Cars and Cockpits: Lyon Air Museum

I’m so glad Minh reads the paper and then forwards all the interesting stuff to me. I could never sift through all the boring stuff to find the real gems, like the Cars and Cockpits event which took place at the Lyon Air Museum this last weekend (January 23).

The Lyon Air Museum is a new(ish) museum which opened not too long ago (maybe a year or two ago) on the other side of John Wayne Airport (not the terminal side). It was founded by Major General William Lyon, who wanted to educate people about World War II. What’s awesome about this museum, and which makes it very unique to other aviation museums, is that every single plane and vehicle (except one.. can’t remember which one) is COMPLETELY FUNCTIONAL. This means that any plane or vehicle (except that one that I can’t remember.. I think it’s the bread truck) in the museum can be taken out for a show, joy-ride, spin, etc. The planes and vehicles are all beautifully restored.

Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress"

Douglas DC-3 "Flagship Orange County"

1943 Japanese Rikuo Sidecar Motorcycle

1940s Divco Helms Bakery Truck

 I think the highlight of the exhibit is the 1939 Mercedes Benz Offener Touring Wagon. It’s not so amazing that it’s an old car in good, working condition.. but that it’s an actual PARADE CAR that has been ridden in by none other than Adolf Hitler himself! How many of those do you think are still around?

1939 Mercedes-Benz Model G4 Offener Touring Wagon

What’s a little bit funny about the car is that the replica wheels are made in Israel. Hitler would be rolling in his grave if he weren’t so pre-occupied burning in hell.

Something to mark your calendars for.. A-26 Fly Day on February 12, 2011. The A-26 attack bomber is the fastest aircraft in the museum’s collection, and is believed to have been flown by Howard Hughes, though they don’t have any documentation of that.

Douglas A-26 "Invader"

The museum has several kiosks and display cases with other WWII artifacts and news clippings and video reels and all sorts of information to help you learn more about WWII. There is also a 30-seat theater that plays old WWII documentaries. When we went, they were playing a video which speculates what would happen if Japan, Germany, and Italy were to win the war. It was an interesting video… but I wish I could remember the name.

ACTUAL (!!!) Pearl Harbor Telegram

Ronald Reagan, MOVIESTAR!

The “cars” part of Cars and Cockpits were the dozens of exotic luxury cars that were parked outside for the event. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many nice cars on the street before.. it was definitely a site to be seen.

I’m not big on exotic luxury cars, but Minh pointed out some cool ones.. all decked out in carbon fiber and shiny paint… Including this BRAND NEW 2012 Lexus LFA, which Minh said was only released like four months ago or something.

Where are the door handles?

I have to admit that there were some really nice cars, even though I would never want to own one. I mean.. it would be like driving around in my house.. or two or three houses. But it doesn’t hurt to look, which makes for a fun Sunday morning.

Hood Ornament from 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Sedan

Lyon Air Museum
19300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA 92707
Open Daily, 10AM – 4PM


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