Milhous museum to go under the hammer

| 3 Aug 2011

A fascinating, street scene-style collection of American cars, musical instruments and Americana will go to auction next summer following the close of Florida’s Milhous Museum.

Canadian sale house RM Auctions will host a dedicated sale in February next year to dispose of the contents of the Boca Raton-based museum, the result of a lifetime’s collecting by brothers Robert and Paul Milhous.

The 39,500 sq. ft. building – which is only open by private invitation for special events – features cars and musical instruments displayed in spectacular street scenes. 

The museum was instigated by Robert’s purchase of a 1934 V12 Packard 1101 Convertible Victoria that had been commissioned by the original Tugboat Annie of 1933, Marie Dressler and which went on to scoop up awards at all the major concours events in the US, including a Best of Show at Pebble Beach in 1975.

Its success sparked off the Milhous brothers' desire to collect similar show-quality cars and display them in their period settings. Over the years those have extended to a half-scale model of the famous Auburn Cord Duesenberg Auto Salon of Auburn, Indiana circa 1935 – correct down to the bricks commissioned from the original showroom’s brick-maker.

Other displays include an exact replica of a Union 76 service station from the Edwardian period, complete with the correct visible gas pumps while the museum’s centrepiece is a magnificent, full-size turn of the century-style carousel (below, left) – set against a street scene complete with saloon, bank and barber’s shop.

Details on the lots (including a list of the cars to be sold), will be released later this year. See: for more.