OYSTER BAY, N.Y.—The president of GrooveCar is doing his part to preserve the history of the American automobile industry, recently opening Collector Car Showcase, an 18,00-square-foot museum that display cars going back to the early 1900s.
Former driver Marty Himes' 1956 Ford Victoria "Liberty Special" stock car--part of the CCS "Century of Speed” display.
“I want to share the history of automobiles because the car culture in America is dying,” said David Jacobson, founder and co-curator of the museum. “Kids are into electronics now more than they are cars. We want to make sure we preserve this part of the American culture.”
Collector Car Showcase not only contains vintage cars on display from car owners across the world, but also memorabilia from the oil and gasoline industries—vintage gas pumps and neon, tin and porcelain signs.
“Years ago I fell in love with this stuff, just the history of it, what it means to the country,” said Jacobson. “This country was built by railroads, the automobile and oil and gasoline industries. It’s an amazing history.”
Jacobson said when visitors enter the doors of CCS they are “transported back in time,” looking not only at the cars and oil and gasoline industry memorabilia, but old brick that lines the museum’s walls, reclaimed 150-year-old wood, and authentic lighting fixtures from the 1940s.
“We also have on display rare and vintage advertising from soda companies and automobile manufacturers, vintage guitars, hotel signs, and other cultural artifacts,” said Jacobson. “Our goal was to build an extraordinary venue that was as authentic as the times they represent,” he said.
CCS, which took two-and-a-half years to construct, not only attracts visitors from all over the world, but car owners who show their vehicles in the museum.
“People are coming from all over the country offering us cars to show,” said Jacobson.
On display through most of the summer are competition and racing cars in the “Century of Speed” display.
“We have cars as far back as the 1900s,” said Jacobson. “We have a 1909 Indy car, the alco-6, which was one of the first cars in the Indianapolis 500. And we have cars all the way up through the years covering all types of competition, from drag racing, to Formula cars, to NASCAR . . .”
Jacobson said his love for cars started when he was growing up in Bayside, in Queens, N.Y.
“My father had a big interest in automobiles and passed it on to me,” said Jacobson. “I remember I knew cars so well that I could identify the nameplate on almost any car from 500 yards away.”
GrooveCar credit unions are also participating in CCS, said Jacobson. The $5.2-billion Teachers FCU, Hauppauge, N.Y., is sponsoring the current display. Jacobson said he is talking with the $2.3-billion Nassau Educators, Westbury, N.Y., about future CCS events.
Jacobson said that young adults today look at cars more for the technology they offer than how they look, drive and perform.
“That’s a lot different from my days,” said Jacobson. “I just want to play a part in keeping the history of the automobile industry alive.”
GrooveCar is based in Hauppauge.