Monday, August 11, 2008

First planes, no trains, now automobiles!

National Museum of Nuclear Science and History - Manhattan Project exhibit

One of the new exhibits for the new museum will be a life size diorama of the Trinity Testing site, enclosed in the Manhattan Project exhibit. This exhibit will be packed with valuable information, but also filled with valuable artifacts! Two of those items are our Atomic Autos. We’ve been lucky to have come across two vehicles that were used by the US military in the 1940’s.

1941 Packard Clipper

1941 Packard Clipper
Parked at the Trinity Testing Site in 1945.

“Ask the man who owns one”

This was the famous slogan that stood for one of the finest automobiles produced in America. It’s no wonder that a 1941 Packard Clipper, converted into a custom limo by Fitzjohn Coach Company, was chosen to transport Manhattan Project Scientists from the railway station in Lamy to Los Alamos. It also carried personnel to the Trinity base camp for the testing of the first atomic bomb. The car was donated to the Museum and requires extensive restoration.

1941 Packard Clipper
Sitting on a flatbed in Albuquerque, NM. Waiting to be restored.

1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe

1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe
Plutonium being unloaded, on the Trinity Testing Site in 1945.

This is the type of vehicle utilized by the US military during the 1940’s. This particular model was the vehicle used to carry the plutonium core for the “device” – the first atomic bomb – to the Trinity site for the historic test that would change the world. This particular model was purchased by the museum to be restored to military function and look for this exhibit.

We were lucky enough to have this vehicle painted by Car Crafters here in Albuquerque, New Mexico - just in time for our annual fundraising event. It was towed to and from the event with the help of Macy's Towing. The annual Einstein Gala was a one of a kind event, partly due to the presence of this beautiful vehicle. All our donors, friends, and volunteers got the pleasure of a vintage photo opportunity with the Plymouth.

1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe
Fresh paint and on display with long time volunteer Dick Justus at the annual National Atomic Museum Einstein Gala fundraising event, March 2008.

More pictures of the Atomic Autos project can be found here.

1 comment:

TedJ said...

What a great addition to the collection. I think these cars will round out the exhibit in a very special and significant way. Great Job!