Throwback Thursday: The First Annual Hoosier Car Tour

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

On August 30, 1976, a line of classic cars departed Auburn in the early hours of the morning. The group of seven ACD cars (four originals and three replicas) made up the city’s very first annual “ACD Hoosier Tour.”


ACD Tour participants come home

The trip featured a number of automotive heritage destinations throughout the state of Indiana. On the first day, the small group arrived at the Indianapolis Speedway, where they were allowed to drive their classic cars two laps around the track. The Speedway Museum had also just recently opened up, and was available for them to visit.

On Tuesday, August 31, the group headed up to Frankfort, Indiana, where they stopped at the Bill Goodwin Museum.


“Goodwin, a Frankfort funeral home owner, has three Duesenbergs in his collection. But his museum, [Jack] Randinelli reported, is a collector’s dream come true,” according to the September 3, 1976 issue of the Evening Star. “Goodwin has, Randinelli said, at least one item of anything anyone ever thought of collecting.”

After perusing Goodwin’s antique automobile collection, the group headed for Culver, Indiana, where they spent the night at Culver Military Academy before heading to South Bend.

At that time, South Bend was the home of Homer Fetterling and his collection of 25 Duesenbergs, two of which were on loan to the ACD Museum at the time. According to the Evening Star, his was considered to be the largest collection of Duesenbergs in the country. The tour participants followed up Fetterling’s collection with a visit to the Studebaker Museum, also in South Bend.


Clipping on the tour from the September 3, 1967 Evening Star

Then it was another night in Culver, and the seven cars finally made their way back home early Thursday morning, just in time for the ACD Festival. The trip, which covered around 500 miles, was “enormously successful,” according to ACD Festival Treasurer Jack Randinelli.

“‘We considered wearing black armbands today,’ he quipped, ‘because we are so sorry for all you people who didn’t get to go along.'”

In fact, even though the first tour has just ended, Randinelli reported that all of the participants had already signed up for next year’s trip. He expected that the tour would continue to grow to include more drivers and cars in the future.

This post features items from the Jack Randinelli ACD Collection, which is currently being digitized by the Willennar Genealogy Center. This digitization project is made possible due to an LSTA grant administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Want to see more of what we do? Click here to browse our online photo database, or head on over to the Genealogy Center’s official Facebook page.


About Chelsea

I've been working at Willennar Genealogy Center for over two years now, and I've loved every minute of getting to learn more about the stories of DeKalb County and the surrounding area. I'm interested in all kinds of history, but I'm especially fond of the early film industry, old letters and journals, the DeKalb County Fair, and the Interurban line.
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