MACEDONIA — Auto aficionados will have a chance to see some historic vehicles and even show off their own wheels in September.
The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum will host a Coffee and Cars open house at its preservation and storage facility, 7950 Empire Parkway, from 8 to 11 a.m. Sept. 14.
“It’s kind of like a casual cruise-in style of event and we rotate locations,” said Angie Lowrie, director of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center, which includes the Crawford museum.
The cost to attend is $5 for WRHS members and $10 for non-members, which includes coffee and pastries and an opportunity to tour the facility. There is no extra cost to display a vehicle.
Tickets are limited and can be purchased in advance at www.wrhs.org/events/crawford-coffee-cars-september/
“You don’t have to be a car collector or have a car to participate,” said Lowrie, “but the [cruise-in] participants make the show, so we encourage people to bring their car out and we direct them on parking to create a car show feel and then anyone who doesn’t have a car and wants to come looking at cars, they can do that. We have a pretty large parking lot there at the preservation facility.”
Lowrie said WRHS purchased the building in the 1990s and it is used both as a place to work on vehicles and as a storage site for vehicles not on display at the museum. She said she believes there are about 100 vehicles there, about half the Crawford’s collection.
“It’s very large, it’s a big warehouse essentially,” she said.
Those attending the event will get a chance to see the collection, but also to get a glimpse at the work done there.
“Guests have access to tour the facility and see vehicles that haven’t been seen in awhile and also see behind the scenes, a lot of our preservation restoration work we do that happens out there,” said Lowrie. “They get to look at the shop and a little more under the hood, up close look at some of the collection.”
Lowrie said the facility was open for a Coffee and Cars event last spring, but prior to that, it was open only once to the public about 10 years ago.
“It’s a very behind-the-scenes look at how we manage the collection,” she said. “It’s not regularly open to the public. That’s what makes this special. This is only the second time this year we’ve had it open and accessible to the public to come and see the collection and the works so this is a unique opportunity.”
After the Sept. 14 event, the next and last Coffee and Cars of the year will be at the Cleveland History Center, 10825 East Boulevard in Cleveland’s University Circle.
The costs are the same and admission includes access to other parts of the Cleveland History Museum and parking. Lowrie said those attending will also be able to see the premier of a new exhibit at the Crawford, “Electric, Steam or Gasoline: The Past, Present and Future of Alternative Power.”
“That will be the first opportunity for the public to see the exhibit,” said Lowrie.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, email@example.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.