By: Matt Wolfe
The Automotive Hall of Fame recently received a letter from Tim Rivers, Curator of the Elwood Haynes Museum. Mr. Rivers was extremely excited to inform us of all the great things happening at the museum since Elwood Haynes’ 2015 induction. According to Mr. Rivers, the museum has been enjoying a renewed interest from the community this year as well as a sizeable increase in local and out of town visitors.
“The momentum has been rolling ever since the announcement of Elwood’s induction”, Rivers wrote. “The Haynes/Hillis family and our city leaders have been quite motivated to support our many projects currently underway.” Some of the new projects include the restoration of a 1924 Haynes Model 60 Sedan that has not started since 1965, the reproduction of a book written by Elwood Haynes titled “The Complete Motorist” that has not been reprinted since 1976, and a thorough modernization of the museum including new display cases and an overhaul of the Stellite room courtesy of Haynes International.
The Elwood Haynes Museum will also be part of a week-long automotive celebration in Kokomo next September for Indiana’s bicentennial. The celebration will include vintage driving tours with pre-1966 Indiana cars. The Elwood Haynes Museum will also be holding national car shows for the Stutz Club, the Classic Car Club of America, and the Haynes & Apperson Owners Reunion. “We’re hoping the previous record of 20 of these locally-made cars set in 1994 will be shattered as we currently have approximately 50 that are planning to attend”, Rivers wrote.
Perhaps the most exciting news was the organization of the Haynes/Hillis family reunion. Many of these family members, most of which met for the first time at the 2015 induction ceremony, have never been to Kokomo. Rivers, who is helping organize the reunion, wrote “This will be their chance to gather and socialize at the last home in which their famous ancestor lived.”
Many of these projects and proposals have been inspired as a result of the publicity surrounding the Mr. Haynes’ induction. “It is our goal to continue this momentum, never letting up or looking back”, Rivers wrote of the renewed interest in the museum. “Without a doubt, the induction changed the way our community and the world views Mr. Haynes. It has forever changed the Museum in a very positive way.”