On view in the La Porte County Historical Society Museum is the Kesling Automobile Collection, consisting of more than 30 vintage automobiles collected by Dr. Peter C. Kesling and his wife Charlene. They range in age from a 1903 Winton to a 1982 DeLorean, the car made famous in the movie “Back to the Future.” The 1903 Winton was driven from California to New York City by Dr. and Mrs. Kesling in 2003, retracing the path of the first coast to coast auto journey by Dr. Horatio Jackson, one hundred years earlier.
The collection includes an important grouping of Indiana-built automobiles. A 1929 Auburn Cabin Speedster with T-tops recreates an original destroyed in a disastrous fire at the 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show. A classic Auburn Boattail Speedster of 1935 joins two Cords, a 1930 L-29 and a 1937 Model 812 “coffin-nose” model on display. Rounding out the Indiana triumvirate is a 1929 Duesenberg Model J.
Another highlight of the Kesling Automobile Collection is the 1948 Tucker “Torpedo,” number 12 of 50 produced by the innovative Tucker Corporation in Chicago. This car appeared in the 1988 movie “Tucker: The Man And His Dream” starring Jeff Bridges.
Brass Era enthusiasts will be pleased with the display of early automobiles. Besides the 1903 Winton, there is a 1910 Velie, a 1912 Baker Electric Coupe, and a 1914 Mitchell, among others. The Kesling Automobile Collection is on view with the La Porte County Historical Society’s museum displays. It is therefore included as part of the admission price and on view the same hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 – 4:30 p.m.