My Classic Car: How My Pop’s 1959 Cadillac Inspired a Museum

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

(Editor’s note: With this story, we’re relaunching the My Classic Car series, in which we ask readers to share the stories of their classic cars by using the link at the end of this article.)

Less than two years after being the new owner of my grandfather’s 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, I had the opportunity to start a museum despite the fact I only owned the one car. I came up with the idea of a car museum supplied by stored vehicles. This was a service I personally would have been interested in since my car took up the entire garage, and most storage solutions pack the cars into a warehouse and no one sees them. I wanted to be able to share my Pop’s car with people even if I wasn’t driving it.

In 2017 I founded Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. I had no idea what I was suppose to do so I did a lot of research to see what other museums were doing to help give me an idea of where to start.

Rather than waste the research after I was done, I decided to create which now lists every automotive museum in North America by state, region, specialty and includes an interactive map. I did this so visitors could find the lesser known automotive museums and find the nearest museum no matter where they are. I use the map every time I take a road trip to see what museums I can visit along the way.

Three years after starting Miles Through Time, I moved the museum to its current location in Clarkesville, GA inside of an old textile mill. What helps keep the museum open daily, all year long is that it’s actually inside of an antique/flea market.

As of November 2021, I took over the antique/flea market the museum was moved into. This enabled the museum to expand again, and I scraped the flea market to create Vintage Garage Antiques which helps support the museum and adds to the experience of visiting the museum.

I still only own my Pop’s 1959 Cadillac, but the museum is a 501c3 nonprofit and a few vehicles have been donated to the museum, like a Ford Ghia Arioso (1 of 1 concept car), a 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk, a NASCAR and even a Hot Rods Magazine Go Kart that was donated by the Petersen Museum. All of the other vehicles on display are on loan, therefore change frequently by people all over the country. One of the most special cars on display in the museum right now is a 1967 GT500 Mustang that was originally owned by Carroll Shelby and can be seen in the old tv commercials.

Miles Through Time Automotive Museum was created and continues to grow despite not having a car collection, a wealthy benefactor or any experience. Today, there are a few board members, volunteers and many people that help make the museum possible. There is not another museum in the world quite like Miles Through Time.

-Sean M., Georgia

Sean’s grandfather with the Cadillac

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