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Road Trip

by Wendell Bell

During the first weekend of the New Year, I enjoyed an overnight trip to visit two car museums out towards Abilene along with one of the best steak restaurants in Texas. A bonus stop was the Dublin Bottling Works, which was the very first Dr. Pepper bottler. I give high marks to all as worthwhile stops if traveling “out west” or as day trip destinations.

The Terrill Antique Car Museum in De Leon is small and really doesn’t look like much from the street. However, it is neatly packed with a beautiful collection of thirteen mostly pre‐war and rare automobiles along with hubcaps, signs, and other memorabilia.

The late Feltz Terrill Sr., and Feltz Terrill Jr., collected the vehicles. The father‐and‐son team started restoration projects in the 1970s and also ran Terrill Machine Shop, which specializes in rebuilding and making antique car parts. Feltz Terrill Jr. continues to operate the shop and oversee the museum, circa 2004.

All of the cars are in great shape including a one‐of‐a‐kind 1901 Coffin Steam Carriage. Other makes displayed include: Brush, REO, Maxwell, Crow‐Elkhart, and Star. Remarkably, the only one not in running condition is a 1908 Eagle High Wheeler.

On down the road in Cross Plains is Woody’s Classic Cars and Baseball Museum. Opened in 2018, this modern museum has extra “wow” factor. The highceilinged 22,000 square foot car display area is partially ringed by a balcony housing the baseball items, focused on the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.

On display are 27 vehicles from the collection of Patti and the late Danny Lee “Woody” Wood, who passed away in 2016. The model years range from 1924 to 2014, but the focus is on the 1950s and 60s. It is heavy on Ford, especially Mustang, but has a few other makes as well. Perhaps the most prominent display is a 1959 Cadillac Deville Convertible, which is on a turntable near the entrance.

Every vehicle is immaculate. The lighting and interpretative techniques are excellent. There are several background scenes created for period effects, including a mock 1950s diner at the back of the museum.

Our trip included a fantastic dinner at Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap and a visit to the Dublin Bottling Works, soda fountain, and museum in Dublin.

I look forward to providing lots more photos and details about this adventure at the May Road Relics meeting.