Saratoga Automobile Museum Communication Director, Dustin Lanterman, joins TAPintoTV Executive Producer, Brian Brodeur, to discuss the museum's diverse collection of vehicles and upcoming annual auction.

The Saratoga Auto Museum can be found in the former Bottling Plant of Saratoga Spa State Park. The Bottling Plant building size and location provided the perfect venue to establish the museum. The building was renovated in 2001 and the museum then opened to the public in 2002.

The museum features an open main space housing numerous cars along with two floors of additional exhibits. Installations in the downstairs space change on a regular basis, while the upstairs gallery showcases cars from the museum's permanent collection.

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"When people arrive at the museum, they're first greeted by the architecture," explained Lanterman. "It’s very welcoming...people love to take pictures of it."

The museum’s downstairs galleries currently feature numerous cars from the private collection of Rob Dyson, a successful driver and racing team owner from Poughkeepsie, NY. 

"We have a Porsche 962, quite a few Indy cars...a couple of his personal Ford Model A's—one which he owned in high school and still drives today," Lanterman described. "He actually picks up people at the airport with that car."

The Dyson collection contains several historic racing cars, including a 1913 Isotta Fraschini, which was one of the first foreign entries in the Indianapolis 500. Other cars exhibited include a 1967 Dan Gurney AAR Eagle, a championship-winning Lola B09/86 LeMans Prototype, and a McLaren M16C/D IndyCar driven by David Hobbs.

The museum's second floor features two permanent exhibits: East of Detroit and Racing in New York. "East of Detroit focuses on cars built and produced in New York State from the really early years," Lanterman told Brodeur. "We also have Racing In New York which covers every single aspect of racing in New York State with a heavy emphasis on Watkins Glen."

"We really have a little bit of everything that people would love to see," Lanterman remarked, “including the 1928 Franklin Airman Sedan owned by Charles Lindbergh himself."

The sedan was provided by the Franklin Motorcar Company to capitalize on the fame and attention generated by Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. Lindbergh picked up the car in Syracuse, transported VIPs and dignitaries, and even courted his wife in the car. "If that car could talk," Lanterman said. "Imagine the stories it would tell."

The East of Detroit exhibit also features a rare 1931 Pierce Arrow. “Pierce Arrow was a very large automotive company that was eventually bought out by Studebaker in the early 30s," Lanterman explained. "We had these giant luxury land-yachts that were built in New York State at the time—it is really quite something to see."

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is holding its 4th Annual Motorcar Auction on Saturday, September 19th, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the auction is being held on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park, and will be a one-day event featuring over 200 auction lots of memorabilia and automobiles. "This is the largest annual fundraiser for the museum," Lanterman said. "This is how we keep the museum going"

A highlight of this year's auction is a 1958 Plymouth Fury used in John Carpenter's movie, "Christine", based on Stephen King's book about an evil car. "This car was used for close-ups in the movie," Lanterman explained. "It was driven by the director himself to and from the set, so John Carpenter actually drove this car,” Lanterman said. “We’re hoping that some lucky winner will get to have Christine in their garage.”

The auction is only open to bidders or consigners, and people can register online to bid remotely by computer or by phone. 

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