Guy Mace knows his cars - all 67 of them - and soon the public can get to know them, too. On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the “birth” of Route 66, Mace announced he plans to open the Route 66 Car Museum June 15 on “The Mother Road” at at 1624 W. College St. in Springfield.
Patrons can see two Rolls Royces, the 1926 Hudson used in the 1939 movie “The Grapes of Wrath,” a 1955 BMW that is all original except for the fabric on the seats and a 1967 Healey that is one of only 125 ever made that were painted golden beige. His collection also features eight Jaguars built between 1954 and 1974, the Zombie Protection Truck from the movie series “Resident Evil,” a one-cylinder 1907 REO, a Gotham Cruiser and many other unique vehicles in excellent condition.
A Gotham Cruiser will be on display in the museum.
Mace, who began collecting cars in 1990 as investments, shows them off by driving each of them. He decided that wasn’t enough and it was time to share them with others more often by opening the museum.
Strolling through the aisles, he tells stories about each automobile, explaining their history, how and why he acquired them, and details about their engines, paint colors and more.
“I enjoy cars,” Mace said. “I enjoy showing the cars. I think it’ll be a great boon to Route 66.”
Guy Mace, owner of Route 66 Car Museum.
Springfield is a perfect location for such a museum because it became known as “The Birthplace of Route 66” after the name of the iconic highway was announced in the city on April 30, 1926.
Springfield also is home to the the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival & Car Show, National Street Rod Association Mid-America Street Rod Nationals, the new C-Street Car Show for the Kilties, the June Bug Jamboree, Spyderfest and other car shows and automobile events.
Classic cars on display at Route 66 Car Museum.
Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he’s thrilled a classic car museum is opening on Route 66 in Springfield. “The Route 66 Car Museum is a great addition to the mix of attractions here in Springfield,” Kimberlin said. “Guy Mace has an amazing car collection and I’m glad the public will get to see it.”
Admission for the museum will be $15 with discounts for veterans and children.
More details will be announced as they become available.
In other Route 66 news, enthusiasts also have something else new to cheer.
The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program of the National Park Service is making available research conducted by Thomas Peters, dean of Library Services at Missouri State University. Relying heavily on an analysis of historical records from the Cyrus S. Avery Collection and others, the research reveals new insights and details about events that may have taken place that day and solidifies Springfield’s position as the “Birthplace of Route 66.”