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A Love Story

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Seen here with his beloved 1968 Shelby GT 350 is Buddy Bennett. Sadly, missing from this photograph is Buddy's brother, Joe, who along with himself, co-founded Bennett Classic Antique Auto Museum. Joe's recent passing has left a gaping hole in the mus

Chapter One

He couldn't look away. Her curves held his gaze and he yearned to touch her, to own her. He wasn't the only one. She was fast. A genuine beauty, designed to capture his wildest imagination. He secretly made a vow to bring her home, and eventually, he did.

Chapter Two

He fulfilled his promise to protect her. Carefully and diligently, like a knight in shining armor, he battled the ravages of time that threatened to destroy her. Her allure never faded. She reflected his tender loving care in her shine

Chapter Three

Knowing what a gem he possessed, he determined that it would be shameful to keep her all to himself so he built a safe haven, a sanctuary of sorts, where she would be free from harm. He invited the world to come and share in her exquisite beauty, and they came from all across the planet. They came from Ireland and Germany, Australia, and England. They came from near and far, and, they too, fell in love with her.

Right here, in Forest City, North Carolina, is the home of Bennett Classic Antique Auto Museum, the result of a great love of automobiles that has spanned the lifetimes of two brothers, Buddy and Joe Bennett.

Located on Vance Street, the museum houses over 70 classic vehicles and many un-restored originals ranging from Model T's to Mack Trucks, a Shelby Mustang, and even the retired Forest City American Lanfranc fire truck. A newer addition to the collection is the 'must see' 1963 Ford Mayberry Sheriff's Car signed by Don Knots, A.K.A Barney Fife. According to their website, bennettclassics.com, the museum is all about "preserving automobile history for generations of the past, present and future, here under one roof, in Rutherford County."

When asked how the museum came to be, Buddy Bennett tells us, "We (Buddy and his brother, Joe) started collecting cars in the late 1960's and opened the museum in 2007. The museum has become larger than we had ever dreamed it could be. We have met so many wonderful people from all over the world that we would not have gotten to meet if the museum was not here. Those people often share their memories with us and some come back multiple times to visit. The museum has really developed with our inventory and memorabilia on display from when we first opened. We are getting a wider variety. We hope to be here for many more years to come with different things on display. We enjoy learning about the cars past homes because every car has a story to tell as well as the owners themselves. It takes a special place to be able to come and reminisce about the 'good old days' when 'Daddy taught me to drive' or 'My Paw Paw took us to get ice cream every Sunday in this.' and that is what we have in the museum. Remembrances of the good old days when you could pop the top off that nickel Coke bottle, sit back and day dream about owning one of the classics that is now on display - back when life was simple." And, apparently the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) took notice in 2012 when they acknowledged the quality of the museum by naming it the 'Best Car Museum in America'.

"We are really proud to have gotten such a prestigious award. It was a great honor" says Bennett who proudly adds that they have just celebrated their 10th anniversary.

Chapter Four

If you also share this great love of automobiles, past and present, then you surely understand what these brothers have accomplished. They have gone to great lengths to care for and preserve, for generations to come, the fascinating and rich history of the automobile industry. You are invited to become a part of this 'love story' by joining BCAAM as they team up with the Little Detroit/GSMR Car Club for the Sema Collector Car Appreciation Day, Friday, July 14th from 5-8:30pm at the museum. There will be a cruise-in outside, and all visitors are encouraged to tour the museum.

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