Retro Road Machines

I really like cars… No I can’t identify every model rolling down the road. And it’s unlikely I could rattle off the specs of some rando sedan going down the freeway. But I enjoy them all the same. Cars are a form of art in my opinion. With some being absolutely beautiful to see, hear, and drive… aaaaaand others that make you wonder how they ever made it off the drawing board. Kind of like comparing a Frazetta and a Picasso. Some get your imagination going. While others make you ponder what kind of drugs the creator(s) were on. (Spoiler: Picasso was on opium.)

I’m mainly a Ford guy. They produce mustangs and I’m a big fan of the original pony car. (Yes, the first Barracuda came out a couple weeks before the Mustang. However; they’re not classified as fishy cars for a reason.) But I’m not tribalistic about it. I’ve never understood trashing an amazing car just because it has the wrong badge on the front. Nor defending a clunker just because it has the “correct” badge attached. There are lots of neat cars out there. From a plethora of manufacturers. And honestly I’d love to see ’em all. Even the weird, “Did Picasso design this?” type models.

Now one of the ways I plan my route for a trip, is to simply sketch out a possible path using my atlas or an online map. Then scroll through the path to see what there is for me to discover along the way. And this time, as my finger traced across northern Kentucky, I saw Swope’s Vintage Car Museum. Which of course caught my interest. Leading me to type it into a search engine. Upon which I pleasantly discovered pictures of some pretty spiffy looking old cars. All of which, thankfully, looked to be older than I am.

So the museum went on my, “must stop and visit” list. Pretty early on in my planning phase. And I’m glad I decided to put it on there. It’s not far off the interstate I-65. So if you’re worried about detours possibly eating up to much supplemental oxygen. Just know that getting to Swope’s car museum, then back on the road. Shouldn’t put a big dent in your O2 supply. And while there is a lot packed into this place. It’s not huge. So unless you get caught up in a conversation with the curator, like I did… You should be golden.

Plus! The museum is free. Well… with one clearly posted exception. Which was a nice foreshadowing of the type of personality I found inside. Where a nice young lady. Who’s age probably falls somewhere between that of my mom and my grandma. Informed me, while talking about a 1956 Thunderbird, why exactly it is that she misses front bench seats in cars. And lets just say were I not single and owned a car with a front bench seat…. I’d be up for trying out her theory with my significant other. Purely for science of course.

It’s always nice to test the endurance of my new lungs post transplant. (Hows that for a segue?) Which is why I enjoy doing some hiking on these trips. But I remember what it feels like, trying to get around with scarred lungs. It’s not something I can or wish to forget. Which can make it hard sometimes to recommend places to my fellow patients. However, if you like old cars and don’t have a ton of endurance. Then this museum might be right in your wheel house.

If you entered, walked one lap through, and back out the door… even doing the pulmonary fibrosis slow walk. You’d probably be in and out in about five minutes. And that estimate is based on the slowest speed I remember being able to move pre-transplant. So there is not a whole lot of ground to cover. Though if you’re taking your time, looking at everything, you’ll be in there a short while. A little annoying but not to much so, if you do need a breather. There aren’t any benches or seats to rest on further back. You’ll have to come near the front of the museum next to the information desk. Or over where a couple chairs are set up for viewing an informational video.

The biggest issues I see for a visiting pulmonary fibrosis patient. Would be squeezing between cars for an up close look at them. If you’re using a wheelchair, rollator, and/or hauling oxygen, that is. But, there is plenty of room if you stick to the main path, where each cars’ placard resides. But a chair or rollator isn’t going to be able to fit between the cars. And I would be nervous about scratching the cars. Even if simply carrying O2 or pulling a tank cart. But I definitely would not let that deter me from visiting.

At my absolute worst before being hospitalized, could I have walked around and enjoyed this museum? No… of course not. But I wasn’t out traveling period at all at that point. Going down town to pulmonary rehab was a major outing. And I don’t know your physical well being. So I can’t say definitively to, “Go for it.” But if you live near Elizabethtown and are capable of getting out and about. Or if you are passing by and need someplace to get out of the car for the stretching of legs. Then I think Swope’s Vintage Car Museum is a good option. It’s not huge, theres parking is right next to the door, it’s all on one floor with no stairs to climb, and it’s quite a bit more interesting than your average interstate service/comfort center. I would go again should I find myself once more in E-town.

1080 North Dixie Highway, Elizabethtown, KY 42701


Thank you so very much for taking the time to read my blog. I hope if you’re a fellow patient, a care giver, or just into travel. That you got something positive out of my blog. If you’d like some pulmonary fibrosis merch, check out the BorrowedBreaths Store. Or if you’d like to simply encourage me to keep writing, a tip in my virtual tip jar would be greatly appreciated.

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