FORD'S MODEL-T, KENNEDY'S LINCOLN AND ROSA PARKS' BUS: A Preview Of The Driving America Exhibit At Detroit's Henry Ford Museum

Ford Museum Cars

Photo: Travis Okulski / Business Insider

In addition to all our time spent on the floor at the Detroit Auto Show, we were also fortunate enough to get a special preview of the new Driving America exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum.Ford hosted a preview dinner the night before the opening of the Auto Show which granted us all access to the exhibits held within. With cars and artifacts from over the last century, there was more than enough to keep everyone interested.

The diverse crowd ran the gamut from dedicated car writers to experts in sustainability and green tech and  lifestyle bloggers to branding professionals.

Levels of car interest varied from fanatically obsessive to people who seemed like they may have never seen one before in their lives.

However, the evening at The Henry Ford had a little something for everyone on hand. History buffs saw some key parts of American history and green enthusiasts saw a number of fuel savers, but the real winners were the car nerds, who saw cars that could be considered heroes in the industry.

So what did we drool over?

Full disclosure: We would not be able to attend without Ford, who offered to fly us to Detroit and grant us access to the show as well as their design studios.

The entrance to the building is huge, check out that plane just hanging out.

To the right was a great juxtaposition. The Cadillac has to be one of the biggest gas guzzlers of all time while the Electric Focus produces no emissions. That Focus was also featured on the short lived Jay Leno Show.

Ford houses their presidential limos in the building as well. This is the infamous Lincoln that President Kennedy was shot in.

History nuts were huddled around this plaque all evening.

The Mustang I was there under a tarp. This little 4-cylinder, mid-engined prototype from 1962 just shares a name with the Mustang we know and love today.

The cars have these monitors next to them that will tell you more about any of the cars with just a touch of a button.

This authentic 1940s Willys MB is the great great grandfather to the venerable Jeep Wrangler.

Of course, Henry Ford's car for the masses, the Model T, was on hand.

In addition to cars, there was good food. These were ice cream cones filled with Chicken Caesar Salad. Delicious.

If there is a better place to eat than surrounded by generations of automotive history, please let us know.

After thinking their might be bias against Chevy, we noticed that the museum also contains Ford's biggest ever failure, the Edsel.

This Tucker 48 was one of just 50 built. It has three headlights, six tailpipes, and a rear mounted six cylinder engine so powerful that it can destroy the gearbox.

The second best car in the museum was this GT40 MK IV driven by American legends Dan Gurney and A.J Foyt at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. It won the whole thing.

This is the first steel bodied school bus built by the Blue Bird company. Times sure have changed. They also have the historic bus Rosa Parks rode that ignited the Civil Rights Movement.

Finally, our favourite car in the exhibit. This is the Lotus 38 that took Jimmy Clark to victory in the 1965 Indy 500. It was the first mid-engined car to win the race and no front engined model has won since.

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