Hidden Treasures tells the story of the great number of collector vehicles that are hidden away, often never seeing the light of day. Hailing from private collections all around New England, these automobiles showcase the epitome of automotive styling and performance. They are supercars, hypercars, vintage collectibles, or simply a well-preserved barn find waiting to be reawakened or fully restored.
This exhibit celebrates the spectacular examples of automotive engineering while allowing the public a rare, up-close and personal view of these storied and at times extreme automobiles. Tucked away in private collections, an individual could pass right by, completely unaware of the impressive machines hidden behind closed garage doors.
These beasts demand attention. When found in the wild, throngs of people surround them and the owner, but these works of art need to be appreciated. Displaying a vehicle in the museum provides the discreet collector an opportunity for their car to be enjoyed safely by the public without distraction.
For the duration of this exhibit, various dazzling cars will rotate in and out, because these rolling works of art can never stay in one place for too long.
Born of Necessity • The United States has a long-standing love affair with the pickup truck. Whether purchased for farm or construction work or simply hauling bikes or groceries, it’s hard to argue that any vehicle is more uniquely American than the pickup. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Ford F-Series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the country 39 years in a row. While the truck has grown into an essential vehicle, its origins are much more humble.
In the early 1900s, as automobiles replaced dependable horses and carriages, many Americans yearned for a better way to haul materials. Some turned to makeshift storage, affixing a box or old wagon bed to the rear of the chassis. Soon enough, the trend encouraged coachbuilders and shops to begin modifying automobiles, installing cabs or hauling containers on a modified chassis, often a Ford Model T. Farmers, postmen, delivery men, laborers, and even doctors began relying on these makeshift trucks. The first trucks were truly born out of necessity.
In 1918, Chevrolet produced its first truck chassis, essentially a car with the rear body frame cutaway, paving the way for Ford to release its truck only a few years later. Named the Model 490 due to its price, $490, this primitive truck still required the addition of a truck bed, cab and body. The truck bed, which was often wood during this era, was not offered by Chevy itself and either needed to be built by the owner or a third party.
Observing that many farmers were using their Model T’s as trucks, the Ford Motor Company quickly seized the opportunity to cash in producing pickups. They offered their first fully factory-assembled pickup truck in 1925, the Model T Runabout with Pickup Body. In its three year run before being replaced by the new Model A, Ford sold 135,000 Model T pickups, beginning the American love story with the truck.
By the 1930s, car manufacturers around the world were beginning to create their own version of the pickup truck. The makeshift and rudimentary practices of DIY truck beds were gone, replaced with the ever so popular factory-produced trucks. As time went on, pickup trucks gained power and speed, the beds became longer, and the cabs more luxurious.