Cars, Trees & Traditions Lights Up the Holiday Season at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum

Nov 03, 2011, 12:52 ET from Walter P. Chrysler Museum

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Opening Reception, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18
  • Children's Crafts and Running Model Trains Weekends through Dec. 18
  • Chrysler-Theme Model Trains Enhance 2011 Exhibit
  • Presented by Ally and the Metro Detroit Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Ram and FIAT Superstores

The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, in Auburn Hills, Mich., will be aglow for the holidays with Cars, Trees & Traditions (CTT) Saturday, Nov. 19Friday, Dec. 30.  The exhibition opens with an adult reception on Friday evening, Nov. 18.

The seventh annual exhibit is presented by Ally and the Metro Detroit Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Ram and FIAT Superstores.

Cars, Trees & Traditions spotlights eight decades of holiday season celebrations through 23 decorated trees paired with Chrysler vehicles throughout the Museum.  Evergreens on the Museum's two top floors feature authentic ornamentation from the early 1900s through the 1980s, while those in Boss Chrysler's Garage are embellished by theme.

An array of Lionel O and O27 gauge model trains spanning several decades, from the private collection Wayne and Sue Simonson of Ray, Mich., will be featured among the displays.  Several of the box cars, produced by Weaver Ultra Line Cars, highlight current and past Chrysler brands including Dodge, Mopar®, DeSoto and Plymouth.  Others spotlight such iconic Detroit institutions as Vernor's and Stroh's.  The displays will also highlight an assortment of Plasticville buildings and structures dating back to the 1950s.

Weekend Family Fun

Weekend visits to the Museum will be especially festive with crafts and running model trains available with regular Museum admission.  Children can create two to three holiday masterpieces each Saturday from 10 a.m.2 p.m.

The Stoney Creek Model Railroad Club will be running a trio of trains on a 14' x 28' track in Boss Chrysler's Garage from 10 a.m.2 p.m. Saturdays and 2 – 4 p.m. Sundays.  Visitors can enjoy an up-close view of an array of miniature locomotives and box cars chugging through a variety of intricate urban and rural landscapes.  Among the 11 different settings will be a Chrysler-inspired vintage auto show.  A camera mounted to the front of one engine will provide a view from within the tiny towns and countryside, as well as glimpses of the audience, on a monitor adjacent to the track.

Visitors can enjoy weekend crafts and train demonstrations from Nov. 19 through Dec. 18.  Scavenger hunts of the CTT exhibition and the model train landscapes will also be available for guests to complete and submit to win a Museum gift basket or an H.O. train set, courtesy of Great Lakes Hobby and Toy in Sterling Heights.

Model Train Clinic

On Saturday, Dec. 3, the Stoney Creek Model Railroad Club will also host a model train clinic from 10 a.m.2 p.m.  Club members will work with young train lovers in creating lifelike scenery from everyday materials and provide tips to moms and dads about easy, inexpensive ways to start a model train tradition at home.

Clinic admission is $2 per person ages 5 and up with regular Museum admission.  Advance registration is available online at

CTT Opening Reception

Cars, Trees & Traditions previews Friday, Nov. 18 with an adult reception from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Guests can get into the holiday spirit with:

  • hearty hors d'oeuvre stations by 2Unique of Royal Oak, spotlighting foods rich in holiday symbolism and tradition
  • a wine tasting by Fieldstone Winery of Rochester
  • self-guided exhibition tours, complete with running trains
  • a silent auction with proceeds funding Museum field trips for local school children
  • discounts on collectibles and souvenirs in the gift shop with complimentary gift wrapping

Dress for the opening reception is business casual/holiday attire and tickets – $30 per guest / $27 per member with a cash bar – are available for advance purchase by Wednesday, November 16:

Exhibition Highlights

Cars, Trees & Traditions illustrates styles, events and products of holidays past through advertisements, graphics and images accompanying each tree, including a variety of historic photos of Detroit from the archives of Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library.

Following the exhibition's narrative from one vignette to the next, guests see how vehicle progression – from horseless carriages to enclosed, more comfortable and better engineered models – helped change the ways in which Americans celebrated the season's festivities.

The holiday exhibit will be open for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday.  The Museum is closed every Monday, as well as Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 24 and 25.

General Museum admission, which includes Cars, Trees & Traditions, is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (62 and older) and $4 for juniors (6 – 12). Children 5 years old and younger are free. Admission is $4 per person for groups of 15 or more with advance registration.

For more about the Walter P. Chrysler Museum and Cars, Trees & Traditions – visit

About the CTT Sponsors

About Ally Financial

Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC Inc.) is one of the world's largest automotive financial services companies. The company offers a full suite of automotive financing products and services in key markets around the world. Ally's other business units include mortgage operations and commercial finance, and the company's subsidiary, Ally Bank, offers retail banking products. With approximately $179 billion in assets as of June 30, 2011, Ally operates as a bank holding company.  For more information, visit the Ally media site at or follow Ally on Twitter: @ally.

The Metro Detroit Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Ram and FIAT Superstores represent 42 independently owned dealerships throughout Southeast Michigan, from Monroe to Fowlerville and Clinton to Port Huron.  To research a new Chrysler Group vehicle by brand and to locate a specific Detroit area superstore, visit:

SOURCE Walter P. Chrysler Museum