The Princeton Auto Museum

Interior shot of the Princeton Auto Muesum
Glen Gould driving his 1903 Stanley at the Princeton Auto Museum
In the 1930s, there were a select few who saw the value in saving early cars. Among these early collectors  such as Barney Pollard, George Waterman and Glen Gould, was Albert & Salvator Garganigo. According to the Princeton Historical Society (Princeton, MA), the brothers ran the Turnpike Garage and Auto Wrecking Company in Shrewsbury, MA in the late 1920s. Located on Rt 9, the main thoroughfare between Boston and Worcester, the brothers witnessed car styles changing rapidly. In 1935, they opened a "Horseless Carriage Exhibit" at their gas station in Worcester. They soon realized that more space was needed and purchased a WWI prison camp that was schedule to be torn down.  In 1938, with their museum space established in Princeton, MA, they opened the doors of their "Museum of Antique Autos" - displaying 75 cars. Over the years,  they would add more building and more cars (close to 200 total) until the museum closed in 1963. The collection was auctioned off in 1973 with many pieces going to Gene Zimmerman and then on to Winthrop Rockefeller.

When Dad was a kid and involved in the VMCCA, the Princeton Auto Museum was an annual stop as the Garganigo brothers hosted many events. The brochure and photos seen here are from Dad's collection. The brochure is quite interesting, showing a selection of the cars in the collection, such as a 1903 Crestmobile, a 1901 Pierce Motorette, a 1903 Studebaker Electric, and a 1901 Orient "Piano Box" roadster.

Oscar Springer's 1913 Knox at the Princeton Auto Museum

Museum Brochure

Salvator Garganigo


  1. Hi:
    Live in Chester, Ct. and as a KID(8,9,10, etc.)
    my folks would force(the first time) my cousins and me, to the Museum !!!
    God, we never wanted to leave, NEVER !!!
    We went back year after year....
    The Museum was magic to us !!!!!!!
    God bless those individuals that owned and operated that wonderful Museum !!!
    Wish we could go back in time, but, as I am wont to say "nothing lasts forever" !!!

    1. Jay - Thanks for your comments and hope you enjoy the blog.

    2. I have that same brochure do you think it is worth anything

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I recently came across a newspaper article which features a photo of a fire pumper which belonged to the town of Enfield, MA. It depicts the pumper being auctioned off in 1938, the year the town was disincorporated to allow for the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir. They article mentions that the pumper eventually made its way to the Princeton Auto Museum, but they won't know what happened to it after the museum closed. Do you or anyone else have any insight as to what may have happened to it?

  4. I am the webmaster for the PHS and we are planning a program sharing the history of the Auto Museum. We would love to see you pictures of that museum.