The Beller Museum, in an unmarked warehouse at 275 Rocbaar Drive in Romeoville, contains the private collection or Jordon Beller, a collector of 1928-1932 Ford vehicles.
Of the 80 vehicles in the collection – with even more “suffering from lack of parts,” Beller said in a news release from the Village of Romeoville –. 44 of those vehicles run.
The exhibit attracts people from all over the world. Rarities include a ’32 open cab pickup truck, ’32 panel truck, and ‘31 ambulance.
“They’re rare because they didn’t survive or Ford didn’t make many to begin with,” Beller said in the release. “Some are rare because people modified them to something they weren’t, like a race car, so to find one that is untouched and original, that’s very uncommon.”
This is the case with one of his ’32 Ford Roadsters: original and unmodified. The collection includes a hot rod built by famous World War II era builders Wes Cooper and Kong Jackson, as well as a fire truck, fuel truck, tow truck and the first car he ever bought as a 14 year old.
In addition to the cars, there is a 25,000 piece library containing newspaper pages with every Ford ad ever printed from 1927-1932, magazine ads both foreign and domestic, speed books, body books, part books, and instruction books.
All Ford. Buy why Ford?
“I don’t know. I started with it. That was my first car,” Beller said in the release. “To this day I think that 1932 was the year some of the most beautiful cars were built.”
His 1932 license plate collection is a tribute to that year, containing plates from all 48 states (Alaska and Hawaii wouldn’t be states for another 27 years).
“We can give visitors a good idea of what we know about the cars so they can add to their smarts,” Beller said in the news release “We can debunk some myths or add new stories they haven’t heard.
"If we have an engine taken apart, we’ll show them that. We’ll show them how we fix the engines so they can be used, preserved, or put on display. Whatever we feel you can handle, need, or want, we’ll try and fulfill it. That’s what we do."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Beller Museum
WHEN: By appointment 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
WHERE: 275 Rocbaar Drive, Romeoville
INFORMATION: Call 331-888-1225 and make an appointment. Visit bellermuseum.com.