2019 Cole Museum Exhibit

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Announcing a special Cole Exhibit at the Gilmore Car Museum to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Cole Motor Car Company.

Name the early auto company that was the first to have four physical doors on a car, the first to use demountable Firestone rims for easy tire changes, the first to trade mark the term ‘Standardized Car’, the first to inspire the modern dashboard, the first to have a V8 with detachable cylinder heads, the first to use an air suspension, and the first to use balloon tires (old name for today’s tires).  Also, name the same company that the founder of General Motors, Billy Durant, tried to buy three times and was rebuked.  Can you think of the company?

               You probably would have never guessed the Cole Motor Car Company, and you may have never heard of them either.  Cole was an auto company from Indianapolis, Indiana that produced quality built higher end cars in low quantities and was founded in 1909 and then self-liquidated in 1925 while still profitable.  The Gilmore Car Museum is proud to have a new exhibit titled ‘There’s a Touch of Tomorrow in all that Cole Does Today.”    That was the slogan of J.J. Cole, the founder and leader of Cole and the company lived up to it with their innovation in both car engineering and as well as design.  This is a rare opportunity to take a deeper look at the rapid pace of change in the auto industry through the lens of one automotive company.  This exhibit will take you on a journey from Cole’s first High Wheel automobile in 1909 all the way to the early Classic era with the 1925 Cole Brouette, body by Willoughby.  There will be several other cars in between to showcase the change in technology as well as style over one of the most rapid evolutions in the industry. 

              Not only will there be seven Coles on display, but there will be Cole documents, artifacts, and other Cole historical items.  Also, you will have the opportunity to review and look through Cole dealer brochures and manuals so you can go much deeper than just a typical car museum display.  Even the original Cole advertising song from 1911 will be playing to accompany the exhibit.  This exhibit will be the first time that a display of Coles and their history of this size and breadth has ever been put together.  From early cars, to racing, to innovation, to luxury, and to an American success story, this exhibit has it all.  The exhibit will take place from May 20th, 2019 to October 31, 2019.  There will be special lecture and deeper look days with the Cole owners to be announced at a later date.


Gilmore Car Museum

6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners MI 49060