At the Pierce-Arrow Museum

A while back we visited the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo. We had somehow never managed to visit this attraction, but now that we have, I look forward to returning and I in fact think it may be one of Buffalo’s most under-known treasures. This museum began as a way for a local man, Jim Sandoro, to exhibit his collection of classic cars, but now it’s so much more than that. In addition to his collection of Pierce-Arrow vehicles, the museum is a fine collection of all manner of automotive memorabilia, including one car that really hit my sweet spot. It’s an amazing museum that should be better known as a local attraction than it seems to be.

I took a ton of photos during our visit, but frustratingly, my camera’s battery died just about a quarter of our way through. I have an extra, but alas–it too was dead! Yes, a goof-up on my part…luckily I still had my phone on me, thus proving the advice I often hear in the photography community: “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

As always, you can peruse all of my photos from that day in this Flickr gallery, but here are some standouts from a really good day:

Motorcycle goodness at the museum too!

One sometimes wishes for a return to voluptuous chrome figures adorning our cars, doesn’t one?

I can’t lie here: seeing this scarf made me think of Isadora Duncan’s sad fate.

I have never heard of these….

If you don’t think the Corvette is beautiful, in all generations, I just don’t know how to relate to you as a person.

This is the single most beautiful car in the museum’s collection. Every part of it gleams, and the blue-and-gold color scheme is just dazzling.

Finally, the car that thrilled me the most: this little number, that happens to have featured in one of the greatest automotive stunts in movie history. Yes, this is the very car that James Bond used in The Man With the Golden Gun to maintain his pursuit of villain Francisco Scaramanga, by executing a full cork-screw jump over a canal. (No, we are not discussing that damned slide-whistle sound effect. Harumph!)

Of course that wasn’t actually Roger Moore and Clifton James in the car doing the stunt! Notice how the interior has been reworked, with the driver and the wheel centered, to get the weight right.

Next goal: to pose with the Millennium Falcon! Or, one of Bond’s Aston-Martins.

One particularly fascinating part of the museum is its reconstruction of a gas station that was designed (but, as far as I know, never built) by Frank Lloyd Wright. I did find the museum’s display of the gas station kind of hard to follow; at first I didn’t even realize that I was looking at the gas station at all. But the more I looked at it once I realized, the more I was honestly amazed. I was unable to get any photos of the station in its entirety that were to my liking, but here are the gas hoses, as Wright envisioned them: a gravity-feed system instead of pumps, I suppose.

If you’re coming to Buffalo, add the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum to your list of things to see, folks!


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