ROSCOE, Ill. (WTVO) — A museum in the stateline takes residents on a journey through time.
It is a massive collection of historic cars and artifacts. Roscoe’s Historic Auto Attractions in Roscoe is no small-time car museum, but rather an impressive display of American history.
“We have around 86,000 square feet, we have over 25 different exhibit focuses throughout the museum, so there is a lot of different things that are going to peak everyone’s interest through American history, world history and automotive history,” said Alex Merry, museum director of Historic Auto Attractions.
The centerpiece being a stunning collection of presidential limousines, authentic cars used by nearly every president of the last 100 plus years, including the car that was directly behind President Kennedy’s Lincoln when he was assassinated in 1963.
“It’s almost unreal,” Merry said. “You’re standing next to something that was there that day, when America really shifted and rocked bit.”
If a certain Plymouth looks a bit trashed, there is a good reason for that.
“She’s a 57′ Plymouth Belvedere. She was put in a time capsule, and 50 years later when they went to open her up, they didn’t realize there was a crack in the foundation. She was supposed to be in perfect condition,” Merry said. “They actually put gasoline in her trunk because they didn’t know if we were going to be using gas in 2007.”
Historic Auto Attractions even has an exhibit of gangster memorabilia, including the car used in the “Bonnie and Clyde” movie as well as actual clothing worn by the infamous couple.
“We actually have Bonnie and Clyde’s death hat,” Merry said. “You can take a look and see some of the bullet holes. Yeah, that’s kind of weird, but interesting.”
There is also a small piece of twisted metal, a real piece of the Porsche Spider that actor James Dean was driving when he was killed in a high-speed crash in 1955.
The eclectic collection even includes clothes worn by Marilyn Monroe, several “Batmobiles” and haunting artifacts from notorious serial killers.
For those who want to keep it light, how about a trip to Mayberry to stand next to Sheriff Taylor’s squad car?
“It’s actually signed by some of the actors, and we have a picture of them signing the cars,” Merry said.
Historic Auto Attractions does not disappoint, showcasing iconic moments and bringing history to life.