Forney Museum of Transportation: Classic cars, motorcycles, steam trains give glimpse of history

DENVER - The Forney Museum of Transportation might be the coolest museum you've never heard of.

It is truly one of Denver's best hidden gems -- tucked behind a warehouse right next to the Coliseum at 4303 Brighton Boulevard.

Whether you like classic cars and motorcycles, historic steam trains and trolley cars, models, toys or even vintage clothes and advertisements - the exhibits take you on a trip back in time to some of the most glamorous periods in American history.

You can see the real car Amelia Earhart drove -- a 1923 Kissel Speedster Model 45.

Many of the cars have mannequins dressed in period clothing posed nearby.

See an original Denver street car restored to like-new condition. They even found photos from the time period,so when you look out the window you get a glimpse of what Denver was like back then.

Right now the temporary exhibit is Chrysler products from 1955-1963, including the 1955 Dodge La Femme (designed just for women), a 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer in Royal Blue Metalic and Saphire White and a 1957 Desoto Fireflite Sportsman in Fiesta Red and Black. 

It cost about $125,000 to restore the Desoto, and experts estimate it is now worth about $70,000. This museum is truly about the love of the cars and preserving some gorgeous pieces of American history.

And then people come along and vandalize stuff! It makes me crazy. Forney has a bag policy tighter than the NFL's because it is a huge place and they just can't watch everyone all the time. 

The Forney Museum is a non-profit organization, with just one full time employee, four part-time workers and some very dedicated volunteers.

Here are some ways you can enjoy yourself and help them at the same time:

  • Visit - and tell a friend!
  • Volunteer (maybe as a security guard!)
  • Book an event: They have a space available for wedding receptions, meetings, etc.
  • Make a donation. Every little bit helps.

One of the biggest attractions - literally - is the Big Boy steam engine. It's 135 feet long! There are only eight left in the world and we've got one of right here.

Make time to celebrate the arts in Denver - and check out the Forney Museum of Transportation.

The Chrylser exhibit runs through May 31.

The next exhibit - Cadillacs from 1936 to 1976 - begins June 1 and will be on display through Aug. 31.

More information: www.forneymuseum.org/

Anica Padilla covers breaking news, the Broncos and local arts and entertainment for 7NEWS Denver. Follow her on Twitter.

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