Midwest Auto Museums

The Midwest is replete with terrific automobile museums. Whether you get excited viewing vintage racecars or your tastes run more towards a restored Ram diesel truck tricked out with universal aftermarket air suspension parts and kits, there is something for everybody. Here is a short list of the best Midwest auto museums:

· Auto World Car Museum & Kingdom Expo (Fulton, MO) – Bill and Marge Backer collected and restored 70 cars over 40 years ago. Go here to see them.

· Doc’s Museum (Jamesport, MO) – a collection of old tractors and classic cars.

· Memoryville U.S.A. Autos of Yesteryear (Rolla, MO) – a museum that contains a restoration shop and antique cars.

· Highbanks Hall of Fame National Midget Auto Racing Museum (Belleville, KS) – if you are into midget car racing, then this is your shrine of choice.

· Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home and Museum (Ellis, KS) – from modest beginnings rose this titan of the automotive industry. Mr. Chrysler lived in the one-story home from 1878 to 1900.

· Ellingson Car Museum (Rogers, MN) – Over 100 trucks, motorcycles and cars dating back to the 1920s. Includes “muscle cars” from midcentury.

· National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (Knoxville, IA) – see over 30 restored vehicles, including sprint and midget cars.

· Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum (Auburn, IN) – an Art Deco factory housing over 100 vehicles.

· National Automotive and Truck Museum of the U.S. (Auburn, IN) – mostly post World War II vehicles but some older antiques as well.

· The Recreational Vehicle and Motor Home Hall of Fame (Elkhart, IN) – A place to honor heroes of the recreational vehicle and motor home industries.

· Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum (Indianapolis, IN) – located at the racetrack, the museum is home to a treasure trove of antique and famous race cars.

· Elwood Haynes Museum (Kokomo, IN) – a tribute to the first builder of a commercial automobile.

· City of Firsts Automotive Heritage Museum (Kokomo, IN) – 100 classic and antique vehicles show off the city’s rich automotive history.

· Studebaker National Museum (South Bend, IN) – a wonderful collection of cars sporting the late and much-missed badge.

· Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, IL) – the rise of transportation, including over 30 vintage cars.

· Hartung’s Automotive Museum (Glenview, IL) – over 100 trucks, cars, motorcycles and tractors, many in original condition.

· Wheel O’Time Museum (Peoria, IL) – a place to see all kinds of antiques, including cars.

· Volo Antique Auto Museum (Volo, IL) – a very large collection (over 300 vehicle) including a Batmobile and a car from the Ghostbusters movie.

Car Dealers – The Aston Martin DB9

Within thirty seconds of discussing this car in the office, all windows are open, heavy jumpers removed and the air con is begging for a fan. Coveted by every man and car dealer worldwide, you certainly don’t need us to tell you the divine attributes of this prodigy. The mighty Martin is lust incarnate, and in the Quality Street of cars, this would be the purple one.

The DB9 is a gorgeous combination of sticky fudge and black caviar; deliciously indulgent and exquisitely put together. The kind of artistry that Monet would be hard pushed by, there’s no better word than scorching. This motor is so supersonic it reaches an impressive 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds. Fair to say we’re in love? The sharp lines are nipped and tucked to precision, whilst the polished body makes it look like something from a friendly H.G. Wells novel. Although slightly (and massively) pretentious, the sporty persona of the DB9 tones down what could easily be a theatre on wheels. Your ego will inflate to astronomic heights, but if Bond approves, there’s really no arguing.

Kitted out with sat-nav and personal media station, the ‘hand-trimmed’ interior makes for a more than agreeable ride (mahogany or walnut, we’re not picky). It’s is also up to 590 kg lighter than previous models, granting a divinely delicate drive. There’s a super-human quality to the DB9 that’s so electrifying, you’ll hear its pulse from the garage. Admittedly, it’s fairly costly, but did you ever really want that conservatory? (Or the TV, new bathroom, villa in Spain…) Fantasy, perhaps, but we’re happy to romanticise this once.

New dampers and revised suspension have propelled the DB9 to further heights, as recent motor critics grumbled about cost versus quality. Conscious of negative press, Aston Martin has made sure there are no misgivings to be found this time, and things, if possible, can only get better. We’d happily take it over the synthetic styles of the Lamborghini Murcielago or Audi R8 (although we’ve zero complaints where these are concerned).

If you think you can cope, check out the DBS for even more sizzling chic. The latest Carbon black model will leave the Batmobile thoroughly demoralised, and you doubting your self-worth. The V8 Vantage Roadster is equally as impressive as the Volante convertible for those who like their St Tropez tan.

Truthfully, this beauty is a petrol catastrophe; you’ll need sterling patience and some even sturdier plastic to stay friends with it. Judging from the aesthetics, however, you probably won’t even care, as the ‘swan-wing’ doors speak for themselves. Aside from the scanty baggage room, we’re picking little fault with this treasure and are more than happy to call it ‘cosy’, seeing as a weekly shop is unlikely to ever be its agenda.

The awesome Aston excuses any mid-life crisis and makes even Lewis Hamilton’s ride look economy class. Superbly smoking, it won’t hurt to seek out your car dealers favourite whisky (and we’re betting it’s a vintage).

How to Protect Your Ferrari from Theft

As a Ferrari owner, you know that after you have added this prized vehicle to your investment portfolio, it pays to take care of it properly. Routine Ferrari maintenance, appropriate insurance, careful driving and care all play a part in how well your Ferrari drives into the future. However, one important aspect of Ferrari care that you will not want to forget is protecting your automotive treasure from theft.

Much will depend on how you use the Ferrari. If it is a show piece that stays indoors, then protection is much simplified. If you drive the vehicle outdoors, then some steps are in order to ensure that your vehicle remains safe from harm.

Simple precautions can help prevent big crimes, such as auto theft. When you leave the vehicle, always secure it, and make sure to park in well-lit areas where there are a lot of people walking around. When you park the vehicle, turn the wheels sharply toward the curb, to make it harder for car thieves to tow away the car. Don’t leave Ferrari accessories in open view inside the vehicle. Also do not leave the registration or title inside the car.

Other steps that can help prevent theft include adding visible and audible anti-theft devices to the car. Brake locks can help. Steering wheel locks that keep the wheels stationary make your car more theft-proof. Tire locks and deflators can deter a thief, because they take too much time to deal with, thus making your car less attractive to a would-be thief. VIN etching, when the VIN number is etched onto the glass of the windshield and windows can be one option you might consider in protecting your vehicle. Loud alarms also let a thief know your car is safeguarded against theft.

Computer chips can help deter a thief from stealing your Ferrari. Some ignition keys come equipped with chips that do not let someone bypass the vehicle’s ignition. Preventive devices such as cut offs to the fuse; kill switches; disablers that deactivate the fuel pump, ignition and starter; and wireless ignition authentication all help to prevent theft. Tracking devices are very useful in assisting police in finding stolen vehicles. Some of these combine wireless capabilities with GPS systems, so that if the car is moved, it can be tracked on the computer. Many Ferraris also come equipped with peripheral interior monitoring anti-lift anti-theft protection, which is a camera system that is used within the car to detect movement inside the vehicle. Even when you are not with your new Ferrari, your vehicle’s computer system is working round the clock to protect your car. Employing several or all of these ideas can keep your car safe.