Charlie’s Auto Museum

Charlie’s Auto Museum
Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat ~ December 22, 2014
People / Sights / Victoria

Charlie, Photo: Tom Ross.

Charlie started his collection with four Studebakers. Today, his Auto Museum in Arthur’s Seat is a visual history of some of car manufacturing’s most rare and iconic models. Charlie’s a man of few words, but his yard filled with relics speaks volumes of his past. His collection includes antique furniture and memorabilia, models of planes and boats, and a working Pianola.

1975 Bricklin Made in Canada, Photo: Tom Ross.

1975 Bricklin Made in Canada, Photo: Tom Ross.

Charles Schwerkolt: I’m Charles. I’m 81 and the owner of Charlie’s Arthurs Seat Auto Museum. I’m the father of ex-V8 Supercar Dick Johnson Racing Team member Charlie Schwerkolt. I opened this museum in 1988. I moved from Mt. Waverley to an Upper Beaconsfield property on 10 acres, then my ex-wife wanted to play golf all the time. I wasn’t so into it. She wanted a tearoom and I wanted a car museum so we moved to Arthur’s Seat and tried both.

Inside the Auto Museum, Photo: Tom Ross.

Inside the Auto Museum, Photo: Tom Ross.

Of course! Photo: Tom Ross.

Of course! Photo: Tom Ross.

Set on two and a half acres of land, the two large sheds contain over fifty classic, vintage and rare vehicles as well as antiques, movie set pieces, model cars, planes and boats, plus car parts and even scooters. I collected Matchbox cars when I was a kid, and always had a passion. Dad had two or three cars, so I got into it that way.

Where it all started, Photo: Tom Ross.

Where it all started, Photo: Tom Ross.

Bond Bug, Photo: Tom Ross.

Bond Bug, Photo: Tom Ross.

I was 15 years old when I drove dad’s car and trucks, but my first car was a Hudson – a pale blue 1954 Super Wasp. My collection is different, always different. [Editor’s Note: this includes his dad’s bottle merchant truck, a rare bus from a Philippine circus, Hollywood props, an AC Acedes Invalid tricycle and a four door 1990 model Avanti believed to be the only one in Australia – and more! Some cars are even rebuilt, converted or restored by him.]

Pretty standard office, Photo: Tom Ross.

Pretty standard office, Photo: Tom Ross.

Old mate, Photo: Tom Ross.

Old mate, Photo: Tom Ross.

I borrowed cars to add [to my collection] – up to 20 odd initially. I bought one or two cars a year for 26 years. I don’t sell many anymore, and I will 100% will say no to some. My favourite in the collection is the Hudson – it’s a step-down. Good for Daytona and motor racing. The used six-cylinder killed all the V8s back in the day.

Mint Roller, Photo: Tom Ross.

Mint Roller, Photo: Tom Ross.

Tea room compromise, Photo: Tom Ross.

Tea room compromise, Photo: Tom Ross.

In my opinion the best period for car manufacturing was the ‘50s and ‘60s in America. I like cars because it beats walking. It’s also a male thing, individuality and expression – but you don’t make money with museums.

Excellent souvenirs, Photo: Tom Ross.

Excellent souvenirs, Photo: Tom Ross.

The Tops

Coffee

The tea rooms here!

Holiday Destination

My shed.

Activity

I’m here 24 hours.

Best Road Trip

Italy – St Moritz

Dream Road Trip

Gnumden in Switzerland – and I’d drive a 300C Chrysler, 2006.

Charlie’s Auto Museum: 175 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat, Victoria.
Website: http://charliesautomuseum.com.au/

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