Old cars bring new visitors to Elizabethtown - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Old cars bring new visitors to Elizabethtown

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The museum in E-town only holds half of the Swope family collection. The museum in E-town only holds half of the Swope family collection.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bill Swope fell in love with cars before the days of cruise control and keyless entry back when heated seats meant you were sitting in the sun.
"I grew up in a day and a time when cars were fairly new," Swope said. "I could hear a car driving past my house and I could tell by the sound of the engine pretty much what that car was."

His vintage collection at Swope's Cars of Yesteryear reflects a life's work.  The Swope family started in the auto business more than 60 years ago and at age 93, the family patriarch has witnessed the evolution of an industry. 

"People come into this museum and there's a certain wow factor here. They say 'they certainly don't make them like they used to' and I say thank goodness they don't," he said.

It's not a knock. Swope believes the auto industry has evolved by remembering its roots and making cars more dependable.

The museum in E-town only holds half of the Swope family collection. There are 66 cars in total but all of the vehicles on display at the museum still run.

The car enthusiast won't reveal the value of his collection. He's still adding to it. 

"If somebody calls me and tells me they have a beautifully restored or professional restored 1957 Dodge or Chrysler I'd be interested, " said Swope.

Visitors come from around the globe. One said, " It reminds me of past days, " as he gazed at a 1964 Chrysler 300. The newest car  on display is a 1970 Cobra Torino. The oldest is a 1910 Brush which goes about 27 miles per an hour and cost 600 dollars when it was new.

The museum sits nestled between Swope dealerships in Elizabethtown. Guests come from around the world but for many locals its a hidden treasure. Some don't know it exists.

Nonetheless Swope keeps it free and open to the public. The affections of a young boy who fell in love with cars and turned it into a career. 

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