Oct 10 2015

Henry Austin Clark, Jr: “Why Save Old Cars?”

In 1956, Henry Austin Clark Jr. created a brochure "Antique Cars" for distribution at the Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton. It included this article by Austin entitled "Why Save Cars?" , which described the state of car collecting in the 1950s and why the Long Island Automotive Museum was created.

The brochure is courtesy of Gary Hammond. Thanks Gary!


Howard Krop0lick

This article was authored by Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

"Respectability has befallen the hobby, and the old car collector may count on being pestered by death by one and all."

"..why kid ourselves we did it (collecting) because we like to."

"Men like Helck, Bishop, Leathers, de Beaumont, Oliver MacIlvain are all collectors as well as historians, but their work in the latter field really distinguishes them as true historians."

"all of these fellows got a head start on me. While I had loved cars from the age of approximately four and maybe earlier. I never got around to doing much about it until 1937 when I acquired (meaning bought for $45) a rather mouldy 1915 Ford model "T" with no top and a few other things wrong."

"One night the solution came to me. Build a Museum."


Oct 12 2015 R Troy 12:00 AM

We save old cars because we like them, we care about their history, and our history, because they have character that few modern cars have.

A side note; right now the SS United States, flagship of this country, is tied up in Philly, decades after being pulled from service.  In some weeks it may be sold by the conservancy that owns it, for scrap, unless they can raise enough money to keep the great ship afloat until plans to put the ship into museum and hotel service get underway.  So why preserve this ship?  The Big U is the fastest liner ever built, still holding the trans Atlantic record.  It was built both as a super safe liner and troop ship, carried many dignitaries including a few presidents, and was far better built and designed then any of today’s floating hotel barges that roll around in a breeze and hopefully don’t break down and go adrift in the Gulf Of Mexico.  This great ship is part of our nations history and needs to be saved.

Oct 12 2015 Michael LaBarbera 10:17 AM

Howard, is the location of the old museum south of sunrise highway at the intersection where patio.com is (just before the left turn continuing onto 27 before the duckwalk vineyard and the diner on the right), and can anyone visit the ruins ? Mike

Oct 12 2015 Ken Wiebke 12:45 PM

The brochure gives a sense of the man-and his devotion to the hobby and how the hobby had evolved.  Thanks to Mr Hammond and to Mr. K for sharing. One wonders if the museum Henry Austin Clark Jr. founded can be resurrected; Those of us having visited Gilmore or Auburn Indiana or the AACA museum know there is a market.

Subsidized a bit by the town or the county with revolving exhibits from many top collectors on L.I. the old museum could become a must see on the vineyard tour circuit.

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