Press-Republican

October 9, 2012

Transportation Museum popular with Vt. car lovers

By JEFF MEYERS
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Antique car buffs from Vermont recently toured the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, offering some financial support along the way.

Members of the Vermont Auto Enthusiasts Club traveled to Plattsburgh in about a dozen antique vehicles as part of their season-long weekend touring schedule.

“We really admire what Tony (Vaccaro), has done with the museum,” said Vermont Auto Enthusiasts member Gael Boardman of the museum’s president and founding member.

“They have a nice mixture of automobiles and other items of interest on display. They’ve done a really nice job over there.”

VINTAGE LOZIERS

Arriving in such vehicles as a 1950 Chevrolet Coup, a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle and a 1929 Plymouth Roadster, the members formed an impressive display of their own, parked in a row along the Transportation Museum’s main display building.

“The cars they have on display represent a good chunk of car history,” Boardman said of the Transportation Museum’s collection. “We were really interested in the connection to the Lozier automobiles.”

Vaccaro first became interested in developing the museum because of the region’s connection to the Lozier Motor Company, which manufactured automobiles in Plattsburgh in the early 1900s.

The collection now includes two vintage Lozier cars as the museum’s centerpiece.

It also has displays devoted to Lozier’s earlier years when the company’s focus was on boats.

“Most people who like antique cars also like antique boats,” Boardman said. “That’s an added bonus the museum has to offer.”

‘WONDERFUL GESTURE’

The Vermont Auto Enthusiasts Club, formed in 1953, has about 300 active members.

Boardman joined in 1954 as a teenager, even then interested in antique autos.

The club does not have a museum of its own but hosts an annual antique auto show at Stowe, Vt., that typically attracts more than 10,000 people.

With proceeds from that event, the club donates money to several organizations.

It gave a $1,000 donation to the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum.

“It was really a wonderful gesture on their part,” said Dick Soper, docent for the Transportation Museum, who hosts tours for the public. 

“It’s really an honor to have car enthusiasts show their support for our mission.”

‘FEATHER IN CAP’

When Soper first joined the museum as a volunteer six years ago, the collection included eight or nine automobiles. It has grown to more than 35 cars, along with a variety of other modes of transportation on display.

“It’s a real feather in our cap,” Soper said of the Vermont auto group’s interest in the local museum. “We are seeing more groups like this take an interest in what we have to offer.”

“We’re impressed with how they’ve grown,” Boardman said. “We think they’re going in the right direction, and we’re happy to give them a hand.”

Email Jeff Meyers:

jmeyers@pressrepublican.com