The Cavalcade and Nerd Lunch assault the Tallahassee Auto Museum Part I
I have met so many awesome bloggers in the nearly 5 years since I started the Cavalcade. Every one of them has influenced this site in some way. In the last few years, I’ve even been able to team up with some of the bloggers I admire most in some fun team ups. Last July I hooked up with Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s to talk about Unofficial Movie Trilogies. Last summer I was asked by Rondal Scott to contribute content for his blog Strange Kid’s Club. And the awesome blog crossovers just keep coming. Earlier this year, Carlin Trammel from Nerd Lunch asked if I wanted to meet up somewhere and do a blog crossover. After several months of working out schedules it finally happened and the Holley household traveled to Tallahassee for a “meet-and-geek” between Nerd Lunch and the Cavalcade of Awesome.
The question was…what do we do? We decided to check out an “auto museum” off I-10. I put “auto-museum” in quotes because…well, you’ll see. I had seen this particular “auto museum” in my travels to Destin, FL to visit my brother-in-law. They heavily advertise the fact that they have a Batmobile from the movie Batman Forever. So, this seemed like an appropriate place for two pop culture nerds to join forces.
As soon as I drove in the front gates to the museum, I knew this place was going to be special. Just inside the gate, to the right, was a nearly life size model of the Batmobile…and a buffalo. A GIANT, decidedly NOT life size buffalo. And I discovered that if you take a picture from a certain angle, it actually looks like the buffalo is driving the Batmobile.
I know, right? LEGENDARY. So I know this place is going to rock even though the outside looks like some random office building.
That ordinary exterior did well to mask the awesome-ness that was hidden within. Shall we go inside? Yes. We shall.
And what are we standing in front of? Why gentlemen and gentleladies, that is the Elvismobile.
Check it out in all of its pink glory. Now, understand, Elvis never actually drove this vehicle, the car is just a subtle and classy homage to the King of Rock n Roll. The entire body is lined with rope lights. There is a giant hooka pipe with a skull on top sitting in the middle of the driver’s console. The door handles have been replaced with pistols. There’s a trailer caddy hitched to the back with SIX generators used to power a video projector that can show movies on the side of a building. Like I said. Subtle and classy.
All this awesome is happening in front of you before you even walk in the damn door. I couldn’t wait to see what’s inside.
And the first thing you see inside, is a tasteful patriotic display (America, F**K YEAH!) including a plaque of the Presidents of the United States (minus Barack, of course) and a giant wooden Bald Eagle and flag that was carved out of a piece of wood that had to have been as big as a Buick. It is the perfect companion piece to the Elvismobile. Here’s a pic of that awesome display without the nerds in front of it.
Carlin caught this before me. At the cashier desk where you buy your tickets, they had a Star Trek: The Motion Picture trash can. The awesome just keeps escalating. I’m not sure I can handle what lies ahead (soooo true).
Inside the museum were a LOT of cars. Some of them famous (or infamous, if you will), some of them just ordinary old cars. Here are two of the first cars you see when you walk in.
On the left is a Dodge Viper. This particular model (not this actual car) was used in that horrible, horrible Michael Dudikoff TV show, Viper. On the right is an awesome 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge”. A car almost exactly like this was used in the movie Sex Drive.
Here I am gazing longingly into a 1948 Tucker Tornado. The creation of this car was chronicled in the Jeff Bridges movie, Tucker: A Man and his Dream.
This was probably the first big “geek out” moment for Carlin and me (at least for me). No this particular Delorean was not in any of the Back to the Future movies, but the mystique of the Delorean because of those movies is unmistakable. Carlin and I agreed, if we had money to burn, a Delorean would be on our dream shopping list. A Delorean and a Batmobile. And an X-Wing…
This is an odd custom. The plaque says it was built for Paramount Pictures and Publix Theaters. I’m wondering what movie it was promoting, if any. It’s a customized Graham-Paige automobile.
Now it’s time for the money maker. Now is where we look at this museum’s bread and butter. It’s what it advertises the most on billboards as you approach the exit. All of the craziness has led to this moment. We now get to see the Batman auto exhibit.
Here’s the Batman Forever Batmobile (left) as well as the Batboat (right) which, I think, is also from Batman Forever. I could be wrong because my memory of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin is sketchy at best.
You can see the Penguin’s duck mobile behind the Batboat. See it more clearly in this picture.
Here is some more stuff from the 60s TV series. Batgirl’s awesome Batcycle, a pair of Batman and Robin costumes and what Carlin and I think is a piece of the Batcave set. It could be a reproduction, but I’m not sure since from where I took this picture is as close as the exhibit would let me get.
Where do you go from here? Well, this museum didn’t just have automobiles. Oh no. There was so much more floating around. But this article has become long enough. I’ll talk some more about knives, guns, golf clubs, boat motors, dolls and pianos in Part II of this article on Wednesday. Tomorrow don’t forget to check out Nerd Lunch as Carlin will write up his perspective on this wonderful Auto Museum of Awesome.
Then, on Friday, I’ll finish up talking about my trip to Tallahassee in part 3 of this article. I’ll discuss the trip Carlin and I took to the local KFC so I can finally throw a KFC Double Down into my gullet like a cholesterol laden hand grenade. It should be epic.
To see more pics from this museum, check out my set on Flickr.
UPDATE – Read Part 2 of this article