Cars, Cars and More Cars
That fever possessed him to buy more than 140 cars. So many that you get backed into a corner while checking out Backer's collection.
"It's a great example of the history of automotive history in the United States in the 20th century because it goes from the late 1800s Ford quadricyle reproduction and the reproduction of the 1902 Olds, up to the solar cars in the 1990s built by the University of Missouri," said Warren Hollrah, museum director.
Backer has it all. If you want to ride in style, you can hit the streets in this 1917 Ford Roadster. Or you can go back to the future in this 1981 Delorean.
But, the cars are a bit cramped in the current museum, so Backer and his family are steering the creation of a new one.
"I think its going to be pretty spiffy, oh man!" said Backer's daughter, Vicki McDaniel.
The museum will cover 18,000 square feet and house 84 cars.
"The inspiration is the historical," explained Tom Jones, museum production designer. "It's the whole idea of putting the historical context of the cars in with the historical context of our daily lives."
The joyride begins with a horse and buggy replica, past the 1904 World's Fair and through the decades with Fulton landmarks setting the scenes.
"We've reproduced Court Street with the old Callaway Bank. We have the old City Hall. We'll have lots of giant pictures of the old 1920s view north and south of Court Street," added Jones.
The intent is to rev visitors' motors.
"Not just a men's world thing entirely, which you would tend to think a car display would be," said McDaniel. "The backdrops and relating the cars to the period will interest a broad group of people."
But, Backer admitted there's still one car missing in his collection to round out a museum-worthy set of wheels: a 1932 President Studebaker Roadster.
And, the museum is still looking for a photograph of the old Fulton Drive In sign to enlarge and use as a backdrop.
The Backers hope to open their new museum by the end of June.
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