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Classic Cars: The History of the James Melton Museum – Virtual Lecture
April 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
- Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 7:00pm via ZOOM
- Tickets: $5.00 per household. The Zoom link will be included at the bottom of your confirmation email under Additional Details. The Zoom link will also be posted on the Online Event page on Eventbrite and emailed to you 24 hours and 1 hour before the event.
- Hosted by the Norwalk Historical Society and the Weston Historical Society
Calling all antique car enthusiasts! The Norwalk Historical Society and the Weston Historical Society are partnering to host the virtual lecture, “Classic Cars: The History of the James Melton Museum,” with guest presenter John J. O’Leary, on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 7:00pm via Zoom.
Learn about James Melton, ‘America’s Favorite Tenor’ and former Weston, CT resident, who assembled one of the country’s prized collections of antique cars, and in 1948 opened the James Melton Museum of Antique Automobiles just off the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk, CT. Presenter John J. O’Leary will share the history as well as unpublished photos of Melton’s famous museum, highlighting the vast collection of unique automobiles, as well as dive into a family connection O’Leary has to Melton’s former friend and personal car restorer, Gus Reuter. A question and answer session will conclude the lecture.
About the Presenter:
John J. O’Leary IV has a unique connection to the James Melton Museum. His wife’s grandfather (Gus Reuter of Reuter’s Coach Works) restored the cars in Melton’s famous collection. O’Leary has spent the past decade organizing unpublished images of Melton’s cars and other items that Melton gave to Reuter like awards and signed photos. O’Leary’s goal is to visually re-create both the Melton Museum (1948 – 1953) and the James Melton Autorama (1953 – 1961) through old photos and various ephemera from those who visited both locations five decades ago.
As an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford and Post University (Conn.), John O’Leary has taught a wide variety of courses in Business, Economics, Strategy and International Business at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has worked on a variety of projects around the globe in cities like Prague, Singapore, Bangkok, and Dubai for companies such as Pratt & Whitney, OTIS elevator and Prague Studios. O’Leary has an active research agenda, exploring topics related to the history of the automobile including famed restorer Gustav Reuter (Reuter’s Coach Works, the Bronx, NY), noted antique car collector James Melton (Melton Museum & James Melton Autorama), as well as the saga of the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K ‘Aktion P’ (chassis # 408377) from WWII. As the archivist for Reuter’s Coach Works, O’Leary provides answers to questions for private individuals and has contributed assistance in research to companies such as RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, and Bloomberg Intelligence for investment-quality automobiles in the global automotive scene.
Melton Museum Image from John J. O’Leary
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