You pull off I-75 just south of Bowling Green, OH and see a few buildings and little more. A couple of quick turns and you find yourself outside what looks to be a large, old 1940s era Texico gas station. In reality it is one of the most complete classic, collectable and vintage vehicle facilities in the Midwest.
Snook’s Dream Cars is not only equipped to deal with just about any classic car need, it also houses an impressive car museum as well as an impressive collection of memorabilia.
The facility is owned by Jeff Snook and his father Bill. When Bill served in both Europe and Japan during the later years of WW II, he worked in the motor pool. In fact the museum has a replica of a 1942 Willy’s Jeep that was just like the one Bill drove back in those days. An avid collector even back then, Bill started amassing an assortment of amazing memorabilia.
It was in 1963 when Bill and Jeff restored a 1929 Model A Ford that their interests seriously turned to cars. Jeff would later drive that car once he turned 16. Other cars followed and, according to Terry Stetler, the on-site mechanic for Snook’s Dream Cars, the facility began to take shape and grow.
Today, in addition to the more than 20 cars on display at the museum, there are a couple of rooms packed with everything from old car and gas station signs and objects to early pin ball machines and juke boxes.
Jeff calls this a “living museum” because all of the cars are in working condition and are driven on a regular basis. “There’s a schedule for when we take all of the cars out,” said Terry. “You can’t just let them sit there.”
There’s a wide variety of cars that reflect the interests of Bill and Jeff Snook, ranging from American classics from the 30s to the 60s as well as a large selection of British and German imports.
But as amazing as the museum cars are, Snook’s is about more than just the displays.
“We are a full service classic car facility,” said Jeff. “If we cannot do the work in our shop we have the contacts and resources to do most anything the vehicle needs to keep it running, reliable and ready to show.”
They also provide storage for their customers’ vehicles. “Most are seasonal storage but a couple are full time storage with the ‘arrive and drive’ feature,” said Jeff. “Once notified we make sure the car is fueled up, shiny and ready to drive away.”
Snook’s also helps people to market and sell their vintage vehicle. “The cars are inspected, detailed, photographed, researched and listed on eBay,” said Jeff. “We’ve helped over 140 people ‘empty their garage and fill their checkbook’ over the last 10 years.”
Over this next week I’m going to be sharing some of the great cars that are on display at Snook’s Dream Cars. Starting today, obviously, with the 1942 Willys as well as a couple of race cars Jeff has picked up and keeps in the museum.
Any time you see a Grand Prix car it is inspiring but a perfectly restored 1956 Lotus Eleven Le Mans, serial number 180, is something to behold. First delivered to Tony Ellis in early 1956 the car was raced as part of Team Lotus for two seasons before making its way to Denmark where it continued to take to the track.
In 1986 it was brought to Minneapolis where, over the next 10 years, it underwent a complete historical restoration. Jeff bought the car in February 2000 and has since continued to race the car (at such places as Watkins Glen) and shown it at Concourse events. It has been a winner at both.
The other true racer on display is a1968 Russell-Alexis that was added to the collection in 1997. This is number 51 of a 57 car production run. Following a crash in 2009, the car was completely rebuilt. While not as rich in history as the Lotus, this is still an amazing car.
If you are ever up in northwest Ohio you should stop in and check out Snook’s Dram Cars. If you’re not, you can find them on line at http://www.snooksdreamcars.com/. Enjoy this week long look at a wonderful classic car facility.