Mopar Mountain Museum
When the couple met they both drove Mopars. Probably a little
too fast at times, but they have shifted into low gear now where admiration of and tinkering with their collections satisfy.
“I come down here and escape reality,” owner Floyd Culberson tells the Lawrenceburg Classic Car Club early in November, when the group visited Mopar Mountain Museum. “I turn the music on — whether from the 50s or the 70s and tinker with my cars.”
And turning on the music is retro too. When Floyd and his wife, Theresa, built a full museum to house their collection of Road Runner Superbirds, Cudas and Chargers, why not add a vintage jukebox and a fully furnished diner? With seating for 38, the diner is classic red, black and white with Coca-Cola memorabilia and a working jukebox full of classic hits. Even Betty Boop stands close by, perfect for photo opportunities.
Not stopping with the diner, their collection also includes a barber shop, complete with a working pole. And thousands of salt and pepper shakers. “We collect whatever catches our eye,” Floyd explains.
Born of a dream, the museum is not open to the public, rather it is home to a
hobby, perhaps just a little beyond the imagination of most. From the early years of their marriage, the twosome were obsessed with Chrysler Products and owned “lots of Mopars,” they agree, not sure of the count. By the time their first child, daughter Donya, was born, they had whittled their collection down to one white 1970 Superbird.
Theresa and Floyd have been around cars their entire lives. Theresa’s father, Reuel Bunch purchased Hohenwald Tire in the 1960s, a thriving auto repair and tire business. When Reuel passed away in 1984, Theresa and her brother, Terry, took over the operation. In the 1990s, she and Floyd purchased her brother’s share and have owned and operated the company ever since.
Consuming passion led them to barns and fields during the 1970s and 80s where they found abandoned cars whose owners were willing to surrender for small fees–sometimes $50, other times, free. The Culberson backyard was home to anywhere from 40 to 60 cars at one time, each used for parts. The finished products would then be sold for as much as $700. “We hauled a bunch out of the woods. We cut trees out of some of them to get them,” Floyd explains.
Twin sons, Darryl and Dustin, were the inspiration for seeking their second Superbird. Both boys needed the same car, their parents mused. The first search for a matching 1970 Superbird resulted in two cars. A yellow Superbird for Dustin and the second, a yellow Cuda, a car they still own, was claimed by Darryl. Donya gets the white one, they say.
Rearing three children in the business of fast cars gave way to the realization of
Mopar Mountain Museum in 2000. “When the boys were home, keeping the cars clean and showing them was a hobby,” Floyd says. The father and sons took apart and restored cars as close to authentic as possible. “It’s fun. The boys had an interest in my cars. That was a blessing,” Floyd tells.
Years of collecting is evident as Mopar, Gulf, Mobilgas, Goodyear, Phillips 66 and Texaco signs decorate Mopar Mountain Museum. “This is something. A shocker,” Linden Porter of Lawrenceburg remarked standing in the middle of the room. Special guests, classic car enthusiasts Janet and Larry Clayton of Summertown, drove their 1957 Nomad when they toured Mopar Mountain. Other members of the club visiting included: J. W. and Delores Long, Darrell, Phyllis and Kayla Conner, Larry Hubbard, Ann Porter and Herman and Betty Johnson.
The 1970 Road Runner Superbird, built for NASCAR held the track record at 213 mph for 13 years, Floyd explains. A smile escapes him when asked his top speed. “The fastest I know I’ve driven is probably 180 mph.” A friend clocked him at 165 mph then the car, climbing by 5 mph increments, went out of range of the older-model radar gun.
But that was a long time ago, he adds.
An infatuation for fast cars has sparked a fire in the couple spanning more than 30 years. A family hobby, collecting cars, trinkets and history has built a legacy generations of story tellers can share.
Transition Town Hohenwald
In April 2009 Hohenwald City Council members Don Barber, Bill Lawson, Dustin Flowers and Mike Hinson, Mayor Don Jones and Chamber of Commerce President Becky Newbold signed a proclamation establishing the city as a Transition Town.
Transition? Some ask, “From what to what?” “From an old way of thinking to a new way of thinking,” current Sonnenschein Green Initiative Coordinator Debbie Landers says.
Following years of growth and development as a sustainable community, designation as a Transition Town helped make community leaders more aware of the effort of their citizens. Follow the Transition Town Hohenwald movement online.
Green Business Awards
Green Business Awards have been presented to businesses in the community who practice sustainable business practices through recycling, conservation, use of green building practices or other regenerative methods.
Among those receiving the award are:
Buffalo Valley Inc. – Executive Director Jerry Risner, 931-796-4256
Tennessee Technology Center at Hohenwald – Kelli Kea-Carroll
General Assembly Academy – Administrator Debbie Landers – 931-796-4361, 161 Baker Rd. Hohenwald
Save-A-Lot Grocery Store
McDonald’s Chicken Farm – Will & Kris McDonald
Avalon Acres – Tim & Jennifer Bodnar – 931-628-2476
Mushroom People – Frank Michael – 931-964-4400
Alan Graf Law Office – Alan Graf, 931-964-3123
Positive Energy Solutions – Neil Bloomfield, 931-964-2150
Buffalo River Coffee Co. – Renee & Bart Leonard, 931-796-3887, 102 W. Main Street, Hohenwald
C&C Health Basket -Cavenet Jean – 931-796-1103, 28 N. Park Street, Hohenwald
Earth Advocates Research Farm or Our Bamboo Nursery – Adam Turtle – 931-964-4151, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Commodore Hotel & Cafe – Regional award
Country Organics, 931-306-7702
Raw Foods for Life, Linda Lagos
Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, 931-285-0088