Just over a year ago the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Museum of Bus Transportation merged with the nationally-acclaimed Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum, where they had been renting exhibit space for nearly 20 years. The late Dick Maguire of Capitol Trailways, with the financial assistance over the years of bus industry stalwarts George Sage, Frank Henry and the Kraft, Lehrer and Wolf families helped a dedicated group of bus history enthusiasts in founding and operating the Museum of Bus History.
Maguire, from the beginning, had hoped that eventually the MOBT and AACAM would join forces, and that bus history would gain more national prominence. In January of 2020, with the original lease nearing its end, the MOBT Board and membership voted to merge with AACAM, fulfilling Maguire’s dream.
One year into the merger, former MOBT President (and current AACAM Board Member and Bus Committee Chair) John Oakman reported, in the letter below, how things had developed in the first year.
“As chair of the Bus Committee at the AACA Museum, I wanted to let you know how 2020 has worked out. This has certainly been a mixed year. The Covid Pandemic forced us to cancel Spring Fling, and the museum was forced to close for several weeks.
“On a positive note, our merger with the AACAM has gone very well. The timing was fortunate, because it has helped us weather these tough economic times. We still welcome (and need) your financial help.
“AACA Museum’s staff and volunteers have helped clean and maintain the George Sage Annex and our fleet. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our work days have been well attended, and a number of “car guys” have joined our group. The fleet is in excellent condition, and tucked in for the winter.
“The museum is now open, and Spring Fling has been rescheduled to June 4 and 5, 2021. For the past few years we’ve had nearly 500 attendees, and hope to hit that number this spring.
“Our historic bus fleet has grown by three units, a 1935 Yellow donated by the Shoup family, 1964 MC-5 donated by Ira Steinberg and a 1998 102D3 donated by John Bailey. Currently we own, or have on loan, 47 buses.
“All in all, a mixed year, but 2021 looks much better, and we have gained ground in our effort to raise the visibility of the Bus Industry’s historic contributions to our society. We thank you for your support – and counting on you in the future.” Respectfully, John Oakman