Auto museum brings history to life

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FULTON - Drive down memory lane to Fulton's Auto World Museum and transport yourself through the decades.

Bill Backer, an automobile enthusiast, opened the museum back in 1996. 

Backer, the former owner of Backer Potato Chip Company, had collected around 100 cars by the mid 1990s for the museum.

"It was originally in the old K-mart, as we say in Fulton," said General Manager Tom Jones. 

The museum got moved to its current location about 10 years ago.

"I was available to design something a little more interactive, rather than just a bunch of cars just sitting around in an old K-mart," said Jones.

Backer was always a car guy, who found vintage automobiles to be fascinating.

"He always said that there was never an ugly car ever made between 1932 and '34," said Jones.

The museum currently has 88 cars on display, but there are around 140 in the total collection.

"We might not have the most unique cars here necessarily, but we probably have the best collection of the overall history of American manufacturing," said Jones.

Jones tries to model the stage sets based off of the Smithsonian Museum by integrating local history throughout the displays. The museum brings elements from everyday life of the cars' original era, such as radios and an old-style fridge.

Jones is currently redesigning the retail area with old barn wood for the upcoming season.

The season will be open from April 1st through December 31st. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors/military and $4 for children ages 5-11. The museum also features an event space with a '50s diner that can be rented out.

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