. The Camden venture was an attempt at continuation by the car's designer, C. H. Blomstrom, which ended in 1922 without a single car being produced.

12/29/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.29.1908
Otto Zachow and William Besserdich of Clintonville, Wisconsin, received a patent for their four-wheel braking system, the prototype of all modern braking systems.

12/28/2018

The streets to America On Wheels are opened again, so you can enter on either end of the parking lot today!

12/28/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.28.1938
Silent-film star Florence Lawrence, age 52, committed suicide in Beverly Hills. Though she was best known for her roles in nearly 250 films, Lawrence was also an inventor: She designed the first "auto signaling arm," a mechanical turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. Lawrence entered show business when she was very young: her mother, a vaudeville actress named Lotta Lawrence (née Charlotte Bridgewood), brought baby Florence on the road with her, sending her onstage as "Baby Flo, The Child Wonder Whistler." Lawrence got her first movie role in 1907 and in 1910 she became the first actress to headline a film by name (before that, she was simply known as "The Biograph Girl," for the name of her film studio). Because she was such a successful actress, Lawrence was able to buy her own car, a rarity in the early 20th century. In 1914, she developed a mechanical signaling arm that, with the press of a button, raised or lowered a flag on the car's rear bumper that told other drivers which way a car was going to turn. After that, Lawrence devised a rudimentary brake signal that worked on the same principle: when a driver pressed the brakes, a "STOP" sign flipped up from the back bumper. These inventions were enormously important, but because she never bothered to file patents for her work, Lawrence never got the recognition she deserved. Her mother, also an inventor, patented the first electrical windshield wipers in 1917 and never got much credit either.

Another lovely fin on display in our exhibit Fabulous Fins...
12/27/2018

Another lovely fin on display in our exhibit Fabulous Fins...

12/27/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.27.1848
Tire manufacturer Giovanni Battista Pirelli was born in Varenna, Como, Lombardy, Austria-Hungary (now Italy) . Pirelli was educated in Milan, and it was there in 1872 that he started a small rubber factory, the first in Italy and one of the first in all of Europe. It pioneered the manufacture of electric cable in 1884 and in 1899 began producing automobile tires. In 1902 the company began its foreign expansion by starting a subsidiary factory in Spain.

Since people are having trouble getting to the museum due to street construction at Hamilton and Front Streets, please c...
12/26/2018

Since people are having trouble getting to the museum due to street construction at Hamilton and Front Streets, please consider coming to the museum by heading south of Front Street from Tilghman Street. After you pass Chew Street, look for the small road to your left (Wharf Street) just before Linden Street. From here you can enter the parking lot easily. We understand that this construction may be continuing again tomorrow, so you may wish to phone the museum at 610-432-4200 for the latest update. The attached map from Google Maps shows where to turn. The arrow marks Wharf Street.

Your chances to see the Firebird III will end with close of the museum on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Hurry in to see this ...
12/26/2018

Your chances to see the Firebird III will end with close of the museum on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Hurry in to see this amazing vehicle this week.

12/26/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.26.1908
The Badger Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, later the FWD Corporation was founded in Clintoville, Wisconsin, US. Zachow and Besserdich developed and built the first successful four-wheel drive (4x4) car, the "Battleship", in 1908. Its success led to the founding of the company. "Badger" was dropped from the name in 1910. Besserdich and Zachow's patented full time four wheel drive system combined a lockable center differential with double-Y constant velocity universal joints for steering. In modern terms the Battleship would be considered All Wheel Drive as all FWD products featured full-time four wheel drive with a lockable center differential.

12/25/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.25.1943
Racer Wilson Fittipaldi Junior was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The elder son of Brazilian sports broadcasting legend Wilson Fittipaldi, and the brother of former F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, he was a very competent racer in his youth. Wilson Fittipaldi started racing the karts that he and his brother built in Brazil in the 1960s, before moving on to Formula Vee. His Formula One career started with a podium at the 1972 Brazilian Grand Prix - however, this was a non-championship race and he would not be able to repeat the performance in the world championship. Wilson took a break from driving in 1974 to set up a Brazilian Formula One team. The team, initially known as Copersucar-Fittipaldi, did not have great success in their first racing season in 1975. Wilson was the sole driver and managed only six finishes, the highest of which was a 10th, and last, place at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, and failed to qualify several times. Wilson stepped down from driving to look after the management of the team in 1976 when his brother, Emerson, joined the team from McLaren. Wilson has occasionally returned to competitive driving. In the 1980s and early 1990s he drove in the Brazilian Stock Car championship, winning several rounds. In 1994 and 1995 he was victorious for Porsche in the classic Mil Milhas race founded by his father, on the former occasion sharing the car with his son Christian. Before the Fittipaldis, three pairs of brothers had raced in Formula One: Jimmy and Jackie Stewart, Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez, and Ernesto and Vittorio Brambilla. However, none of the siblings had competed in the same race. The Fittipaldi brothers were the first to compete in the same race, and also the first to score points in the same race: Wilson Fittipaldi only scored points in two Formula One races, (the 1973 Argentine Grand Prix and 1973 German Grand Prix), but on both occasions his younger brother, Emerson, also scored points (a win in Argentina and 6th in Germany). Since the Fittipaldis, another six sets of brothers have competed in Formula One. Ian and Jody Scheckter, Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve Sr., Manfred and Joachim Winkelhock, Teo and Corrado Fabi, and Gary and David Brabham all failed to score points in the same race. Michael and Ralf Schumacher were the next to do so at the 1997 French Grand Prix. Fittipaldi's son, Christian, made his debut in Formula One in 1992 and took his first point at the 1992 Japanese Grand Prix, making Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi the first parent and child to both score points in Formula One. They have since been followed by Graham and Damon Hill, Mario and Michael Andretti, Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, Keke and Nico Rosberg, Satoru and Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet and Nelson Piquet Jr, Jan and Kevin Magnussen, Jos and Max Verstappen and Jonathan and Jolyon Palmer.

We will be closed on Christmas Day, but will once again open at 10am on Wednesday, December 26, with the trains, the Fab...
12/24/2018

We will be closed on Christmas Day, but will once again open at 10am on Wednesday, December 26, with the trains, the Fabulous Fins, and all the other things that you love about America On Wheels!

12/24/2018

This Day in Auto History
12.24.1893
Henry Ford completed his first successful gasoline engine. He and his wife tested the engine in their kitchen on Christmas Eve. Ford's first automobile took its inaugural drive on June 4, 1896.

Address

5 N Front St
Allentown, PA
18102

General information

Hours of Operation: Summer (April-December) Tuesday-Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm *Last ticket sales at 4pm Winter (January-March) Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm *Last ticket sales at 4pm & Sunday noon to 4pm *Last ticket sales at 3pm Admission: Adults $10, Seniors (62+) $8, Students (6-16) $6 & Children 5 & under FREE ** Seniors are FREE the first Thursday of EVERY MONTH & Children/ Students 16 & under are FREE EVERY Sunday.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(610) 432-4200

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