Manuel Carillo III
If you ever find yourself traveling along Route 66 in New Mexico, look up the Lewis Antique Auto & Toy Museum in your phone or navigation system, and then click on “directions to here”. “Museum” is a generous term for this automotive exhibition of rusting metal… At first glance, you think the Lewis Museum is nothing more than an abandoned junk yard. A closer look, however, reveals this place has a cool assortment of vehicles, and if anything, the museum’s “wasteland” appearance only adds to its appeal.
The force behind the Lewis Antique Auto & Toy Museum is Archie Lewis, a man who has been collecting for 60 years. Step inside his warehouse, and you’ll find 40 cars in better shape than the 700 vehicles sitting in the junkyard-turned-museum outside. The warehouse is also home to 6,000 toy trucks, trains and cars.
Back outside you’ll find a healthy assortment of vintage Ford trucks built from 1920 to 1960. Don’t worry about Lewis’s outdoor collection rusting to oblivion. New Mexico’s dry weather preserves these vehicles more than you’d think, and many of them can still be restored.