Monday, February 17, 2014

Bard museum boasts impressive antique car collection

Old cars on display
If your interests lie in antiques – anything from vehicles to kitchen equipment, the Cloud Museum is the place to go. It’s a private museum just off Interstate 8 near Yuma, Arizona. The museum is located in Bard, California, a hamlet to small you’ll miss it if you blink. The drive from the freeway, which takes you over roads that could be smoother, is filled with views of lettuce and cabbage fields, and date palms.

Owner Johnny Cloud has filled two acres with a wide assortment of antiques, beginning with 130 cars that he said drove in under their own power and could be driven out if they contained batteries and gasoline. The vehicles include cars from the early 1900s, most of which are rusted down to the metal. These sit out in the open. A few cars have been restored and are kept in a building toward the rear.

Besides old cars, the Cloud collection includes vintage farm implements, a few old fire trucks and an early motor home.

Display of old kitchen utensils
Cloud says he began his collection 24 years ago when he sold his farm and found himself with nothing to do. He is still collecting today, and says he really has no idea of how extensive his collection is.

But it includes more than just vehicles. There’s an old post office complete with wanted posters for John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Bonnie and Clyde. He has plenty of old kitchen utensils, include corn bread pans, and an extensive collection of cast iron skillets hang on one wall.

Cloud roams the grounds in a golf cart, stopping frequently to talk with visitors and answer questions.

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