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Vintage Vehicles Drive Through Bloomington

America's Car Museum

The place of the automobile in American culture is changing. But, a nationwide tour of three historic vehicles stopping in Bloomington Normal recalls the glory days of the car in U.S. society.

David Madeira is the director of America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. He’s on the way to the North American Auto Show in Detroit with a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, a 1961 Chrysler 300 G 2-door hardtop, and a 1966 Ford Mustang. Madeira says technology has always affected culture and cars are in the middle of rapid change.

"The interesting dynamic of our time that way, I think is that while there seems to be a strong push on the electric car again there are arguments against that. How much does it take in fossil fuels to make those as opposed to the standard gasoline engine? And then there is also the issue of waste, with the batteries that are required."

Madeira says other areas like compressed gas perhaps need more exploration.

 Madeira says he hopes America’s love affair with cars can continue, though popular culture may come to view them as utilitarian objects. Madeira says the possible rise of robotic cars could have a big impact on how people feel about cars in the future.


"And I think the dynamic to be seen is whether it is the end of the automobile at some point, because once they take the driving experience away, well, they might as well just be in a pod."

Madeira says robotic cars may make some sense in crowded urban areas from a safety perspective. But, he says many feel there is a weaker argument for them in rural areas and where long distances need to be traveled.

The museum tour stops at the Coliseum in Bloomington from four to six with the vintage vehicles on display. State Farm Insurance is sponsoring the tour.


WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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