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The Latest Museum News


New Neighbor Coming Soon

AUBURN — A northeast Indiana investment group has purchased the Kruse Museum & Expo Center from the Dean V. Kruse Foundation. The owners and directors of the group include John Kruse of Auburn, nephew of Dean Kruse and a collector car auctioneer and entrepreneur; former U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Middlebury, and Jason Bontrager of Elkhart, an entrepreneur and former managing partner of recreational vehicle manufacturer Jayco Inc. “Our goal is to build on the Kruse legacy of promoting northeast Indiana by being a community-centric event and education hub of activity,” John Kruse said. “I care deeply about our area and am excited that this facility will be positive for the entire northeast Indiana region for decades to come.”

Many upgrades and improvements are in process and will continue in the coming months, the news release said. “The facility is open for event and conference business,” Stutzman said. “Wedding receptions, corporate events and special events will all continue. Gallery 326 antique mall will also continue operations, and we look forward to being good neighbors to the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum.” The buyers said detailed plans and further development will be announced in the coming months.

The museum building at 5634 C.R. 11-A is approximately 1,000 feet long and 200 feet wide. It features a large, high-ceiling atrium in the center that has housed many community events over the building’s 15-year history.


1930-1940s Service Bay

Work progresses inside the newly expanded V-8 Museum. Here Dave Sharp is lettering a part of the new exhibit: a 1930-40s Ford Service Bay, sponsored by Dennis Carpenter Reproduction Ford Parts. Dave's wife Debbie is making sure Dave is getting the lettering on straight!
This large shop will house several pieces of test equipment and tools owned by the Museum.


Outside of the Garage is Done!

A plaque is being prepared to put on the shop to indicate that Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts sponsored this major exhibit. Then work continues inside, setting up displays of a Ford Laboratory Test Set, KR Wilson tools, parts, etc., just like a typical Ford Service Garage of the '30s and '40s.


An Early Christmas Present!

It arrived on sunday, December 9th. A beautiful 1950 Ford Crestliner, donated by Fred Gerber of Arizona. If it looks familiar, Fred loaned it to the Museum for a couple of months a few years ago. Now it's back and it belongs to the Early Ford V-8 Museum. Thanks Fred!


Storage Unit

Even with tripling the size of the Museum, there's always need for more storage. A lot cheaper than building a storage building, we purchased a used 40 foot trailer. It'll be used mainly for storing Ebay items and donated items that will go on display in the future. It's not the prettiest, but eventually it'll be painted to make it more presentable. It's located just outside our West-side overhead door.


Admission Desk

A new custom desk in our new entryway to greet visitors. It continues the "Art Deco" theme of the Museum.

1953 ford blue-at museum-web2.jpg

Another Donated Car Arrives

A second Early Ford from the late Frank Correy collection has arrived at the Museum, and it's a beauty! A two-tone Blue 1953 Ford, all original with just 50,000 miles on it. It was driven 90 miles from Portland, IN to the Museum. A wonderful new addition to our growing collection.


Back on the Road Again!

This 1951 Mercury is one of 11 cars that the late Frank Corey donated to our Museum. After Ron Staufer rebuilt the carburetor and fuel pump, "it runs like new!"

It's now on display in the newly expanded Museum. A terrific addition!


Speaking of recent donations...

You never know where you'll meet nice people. This is Peter and Elaine Ask from Chatfield MN. We met them at the Iola, Wisconsin Car Show and they donated several thousand dollars worth of parts along with $500. Thaks so much for your most generous donation!


     Internship Grant

The RPM Foundation (RPM) is an educational grant-making program of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT). RPM is funded by collector vehicle and classic boat enthusiasts to serve youth and young adults on their pathways to careers in automotive/marine restoration & preservation along with the long-term interests of the collector vehicle and classic boat communities. Visit: www.rpm.foundation for more information.
The Museum applied for a grant from the RPM Foundation to help pay for interns. We were awarded a $5,000 grant. A representative visited our Museum as part of the process and he was quite impressed with what we are doing. Our Thanks to The Rpm Foundation.


V-8 Club RG Auction!

