Southern Agenda

Sweet Rides

At the Museum of Automobiles in Morrilton, curator Tommy Hoelzeman scored the enviable job of periodically taking the collection of fifty-odd vehicles out for a spin. “You can’t just crank them up and move them a hundred yards,” he explains. “You’ve got to warm them up a little bit, see if the brakes work, all that, otherwise it’ll all deteriorate.” He’s in charge of such novelties as an ’81 DeLorean (sans the flux capacitor of its Back to the Future twin); a 1951 Cadillac that the museum’s founder, Winthrop Rockefeller, piloted down from New York to Arkansas; a 1914 Cretors Popcorn Wagon from when “popped corn” was still a nation-sweeping novelty; and a pair of 1923 Climbers, the last known vehicles from Arkansas’s only automobile manufacturer, the short-lived Climber Motor Corp. The core collection always remains on display. In addition, collectors will flaunt their prized 1960s Ford Econoline vans and pickups on September 3, and a slew of Airstreams will set up camp on October 26—good to know if you’re into rare midcentury gems.