Terrill Antique Car Museum
500 N. Texas St
De Leon, Texas 76444
Tuesday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - Noon
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday | 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
De Leon is a peanut country south of I 20 on Hwy 16. There are also peaches, melons, oil, gas, and cattle. And there are old cars!
The railroad crossing in the heart of town recalls a time when locomotives hauled the area's harvest to outside markets. Everything that goes out now, goes by truck. The old train depot is just a reminder now, but sometime in the future will be made into a museum.
Up the street a few blocks, there is another recollection, but the history in the Terrill Antique Car Museum goes well beyond the limits of this agricultural community.
The 1901 Coffin steam Carriage that rests there was brought to De Leon by Feltz Terrill, a local peanut farmer, after is spent the majority of its life in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.
The Coffin is a two-cylinder steam-driven engine with a pilot light, boiler, water and steam pressure gauges, and a chain drive.
It cost Howard Earle Coffin about $400 to make. He made only one and this is it.
Feltz Terrill is retired now, though he still dabbles with antique cars. His son Feltz Jr., runs the museum as well as Terrill Machine Shop, which supplies parts for antique cars.
Feltz Terrill Jr. purchased the small building on De Leon's main thoroughfare as a warehouse for his parts company and little by little the thought of developing a museum took over his plans.
“We kinda like to mess with the odd car,” Feltz said as he walked through the small museum. As evidence, he pointed to a 1909 Brush, a one-cylinder car with wooden axles. It has carbide lights and a generator. There are ten cars now and maybe room for a couple more.
Every car has a national or international connection. One of Feltz's favorites is the 1925 Ford Model T Touring. This is the first one he got when he was 15. It was in bad shape out in his uncle's pasture. His Uncle Henry bought it in 1946 and courted his Aunt Sue in it. New the car cost $375.
There is a stately-looking 1909 Buick Model 10 Toy Tonneau that looks nothing like a toy. The REO Speedwagon is more than a rock band. It is actually a truck, and a sturdy one at that. REO, named for Ransom Eli Olds, started making trucks in 1909. It set the standard for power, durability, and quality workmanship. They were used for fire trucks, tow trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks, busses, hearses, and ambulances. With the nearly indestructible Gold Crown engine, REO trucks were used for the hardest tasks on and off the road.
One of the most stunning cars at the museum is the red 1941 Packard DeLuxe Convertible Coupe. It has been in the Peach & Melon Parade and rented for weddings. It was Feltz Sr.'s first restoration project and came on a trailer in boxes.
The trend now is to restore “muscle cars” of the 1960s & 70s - the Corvettes and Mustangs. The cars we used to drive to swap meets looking for parts are the ones being collected now. The cars we have in the Museum are going by the wayside. Come and see our collection - No Charge.
- 1901 Coffin Steam Carriage-only one made
- 1909 Buick Model 10 Toy Tonneau
- 1909 Brush Runabout One Cylinder
- 1915 REO Speedwagon 3/4 Ton
- 1916 Maxwell Model 25 Town Car
- 1917 Crow-Elkhart Leaf Roadster
- 1925 Ford Model T Touring
- 1927 Star Roadster Model M
- 1929 Ford Model A Roaster
- 1931 Studebaker Regal Touring
- 1941 Packard Convertible Couple