May 16, 2002 - The Auto Museum

Fire engines to street rods, you can find them all in the newest museum in Baton Rouge. But mostly the Bob Dean Collection Auto Museum is dedicated to the real classics.

"Well, I think it's a part of history," says Lucius Scott, an employee of Dean Properties. "I think that the old cars just had so much meaning in their day, and they were so much of an individual car. You could always tell what kind of car was coming down the road." From its side profile all the way up to the face which it presented to the world, there was never any mistaking a classic. In Baton Rouge, Bob Dean's collection of classics is legend. He has well over 100. Now he's sharing them with the rest of us in his brand new museum at 3rd and Laurel.

Fabulous automobiles are there like the signature car of the collection, a 1930 Duesenberg built for William Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marian Davies. Scott says, "there is a rumor, we can't prove it, but there is a rumor that Hitler rode in this car when they were in Europe." Another story concerns a 1942 Packard. It was once owned by the director of "Casablanca." Why, Bogey himself might have driven it, sweetheart. Speaking of sweethearts, every nickel that Bob Dean takes in through this museum will go to the Parker House for Abused Children. And for the rest of us this is where the nostalgia right along with the rubber meets the road.

The museum is open 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Private tours are available on request. Admission is $3 with discounts for seniors and kids. All proceeds go to Parker House. The museum doesn't even take money out to pay the light bill.