Clive Cussler Museum

I’m a bit late posting this… on Saturday LoCo was invited by the Peak to Peak Miata Club to visit novelist Clive Cussler’s car museum.

We met in Golden for a short drive before visiting the museum. Up Golden Gate canyon, north on the Peak to Peak highway, then down Coal Creek canyon and to the museum in Arvada. The museum parking lot is quite small, so most of the dozens of cars parked on the street. This is where I met Ron, the owner of the Ariel Atom I saw a few weeks ago at Cars and Coffee. I just missed getting a picture of his “trunk”, which you can see him fastening in this photo. He’s only had the car about a month so he hasn’t had a chance to get it to the track yet.IMG_0565s

I haven’t read any of Cussler’s books, but I may have to pick one up just to see how he puts these fantastic cars in the stories. Many of the cars in the museum have books in front of them, with the picture of the car on the back cover.

I’d say this collection of cars compares quite favorably to the Tebo collection. Tebo has many more cars than Cussler, but Cussler’s are much more impressive.

I’ve been taking pictures of cars in this sort of setting for quite a while – the Barrett-Jackson auction, the Tebo collection, Cars & Coffee meets, here. It’s next to impossible to get a good picture of any of the cars. They’re packed tightly together in a small space and there are always other car lovers looking at them. So, for the most part, I concentrate on the details: hood ornaments, emblems, hub caps.


Hood ornament from 1928 Isotta Fraschetti Tipo 8A S Boattail Speedster. This car sold for $26,000 in the 1930’s. Ponder that for a minute.


1931 Stutz Boattail DV-32 Speedster. Sixteen were built, six are believed to still exist.


1933 Lincoln KB-Series V-12 Limousine. 448 cubic inch displacement engine puts out 150 horsepower.


V-16 Cadillac


1913 Stutz Bearcat Series 4B. 389 cubic inch 4 cylinder, 50 horsepower.


1955 Chrysler 300 hubcap. The world’s first true muscle car, it had the first commercial stock engine to deliver 300 horsepower.


Cars & Coffee

I went to the Cars & Coffee this morning. Got there about nine, the place was pretty full. I managed to back into one of the last few spaces. As usual, a nice mix of cars, weighed heavily toward the exotics. I counted four Elises, two Exiges, an Elite and a few Esprits. More Ferraris than Lotuses. A couple Lambos, the usual plethora of Porsches, batches of BMWs, and stable of Mustangs.

I took a few snapshots:

McLaren MP4 12-C Spyder. When people mistakenly think my car cost $300,000, I can only assume they haven’t really looked at my car and have certainly never seen any car that did cost $300k. This here, boys and girls, is a $300,000 car. It makes me shudder to think what service and insurance costs for this every year. Prime example of a “stupid money” car and a gorgeous example of automotive engineering.

IMG_0525sNotice here the size difference between the Exige and the Ferrari. The Exige isn’t backed in as far as the Ferrari and still comes up more than a foot short.

IMG_0526sWhen I saw this right hand drive Celica I had to talk to the owner. When I lived in Estes I saw a green first generation right hand drive Celica several times between Estes and Lyons. I thought perhaps this was that car. Nope, this guy just imported it from Japan last year.
IMG_0527sMy initial reaction when I first saw pictures of the new Vette was that it looked like a Camaro from the back. And when I first glimpsed this car, my first thought was “Oh, a convertible Camaro.”
IMG_0528sThis Ariel Atom is a ridiculous car. This one looks brand new, doesn’t have a scratch on it. Granted, I didn’t get that good of a look at it, as they were pulling out just when I spotted it. Given its pristine condition, I can only assume it’s yet to see a lap on the track. There is no other purpose for this car, except to be tracked. Yes, it’s street legal. But you can’t carry anything. Even without a passenger, I doubt you could carry a sack of groceries. I laughed when I saw the cupholder.
IMG_0532sThis sure got me to do a double-take. I immediately thought early Corvette. But the size is all wrong. This seems giant. The huge wheels help with the proportions, but the style is all wrong to pull off the early Vette look. I have no idea how recent the Vette is that it’s built on but it looks pretty new. Completely custom interior, of course. But what sort of tool takes up two spots at these things, anyway?
IMG_0533sI don’t know my Hudsons. Is this a Hornet? I have no idea what year it is, except that it’s early fifties. I love the bullet hub caps. I also love that it seems to be getting more attention than the Astin Martin next door.
IMG_0536sI first saw this from the front. Immediately saw the Mugen badge. Had no idea what model it was, had to walk to the back to find the Fit badge. Really? Mugen Fit? Are there performance parts here, or just body pieces?
IMG_0538sGot this picture of the Factory Five 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe when he was pulling in. It’s a kit car.