Fort Lauderdale’s Antique Car Museum

1000 643 Tim Breaseale

7 tips for photographing in a museum or inside a historical building

Click on any image to enlarge

I’m not a South Florida native and still new to the area, so I’m still on watch for cool places to visit.  I love finding hidden gems, especially when it’s a cool place that’s off the beaten path.  If you are in the area and love cars, you have to check out the  Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum.  This museum was founded by Arthur O. Stone.  Arthur was an avid Packard collector, and he started the collection back in the 1940’s.  All of the Packard’s in the museum are fully functional and were driven by Arthur up until his death in 2010 at the age of 89.

The 28,000 square foot museum houses thousands of pieces of memorabilia.  There are old dashboard clocks, rare carburetors, period side lamps, gear shift knobs and plenty more.  On this trip I didn’t want to be weighted down with a big bulky camera, so I took my little Olympus point-and-shoot (read about that camera).  There is so much to photograph at this museum.  If you want to rent the building out for an event or private function, you can do that too.  The museum comes complete with a bar area.

I like to tweak my shots.  Some I desaturated, others I converted to black & white.  I made sure I just got a good clean exposure.  The room had harsh directional light, so my exposures were very long.  With long exposures it’s good to have a steady hand or a tripod.  If you’re not steady, then your images can come out a little blurry.  Since I did not have a tripod, I ended up placing the camera on the ground or propping it up on a shelf or bumper (shh, don’t tell).  The museum was a great family outing on a hot summer’s day (yes, they had nice air conditioning).

This is one of the fancy hood ornaments.  In their time, Packard’s were considered America’s Rolls Royce of automobile’s.




This is a collection of gear shift knobs.  I would like to have a fancy shifter knob in my old pick-up truck.



1925 7 Passenger Phaeton




Now, if anyone knows what this is, let me know.  I know it’s some form of camera.  How it was used..?????  I don’t know.





This is one of my favorites at the museum.  A tow truck.  This truck is spotless and fully restored.  It has a better paint job than my truck.

1909 Packard Speedster




















This was my favorite of all the Packard’s.  A 1939 12 Cylinder all weather Convertible Victoria.  I could really see myself cruising up and down the beach in this sweet ride.

Some museums do not allow photography, flash photography, or the use of tripods.  When at the museum, ask the staff to make sure what they allow in terms of photography.  Shooting in low light or in areas that have mixed lighting can be difficult, so here are some of my tips.

  • When at the museum, ask the staff to make sure what they allow in terms of photography.  Better yet, call ahead of time to help prepare yourself.
  • Use a higher ISO setting.  Small cameras are getting better and better for low light situations.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  You don’t want that huge, bulky backpack to knock over a very important breakable object.  I usually only take one camera with one lens.
  • Be patient.  There will always be someone getting in your way.
  • Be courteous to others visiting the area, that’s where using your patience help.
  • Use a tripod if you can.  I usually don’t take one to places that are small or confined and most museums don’t allow them.  I use anything around to prop my camera on and use a self timer.  The floor, table, rock, tire, bumper, shelf, bench, chair, and even a camera bag.
  • Have fun!!!

I hope that these tips will help.  Now go out and take some pictures!

Museum is located at:  1527 SW 1st Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315. For more information: