Boyertown Museum’s first ever electric vehicle exhibition attracts 200 visitors | Local news
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicle’s inaugural electric vehicle show – A “Current” event – drew around 200 people into the museum parking lot to see examples of electric vehicles from different eras.
“Of course, there is a lot of discussion and news about electric vehicles around the world today. There is a huge misconception that electric vehicles are a relatively new concept, ”said Kendra Cook, Executive Director of the museum. “The truth is that electric cars have been around as long as gasoline-powered cars and their story is just as interesting and surprising.”
The Boyertown Museum is housed in one of the former Boyertown Auto Body Works factory buildings.
“Our early electrics are one of the most popular pieces in the museum gallery. The Boyertown Auto Body Works also has a history of its own with electric vehicles – their Battronic division was established to manufacture electric delivery vehicles. So our museum is just right for such an event, ”said Cook.
Two vehicles from the museum’s own collection were on display: a Milburn Light Electric Opera Coupé from 1919, which had recently returned from its exhibition at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and a Volkswagen Rabbit from 1981.
Entropy Racing of Sacramento, Pennsylvania brought back two of their electric vehicle sports racing cars, which are all-electric racing cars that have raced on tracks along the east coast. Entropy Racing also brought their unique (if not electric) car transporter – an American LaFrance from 1951.
“We met (Entropy Racing) maybe a year ago and were so impressed with their electric racing cars and everything they achieved. We really wanted to find a way to work together on an event that would draw attention to our two missions, ”said Cook, speaking of the inspiration for the electric vehicle show. “Then recently one of our members suggested developing an event that could highlight the electric vehicles in the museum’s collections. The staff basically put two and two together and thought this was a great way to achieve both. “
“It has been a pleasure to work with Entropy Racing and so eager to share and participate. We were stunned by how quickly the two local Tesla groups – Pennsylvania Tesla Owners Club and Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club – agreed to be part and get the word out, ”she continued.
Cook said what made this event a great one was the apparent excitement of all attendees.
“I know we really enjoyed the atmosphere of everyone who brought a vehicle to the show. It was like a party in our parking lot! Everyone was chatting, having a great time and enjoying the company. I think everyone was there to learn and just soak it up, ”she said.
“Of course our friends from CDs Place Catering & Eatery and Mister Softee together with our wonderful DJ Chuck Loggia really made the event a party with great food and great music!” She added.
More than 30 Teslas were on display along with Nissan Leafs, a Chevy Bolt, and some Ford Mustangs Mach Es.
“It simply exceeded our expectations in terms of diversity. We also exhibited the museum’s 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit for the first time in over 20 years. This car started out as a gasoline-powered car (and built at Volkswagen’s Westmoreland, PA) but was converted to electric by the Battronic Division of Boyertown Auto Body Works – BABW converted over 300 of them in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “
Also on display was a 1933 Thorne B2 gas-electric hybrid delivery truck on loan from Jay Crist. This particular Thorne uses a 16 horsepower Continental gasoline engine to generate electricity to power an engine that powers the drivetrain.
“We were also lucky enough to be able to use a Thorne B-2 gas-electric delivery van from 1933 especially for this event. An amazing piece of early hybrid technology! ”Said Koch. “We are very grateful to Jay Crist, a wonderful friend of the museum, for agreeing to bring this unique piece of history to the exhibition. In any case, it drew a lot of attention from those present. “
Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the history of electric vehicles from several speakers throughout the day.
“We hope that visitors could learn about the history of electric vehicles and how today’s cars differ from the early days of the industry,” she said.
Sam Fiorani, board member of the Boyertown Museum and automotive historian, gave an overview of the history and future of electric vehicles and later presented the history of the Volkswagen Westmoreland plant.
Charlie Greenhaus, Entropy Racing’s chief engineer, gave a brief overview of the electric vehicle sports racing program.
Robert Dare, former head of technology at Battronic and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Boyertown Museum, explained the electrical conversions of the Boyertown Auto Body Works.
“I think there are also big concerns about electric vehicles because they are ‘new’. But with an event like this one, with all the history and innovation that can be seen on our property, as well as from our speakers, I think we were able to clear up some misunderstandings, educate people a little more and give visitors the opportunity to see themselves Ask questions of anyone who has studied this topic, or who developed some of the technology, or is using and using this technology on a daily basis, ”said Cook.
Cook said the museum would not have a successful event without the support of Entropy Racing, the Pennsylvania Tesla Owners Club, the Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club, Jay Crist and their great volunteers who manned the event and spent hours preparing the vehicles for the exhibition can perform.
“All of these people really went through it all at the event and we’re grateful to have every single one of them,” she said.
The Boyertown Museum was also open to visitors to see several other electric vehicles on display in the museum gallery, including a 1912 Commercial Truck Company truck used by Curtis Publishing in Philadelphia and a 1919 Detroit Electric Also on view in the museum is the World War II exhibition, A Rosie Outlook: World War II and the Girls with a Star-Spangled Heart, which can now be seen through September 2021.
There were also blacksmithing demonstrations at the Jeremiah Sweinhart carriage factory from 1872.
A 501c3 non-profit organization founded by Paul and Erminie Hafer in 1965, the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, located at 85 South Walnut Street in Boyertown, preserves and displays examples of Pennsylvania’s road transportation history in the former factory buildings of the Boyertown Auto Body Works. More than 90 locally made cars, trucks, carriages, bicycles, and motorcycles are on display, as well as two examples of street architecture – a country-style Sunoco gas station from 1921 and a Jerry O’Mahony diner from 1938.
The museum is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $ 10 for adults, $ 9 for seniors and AAA members, and children under 15 are free. The outdoor area of the museum is currently under construction but will remain open. For more information call 610-367-2090 or visit www.boyertownmuseum.org.