GARY MELCHERT'S MODEL CAR COLLECTION
June 21 to July 26 --- Gary Melchert’s Model Car Collection
In 1948 at the young age of ten, Gary Melchert received his first model car as a Christmas present. It was quite a sophisticated model for the era. Powered by a “D” cell battery, the 1948 Hudson police car could be driven straight or the wheels could be turned to make it go in circles. Gary was the envy of the neighborhood with a toy car with headlights, a flashing red light and a police siren. Decals on the windows portrayed police officers on patrol.
Little did Gary realize that his collection would eventually grow to over 150 model cars and 300 semi-trucks. Since his father, Walter, owned a Buick and Hudson dealership in Seymour for over 50 years, Gary spent much of his time at the dealership eventually becoming a salesman and then owner until he sold the business in 1998.
Gary has kept a logbook on his collection listing all the models, when they were purchased, where he obtained them, and the purchase price. Many of the 1/18th scale models have doors, trunks, and hoods that open. They are detailed showing engine parts, steering wheels that turn, and detachable convertible tops. Many of the models were purchased in stores, in auctions, or at flea markets. Since his father sold International Harvester trucks, he also got interested in semis and has a variety of trailers advertising an assortment of businesses.
With a keen interest in local history, Gary also collects milk bottles. Not to be outdone, Gary’s spouse, Marylou collects peddle cars, trucks, tractors and model tractors. The Melchert’s are great supporters of the museum, sponsoring an automobile display and contributing a variety of items. On Wednesday evenings in the summer they can be found enjoying the concert at “Music in the Park.”
Much of Gary’s extensive collection will be on display in the upper level of the museum throughout the month of July. Stop in and see how many of the cars you can identify.