Title: Ken and Joan Austin’s Rod Shop Offers Virtual Tour of Rare Vintage Car Collection
In an era of digital advancements, classic car enthusiasts now have the opportunity to explore iconic automobile collections from the comfort of their homes. Ken and Joan Austin’s Rod Shop in Newberg, Oregon, is one such museum that offers a virtual tour of their impressive assortment of rare vintage cars. This article delves into the unique features of the collection, the passion that drove its creation, and the experience it provides for car enthusiasts worldwide.
Ken Austin’s Legacy Persists in the Rod Shop Collection:
Ken Austin, a successful businessman and dedicated automobile aficionado, built and repaired pre-war American cars. Although he passed away in 2019 at the age of 87, his passion for automobiles lives on through his collection at the Rod Shop. The museum boasts a wide range of vehicles, including ultra-rare, concours-ready classics and custom-built hot rods, showcasing Austin’s diverse taste and appreciation for automotive excellence.
Experience the Unseen: Virtually Touring the Rare Gems:
One highlight of the virtual tour is the ability to “sit” inside most of the cars, offering visitors a unique perspective from behind the wheel. This immersive feature allows enthusiasts to admire the meticulous restoration and intricate details of famous vehicles like the 1937 Ford convertible, 1928 Chevy Coupe, and the incredibly rare 1931 American Austin. With this virtual experience, individuals can appreciate these automotive icons without the limitations of physical access.
Beyond American Classics: A Varied Collection:
While the majority of the cars in Austin’s collection are pre-war American classics, the Rod Shop also houses a selection of British automobiles. Among them are the impressive 1948 MG TC and the iconic 1969 Jaguar E-Type—an old race car known for its distinctive design. Moreover, a surprising addition to the museum is a 1929 GMC fire truck, offering a glimpse into the rich history of emergency vehicles.
A Blend of Classic Cars and Dentistry:
Interestingly, a portion of the Austin automobile museum is dedicated to dentistry, reflecting Ken Austin’s entrepreneurial journey as the founder of A-Dec, a leading manufacturer of dental chairs and equipment. While this unique fusion of themes may seem unusual at first, it adds an intriguing dimension to the museum experience. Visitors with an interest in both classic cars and oral hygiene can explore this distinct section and witness the fascinating overlap between the two fields.
The Intersection of Technology and Automotive History:
The virtual tour offered by the Rod Shop goes beyond standard virtual experiences. While car configurators have employed similar technology, rarely do they offer an up-close view of the cockpits and interiors of such historically significant and rare classics. This innovative use of technology provides enthusiasts with an unparalleled encounter, allowing them to appreciate the finest details of these legendary machines from a perspective seldom experienced.
Expanding the Virtual Tour Experience:
Upon venturing through the virtual tour of Ken and Joan Austin’s Rod Shop, visitors are left wanting additional immersive experiences of notable collections. One such example is Jay Leno’s extensive collection of cars, which would be an exciting prospect for many enthusiasts. The ability to virtually explore Leno’s collection and even “sit” in his iconic McLaren F1 would further expand the opportunities for automotive enthusiasts worldwide.
The availability of virtual tours, such as the one provided by Ken and Joan Austin’s Rod Shop, has revolutionized the classic car museum experience. Enthusiasts can now explore rare, vintage automobiles and appreciate their beauty and historical significance like never before. By incorporating innovative technology, these virtual tours have the power to bridge the gap between car enthusiasts and some of the world’s most exceptional automotive collections. As digital advancements continue to evolve, the possibilities for immersive automotive experiences are endless.