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Volo Auto Museum kicks off summer with boat exhibit, bus tours and more

Cynthia Wolf Posted on 2019-05-20


1959 Chevy boat


VOLO — A triple treat is in store for Volo Auto Museum visitors this Memorial Day weekend. 


The unofficial launch of summer also is the official museum launch of an all-new 1950s-era, auto-design-inspired boats exhibit, the kickoff weekend for seasonal narrated bus tours, and the opening weekend for the museum’s certifiably creepy Crime and Punishment hall.


Nautical enthusiasts won’t want to miss the newly added rare boats exhibit, where car enthusiasts also will find details to love.


“In the 1950s and early ’60s, a small group of boat manufacturers hired auto designers to build in elements like taillights, headlights and fins,” said Brian Grams, director of the museum at 27582 Volo Village Road. “We now have seven of the rarest boats on the planet. They offer a really cool glimpse of a short-lived but iconic era in boat-building.”


Take the 1958 Glass Slipper, for example, which features ’57 T-bird taillights, fins and dual car headlights. Or the 1960 Reinell Jet Flight, with jet-like intakes on the sides and the fins and taillights of a ’59 Chevy in the back.


Those who’d like a relaxing ride around the property will be in luck, too. Bus tours are back, and better than ever, Grams said.  


“Tours this summer will feature a narrated history with a humorous take on some of our highlighted exhibits,” Grams said. “And, in honor of the ongoing celebration of Mickey’s 90th year, tour-goers will ride our 1920s double-decker Disney bus.”


Multiple tours will be available Wednesdays through Sundays each week until fall. Each tour is about 35 minutes, Grams said. Tours are $2 a person. 


Those fascinated by the macabre also have a new area to explore. The museum’s Crime and Punishment hall has everything from gangster-era memorabilia to a slew of medieval torture devices, including a gibbet, rat cage and scold’s bridles.


“Of course, we still have hundreds of classic, famous and collector cars as well,” said Grams, noting that dozens more will be on view May 25 during the museum’s annual Car Corral sales event. “This is the perfect place to kick off summer. We look forward to seeing everyone here.”




The Volo Auto Museum features roughly 400 classic, muscle and film-famous cars as well as vintage snowmobiles, scooters, antique arcade machines and other rarities. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $15 for adults, $9 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and younger. For other information, call 815-385-3644, visit or find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.




Attached photos are by Cynthia Wolf

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Reinell.JetFlight: Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams shows the similarity between the back end of this 1960 Reinell Jet Flight boat and the back end of a 1959 Chevy. The Reinell is part of a new rare boat exhibit launching Memorial Day weekend at the museum, 27582 Volo Village Road.


Redfish.Capri: Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams reaches toward the fuzzy dice dangling from the rear view mirror on this 1957 Redfish Capri, one of several craft in a new auto-design-inspired boat display opening Memorial Day weekend.


C&P.entrance: The Crime and Punishment hall is among the new exhibits that visitors can see as the Volo Auto Museum kicks off the summer season with bus tours and more on Memorial Day weekend. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 27582 Volo Village Road.



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