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Wells Auto Museum

1935 Lagonda/

Even though this museum is on the main drag between Ogunquit and Kennebunkport, it is among our favorite "out of the way" places. The Wells Auto Museum is so much in plain sight that a lot of locals miss it. This is the best value for your Seacoast dollar. Your admission comes to about a dime per ancient car, and these are beauties, crammed into this busy parking lot of history.



Wells Auto Museum
Route 1, PO Box 196, Wells, Maine
Open Labor Day to Columbus Day, 10am-5pm
(207) 646-9064

Wells Auto Museum / SeacoastNH.comWe first visited the Wells Auto Museum while filming a video a few years back. It was one of those places you drive by and say – "I’ve got to go there someday!" But you forget. The building is an unassuming box, dropped below street level on the very busy Route 1 that stretches from Kittery north to Kennebunkport and beyond.

Turns out the antique car museum is one of those hidden tourist treasures. For just $5 visitors can wander endlessly among more than 80 classic old cars, crammed tightly into the unassuming space. It’s cars everywhere you look, the collection of the Gould family who started in 1946 with a Stanley Steamer (7.5 horsepower built in 1904), and haven’t stopped yet. There’s a Pierce Arrow, a Stutz Bearcat, Model T, runabouts from 1900, a 1908 Baker Electric with the original working Edison batteries, a Chrysler Town & Country, a sleek 1935 Lagonda, a tiny 1908 Renault, and names like Rolls Royce, Avanti, Maxwell, Stutz, Metz, Cadillac, plus all the standards.

In addition to motorcycles, old auto signs, model cars, vintage bicycles, there’s two things we love best. The Wells Museum has a great collection of nickelodeon machines that really work (for a dime or a quarter). You can see tame peep shows with early models in bathing suits or play some of the oldest arcade games ever. Old metal music boxes, forerunners of the juke box, lend the perfect sound effects, along with player pianos – including one automated violin playing machine.

This time we brought along our disposable camera to catch a few images of visitors – young and older – exploring this amazing collection. If you never stopped, now you must, car buff or not. It’s a gas! -- JDR

Wells Auto Museum /

Wells Auto Museum, Maine /

1918 Pierce Arrow /

CONTINUE Wells Antique Automobile Museum

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