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Montana Auto Museum in Deer Lodge, MT

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

On our last trip to the East Coast it seems we blew right by a museum in Deer Lodge, Montana, that houses a GPW of some vintage. I ran across a reference to the jeep last night, but couldn’t find a picture until tonight. There also might be a jeep wagon, but I can’t confirm it.

The Montana Auto Museum is located in the Old Montana Prison Complex (1106 Main Street
Deer Lodge, MT 59722), which houses five unique museums inside its historic prison walls. The complex includes the Old Montana Prison, Powell County Museum, Frontier Montana Museum, Yesterday’s Playthings and the Montana Auto Museum. The complex is run by the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation. One fee covers all five museums.

The “USA Today” once listed the collection, which totals over 100 vehicles, as one of the top ten must-see auto museums in the country. Here’s one ‘non-car’ person who really enjoyed the place.

I found photos of the GPW at Brian DeFree’s Flickr site:


Here are some additional photos:

montana-auto-museum-gpw4 montana-auto-museum-gpw3 montana-auto-museum-gpw2

Shannon Shorg has even more photos, but none of the GPW. Here is a picture of a couple dune buggies though.




3 Comments on “Montana Auto Museum in Deer Lodge, MT

  1. glennstin

    I visited this old Montana Prison Museum back in the 80’s. Then it was essentially one of the best Flathead V-8 Ford displays called The Towe Ford Collection. (Might have the name wrong) Later the heart of the collection was moved to Sacramento, I believe, perhaps involving a tax issue. Seems like now the locals have picked up the cause to utilize the space. I remember especially one old tattered mid thirties Right Hand Drive Ford Phaeton was on display which Mr. Towe had driven himself up from South America. Great site for a museum and glad to hear it has survived these horrible times for all museums.

  2. Deilers

    You have the name right. Towe lost the collection due, but friends and supporters bought most (all?) of the collection, turning it into the current museum.

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