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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Understanding Automotive Fashion at the Forney

For six years I’ve taken the same route into work. It’s been that way ever since I bought the condo I’m living in now. And for those six years, each and every day, I’ve driven by the Forney Museum to and from work. But honestly, in my amazing lack of perceptivity, I hadn’t even noticed the museum – which sits off the road and is only represented by a sign – was there until a coworker mentioned several months back how much he liked the place.
Since that point I have made it a point to see Denver’s Forney Museum of Transportation. I’ve never known much about cars, as well as other modes of transportation, other than where the gas goes. But nonetheless, I was interested to see the place after I heard how interesting it is. It seemed stupid to pass up the opportunity, especially since I drive by it twice a day for well over two hundred days a year (364 – weekends – vacation time = more than 200 days a year).

I planned for the last couple of weeks to wake up a little early and head down to see the museum. I had no idea what to expect in my visit, so I made sure to take extra time in case I needed it. I would have hated to get there and run out of time on a visit while exploring all the exhibits. And thankfully this was a good plan since I couldn’t turn away from the cars; I wanted to take a picture of each and every one of them, as well as the motorcycles, trains, bicycles and everything else.
I’m not an automotive person by any means – Auto Repair for Dummies has sat untouched on my bookshelf for more than a dozen years – but I found this place really quite impressive. I loved seeing all the old cars, especially the 50 Years of Ford Thunderbirds exhibit (below) that’s on display until the end of the year, but noticed how little we’ve advanced since the old days. Sure, the general engineering of a car has come along way since the first models, but the style has gone out the window since the 1960s or 70s – things just don’t look as “cool” as they once did.

After my visit I continued on to work, making it a point to check out as many cars as I safely could on my drive in. And it seemed like each and everyone I saw was cut from a similar mold. No longer are cars unique in appearance, and the days of style seem to be long gone. Instead it’s all about aerodynamics and utility. The days of the average car having something on it just because it looks good seem to be long gone. They’re all just fiberglass hunks that are shadows of the next car on the road.
I wasn’t around when cars were built with style in mind, I was born in the 70s. But now I know what my father was talking about when he’d whistle and point out a classic car as we headed down the road in the box on wheels our family owned. I have many great memories in those boxes, there’s no doubt about it, but man do I now wish that there would have been something more than a red and orange racing stripe on the side of them to look good.

And that was all because of the Forney Museum.

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  1. Spending a Free Night at Denver Museums | Jason's Travels - November 1, 2012


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