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Hit The Exacta: Churchill Downs With the Swope Museum

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On: Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 10:35AM | By: Gary P Garry


Hit The Exacta: Churchill Downs With the Swope Museum

When you think about inventions that changed the economic landscape, you may feel sorry for the people behind industries that fell by the wayside. This definitely entered my mind when I first started thinhttp://www.swopemuseum.com/collection.asp?CarID=10king about the history of automotive manufacturing.

There is an old term that is used to describe something that is obsolete that goes rather like: “It went the way of the horse and buggy.” When I was a kid I heard this term from time to time, and before I started doing research, I assumed that the car put carriage makers out of business.

Once I started doing my research, I found out otherwise. Sure, some carriage makers may have gone belly up, but, in fact, numerous carriage makers went on to build automotive bodies. In the long run, they benefited from the technological advances.

In a way, horses and cars go hand-in-hand on a certain level. I would imagine that our equine friends welcomed the change in transportation tastes, but they contributed greatly to the historical chronology.

If you haven't noticed by now, I definitely have horses on my mind. The Kentucky Derby is one of my favorite sporting events, and it is now upon us. Going to Kentucky for the big race has always been one of my bucket list items, and if I ever do get there, I will have to make a side trip.

Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum is located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, which is just about 45 minutes from Churchill Downs. This fascinating museum houses an amazing collection of classic cars that span from the turn of the twentieth century all the way up to the 1960s, and they offer an antique car or two for sale from time to time. As I was browsing their collection, I had a hard time identifying any particular standout, because every car that I saw was a true classic. This being stated, one unique relic is the 1910 Brush Roadster.

The car was manufactured by the Brush Runabout Company, an early company out of Detroit, and the marketing minds targeted a broad demographic. They wanted to provide cars for working class people, but they didn't want to shut out people of means, either.

The 1910 Brush that is on display at the museum is powered by a single-cylinder, 10-horsepower engine, and it weighs just 800 pounds. The car tops out at 27 miles per hour, and when it was new, the sticker price was $600.

Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum is chock-full of tasty automotive nuggets. It's open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day of the week except Sunday, and admission is absolutely free.

One final word to the wise from a grizzled horse player: Given the free admission thing, I would suggest going to the museum after you visit Churchill Downs, so you have something to do, just in case.

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