Larz Anderson was a well heeled American diplomat and all-around car nut. Amazingly, his wife, Isabel, also shared his enthusiasm for automobiles. The couple amassed a huge collection of about 30 or so vehicles, about half of which are now on display as the Larz Anderson Collection in Brookline.
|The Carriage House|
When you visit you will see everything from electric cars (including a 1908 Bailey Electric that was favourite of Mrs. Anderson) to a car equipped with a convertible bed, a wash basin and a toilet (a custom built 1906 Charron-Girodot et Voight). Among the collection are some obscure marques (Winton, Panhard and Electromobile) and some familiar ones (Renault, Fiat and Lincoln), so chances are you will see something you like. At the very least, you will come away with more car history knowledge than you came in with.
The museum also has exhibits that change around every so often. Right now the exhibit is entitle "Patina, Provenance, Originality"and it includes some pretty amazing cars. Some favourites of mine were a 1963 Corvette Coupe (split window!) and a 1915 Duesenberg race car.
The exhibit celebrates the philosophy of the museum, which is preservation and conservation over restoration. As an archivist, I can appreciate the value of preserving the originality of an unrestored classic. Preservation allows people to see the real, honest history associated with a vehicle; the materials that were actually used in its production, the way things wore out, how it ran, etc.
|1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe!|
Well, that's enough preaching from me. Bottom line is, the Larz Anderson Auto Museum is a must visit for any fan of cars or history in general. You can see more photos of the visit on Automophiliac's Facebook page. Check it out!