J and R Vintage Auto Museum – Visit While You Still Can

Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

This winter, a family friend who is also a “car nut” shared a hidden treasure near Albuquerque. This vintage auto museum is well worth a visit and if you’ve the desire and funds, you might just be able to take home one of the classics on display. When we were there, a few of the cars had “For Sale” signs on them. That’s not usual for a museum…

In this case, the museum staff has already announced on their Facebook page that they will be closing this summer. If you’re in the area and you like looking at classic cars, you will find this place a treat.

I’ve always been a fan of the Ford Edsel (unlike most of the general population who shunned this American classic when it was being produced and sold.) There are those collectors who love and revere this car, a victim of bad marketing and bad timing.

This old Plymouth hood reminded me of early armor on a European knight.

The museum building is in an office/industrial park area and is a nice facility that houses in excess of two dozen classic cars. They also have a collection of books and memorabilia such as diecast model cars for sale.

Several of the cars, such as this 1926 Model T participated in The Great Race at some point. The Great Race is a classic car road rally open to street-legal vehicles at least 45 years of age. Technically, the Great Race isn’t a race at all. A driver and a navigator must follow a set of course instructions and tests the endurance of both person and machine. Teams drive on public roads, must drive at or below speed limits at all times and follow precise instructions indicating turns, speed changes, stops and starts. The list can consist of 200 instructions or more per day and there are several checkpoints the cars must pass where they are precisely clocked as to their arrival time. Penalty points are given for every second early or late at the checkpoint. No GPS devices or computers are permitted and the odometers are taped over. This year’s race is from Riverside California to Tacoma Washington and goes from June 22-30, 2019. You can find out more about The Great Race on their website here.

The original REO Speed Wagon is the group’s namesake that you could literally “Take It on the Run”. I submit for your review a gallery of images captured during our visit to the J&R Auto Museum. If you decide to visit them this summer, best contact them first. They haven’t specified a closing date as of this writing. In most browsers you can click on an image below to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.


John Steiner


  1. Too bad, they’re closing, I wish I’d had a chance to visit before… Hopefully you’ll take home that edsel, a rescue car! Be a hero!

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