Cussler Museum

Clive Cussler used to write adventure novels about a guy named Dirk Pitt who searched for sunken ships, drove antique cars, attracted women, and solved mysteries. I used to read them, and even enjoy them. But after a while, the novels became so formulaic that I couldn’t tell them apart. When Cussler began letting other people write his books for him, I gave up.

Many of the antique cars Cussler featured in his novels are ones he actually owned. Several of them are on display in a small museum in a warehouse in Arvada. I hadn’t expected to get back from Wyoming until Tuesday night. So here I was with a day off and nothing to do. I drove up late in the morning and spent about an hour wandering about the two rooms of cars. If a car had been featured in a novel, a copy of that novel was on a stand in front of it. The guy who restores and takes care of the cars was there acting smug.

It probably wasn’t worth a trip through Denver just to see it, but the cars were beautiful and I had nothing better to do.

1958 Buick Series 700 Limited. The sign says it was the longest car in the 50’s, at just under 19 feet.

I’ve always liked boattails. This is a 1929 Duesenberg Torpedo Convertible Coupe.

These three boat tails were my favorites (except for the icky yellow color on the ’36 Auburn). They are (l. to r.) a 1930 Packard Speedster 8 Runabout, a 1932 Auburn V-12 Boattail (my favorite car in the museum), and a 1936 Auburn Speedster.

A back view of the same three cars.

Front view of the 1932 Auburn. The light on the front of the bumper turns with the steering wheel.

1932 Stutz Boattail DV-3 Speedster.

A 1936 Pierce-Arrow V12 Berline with a matching Travelodge Trailer. When Pierce-Arrow sales dropped, the company made a last-ditch effort to survive by building trailers. This one slept four (tightly) and had a tiny bathroom with a toilet. All the inside furnishings were birch. It was a think of beauty.

A 1948 Delahaye Type 135, built in France.

1951 Daimler DE-36 Green Goddess. (Yes, I realize it isn’t green.)

1933 Lincoln KB-Series V-12 Limousine.

1906 Stanley Steamer Touring. It has no transmission or gearshift—when the throttle was opened, it started moving. It could go 0-60 in 11 seconds.

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