Regional Group #141 of Ohio, with participation by RG 56 and 69 of Indiana, held their 13th Annual Acution to benefit the Ford V-8 Museum. This year they raised $1,522 and had heck of a good time doing it! A fun event and one that has raised many thousands of dollars for the Museum over the years.
That's David Stonebraker, Ron Stauffer and Greg Eaton working the auction that takes place in Ron's shop every April.


Regional Group Support

Over the years, many Regional Groups of the Early Ford V-8 Club have shown their support of the Foundation with cash donations. Some have held events such as auctions, bake sales, Cruise-ins, etc. to raise funds. Others have shared a portion of their profits obtained from hosting a National Meet or a local car show. Sometimes the money is given for a particular project, like our Gift Shop renovation, the Rotunda Sign restoration, landscaping, etc.

This support is growing by leaps and bounds.

We realize that not all RGs have the means to make large cash donations. We've had many more under $500, and those gifts are just as appreciated as the larger ones.

And so, we recognize the generous men and women of Regional Groups all over the world as Genuine Ford People who unselfishly support our effort to Preserve 1932-1953 Ford History.


Some "Local" RGs Hours Away!

V-8 Club Regional Groups not only give money to the Foundation, they also give of themselves. Four Regional Groups in Indiana and Ohio, whose members are very active as volunteers to help out at the Museum, have members who travel great distances to get to Auburn. For example, RG #69 is the North West Indiana RG and is about 120-140 miles and 2.5-3 hours away; RG #56 is centered in Indianapolis. For many, it's a good 140-150 mile 3 hour drive to Auburn; RG #141 in the Cincinnati, Ohio area is close to 200 miles and as much as 4 hours away! The fourth and only "close" RG is #169, which is considered an Auburn-Garrett RG. Even though it's close to the Museum, members still have to give up their valuable time in order to help out.
Whenever there is a need for men and women, and sometimes children and grandchildren, to work on a project or to help out at the Museum during Cruise-ins or busy weekends during the summer, we can always count on members from these RGs to pitch in.
So, a "Big Thanks" to these dedicated members! Without their unselfish help, running our Museum would be a much more difficult and expensive task.



An inscribed brick is a great way to honor a loved one or a deceased club member. Those joining as a Corporate Member also receive an 8" X 8" brick inscribed with their name and a special Foundation Corporate Member logo. These bricks are presently surrounding our flag pole in front of the Phase I Museum.


Traveling Suitcase

Her name is Megan Satkowiak, hometown tourist, and she writes for the DeKalb County blog as the Traveling Suitcase. She recently visited us and wrote a fantastic description of our Museum with lots of great photos. Read all about it


Student Memberships

Now students can join the Early Ford V-8 Foundation & Museum for a discounted membership fee of just $10. They will receive the Foundation News electronic version. Students of all ages, male and female, are invited to join. Ownership of an early Ford is not required, but a desire to learn about Ford the company, its products and its founder, is.
Just click on NEW, STUDENT $10 and YES to receive your newsletter via email on the online Membership Form to join. Or call Suzy or Josh at 260-927-8022 to join by phone.

'40 Ford illustration by Rich Harrington



We are thrilled to have Henry Ford III, great, great grandson of Henry Ford, as Honorary Chairman of our newly formed National Advisory Committee.


NEW! Join or Renew On-line.

Now you can Join the Early Ford V-8 Foundation or Renew your membership right on-line. Just click on the menu button "Join or Renew Online" and you'll be taken to our on-line Membership Form.
Upon completing the form, you can choose to pay by credit card or by check. If Credit Card is chosen, you'll be taken to the secure Paypal site. There you can use your Paypal account to pay OR if you Don't have a Paypal account, there is an option to pay with any credit card without having to join Paypal. It's safe, fast and easy.
If you choose to pay by check, your membership information will be automatically sent to us and you'll be taken to a page with directions on where to send your check.


NEW: Online Payments

You can now use your credit card and order items directly from our web site! Just click on the Add to Cart buttons you'll find on this site and you'll be taken to PayPal to make your payment. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT TO DO THIS, NOR SIGN UP FOR ONE. If you DO have a Paypal account, your purchase will use that account. But if not, you just enter your credit card info to make your purchase. Shipping and sales tax (Indiana only) will be added for you.

It's Fast, Easy and totally Secure! You can even make a cash Donation by clicking on our DONATION Button!

If you are more comfortable ordering over the phone, you can call 260-927-8022.