Autorama Facade

Autorama Facade

Wednesday, JUNE 12 at 8:00pm EDT

John O’Leary IV: James Melton Autorama

James Melton was an accomplished tenor, appearing on radio, television, in movies, and with the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the 1950’s he was the star of the musical variety show on NBC sponsored by Ford Motor Company. And James Melton loved cars. Melton put his collection on display in Hypoluxo, Florida at the James Melton Autorama, a museum featuring nearly 100 antique automobiles in period sets, as well as a collection of toys, a giant cyclorama, and the Bernard Thomas “America the Beautiful” mural, illustrating great moments in American history.

John J. O’Leary IV has a unique connection to the James Melton Museum & Autorama. O’Leary’s wife’s grandfather (Gus Reuter of Reuter’s Coach Works) restored all the cars in Melton’s famous collection. He has spent the past decade organizing never-before-seen items such as letters, unpublished images of Melton’s cars, and other items that Melton gave to Reuter’s, like awards and signed photos. His goal is to visually re-create both the Melton Museum (1948-1953) and the James Melton Autorama (1953-1961) from old photos and other items from people who visited the Autorama decades ago.


Presented in partnership with Vernacular Architecture Forum