Pennsylvania is home to many great automobile museums. However, most of these are located within spaces built as museums and not in structures that are part of transportation history. That isn’t the case at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles in Berks County.
Boyertown Auto Body Works opened in 1872 as the Jeremiah Sweinhart Carriage Factory. They first built carriages before switching to automobile bodies in the early 20th century. The shop continued to work on automobiles until it closed in 1990.
In 1965, second-generation owner Paul Hafer opened a museum dedicated to cars made in southeastern Pennsylvania. I was surprised to learn how many automobile manufacturers and body shops had once existed in this corner of Pennsylvania, and many of the cars at the museum today have a connection to this automobile industry here.
The majority of the museum’s collection is housed in a large, open room that was once the factory floor. Dozens of vintage cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even bicycles line the museum’s floor. Each has signage indicating its history and importance in the historical records of the southeastern Pennsylvania automobile industry.