I topped off my trip to southern California with visits to two very interesting collections. First, Bill Evans generously allowed me to look at his private museum, which includes three Pope-Hartfords, a lovely Pope-Toledo and a number of other great vehicles including some early race cars. I was particularly interested to see his Henderson opera coupe, which is stunning (and very red!). This is the fourth surviving Henderson automobile that I know of, including ours, although I think there is one in Washington still awaiting my discovery.
I next visited the J.A. Cooley Museum, billed as "San Diego's Most Unique Collection of Antiques & Automobiles." You won't find a website for this place, and it doesn't look like much from the outside. However, Mr. Cooley and his wife, Carmen, have some great cars on display, including the only Hunt Special ever made, a 1900 Crest, 1912 Cartercar (pictured below), 1914 Woods Mobilette almost identical to ours, and a 1933 Olympic. While the Cooleys own over 170 cars, only about 20 are on display at a time.
The Cooley museum is also full of other neat antiques, including huge collections of old clocks, model trains, typewriters, cameras and the most impressive assemblage of phonographs I've ever seen. Be sure to ask James to fire up one of the wax cylinder players if you visit, and budget some time to sit and visit with him. He's a very interesting guy. The museum is located at 4233 Park Blvd., which is only a few miles from the San Diego Automotive Museum.
Now I'm back in Fairbanks, where it's 80 degrees colder than where I was 24 hours ago. Despite the chill and all the great cars in southern California, I'm happy to be back at our museum!