Get under the hood at the Henry Ford

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Dearborn – — Before the media glare turns toward Detroit during the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the Henry Ford Museum for the first time lifts the hoods of several of the cars in its automotive collection.

"Engines Exposed," opened Saturday and runs through March 15 at the museum said Matt Anderson, the museum's curator of transportation.

"It's been five years since we've done a program like this," said Anderson. "And as most visitors know, usually all the hoods are closed on our cars. It is rare to get a chance to look at these engines."

There are more than 40 vehicles in the exhibit, including the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, the 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan, the 1936 Lincoln Zephyr and the 1916 Woods Dual Hybrid Coupe.

Anderson said the exhibit is a nice tie-in with the Auto Show, which opens to the public Jan. 17 at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. He hopes Auto Show-goers might make a detour to The Henry Ford Museum for "Engines Exposed."

One of the most popular beauties in the exhibit is the 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale said Anderson.

A fan of the elegant Bugatti is Jay Drouillard, who was enjoying the exhibit with his wife, daughter and son-in-law on Saturday.

Drouillard, of Grass Lake, is a retired patent attorney who worked for Ford. He said he has fond memories of coming to the museum as a child and enjoying the vast automotive collection.

Arnelle Drouillard, left, 65, and her husband, Jay Drouillard, center-right, 66, both of Grass Lake, talk with their daughter, Lauren Marquette, center-left, 30, and her husband, Scott Marquette, right, 32, both of Dearborn, as they stand near the 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale.

"I have been coming here for at least 62 years, I am 66," said Drouillard. "My dad was a teacher in Ecorse. He had four kids and had no money. He'd bring the kids here on Sundays in the winter."

Drouillard said he remembers running from car to car on the world's largest teak floor and credits his love of the automobile to those frequent visits to the museum.

"I built a replica of a 1966 Shelby 427 S/C roadster, with a 8 liter Ford engine," said Drouillard. "I still have it sitting on a four-post hoist, enshrined in our garage."

He said the Viper Red roadster took fours years to complete.

Bob Graban of Livonia was snapping pictures of the exhibit's light blue 1951 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe.

"My dad owned cars like that Studebaker," said Graban, an engineer, who worked for GM for 40 years.

Graban said his father also owned a 1958 Edsel which he bought used at a good price and then sold for scrap and a 1955 Chevy.

The museum is offering visitors the chance to hear more about the vehicles in the collection through special presentations in its Douglas Drive-in Theater. And there are hands-on events for young auto enthusiasts.

(313) 222-2613

Engines Exposed

Saturday- March 15

Admission to the exhibit is free with Henry Ford Museum ticket

Tickets: $15-$18; free for children 4 and younger

Parking: $6 per vehicle

The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; call (800) 835-5237 or visit