Fischer holds plans for museum

Adam Larck
Don Liddle poses with his 1954 Oldsmobile Super 88.

Besides working on his 1929 Oldsmobile collection, Phil Fischer has also amassed various other cars throughout the years.

Included in the collection is a car owned by a World Series champion and even a car featured in a TV series, although it is not in as good as condition as it once was.

‘The Untouchables’ car

In 1959, “The Untouchables” started a four-year run on TV focusing on the Untouchables as they fought crime in Chicago.

Fischer distinctly remembers one of the earlier episodes in the series, where a snow plow rammed through an Oldsmobile, completely destroying it.

A few years ago, Fischer found the car in a magazine.

“It was advertised in ‘Old Cars Weekly,’” he said. “All it said was, ‘Seriously Stoved In.’ I thought,  ‘What the hell does that mean?’”

So, Fischer called the seller out of interest at the time, not knowing the cars television background.

After finding out it was a ‘28 Olds 4-door sedan coupe, he asked what “seriously stoved in” meant. That’s when he found out the seller had bought it from a lot of movie cars that were being auctioned in Chicago.

“The Untouchables” car is the only one in the lot that remained stateside. The rest were bought by a Japanese company and shipped overseas to be displayed.

As for the selling price, Fischer actually acquired the car without paying a cent. The seller was also looking for Model A parts at the time, which Fischer happened to have to do a trade.

Getting it to Metamora from Michigan, though, proved to be a tougher matter.

Fischer said the car had been hit so hard with the snow plow that it had dog-tracked, meaning the back end no longer lined up with the front end.

To even get it on the trailer, he had to bounce it to align it. After making the trip back to Metamora, he had to bounce it again to get it off the trailer.

Currently, the car still sits destroyed at Fischer’s house. However, he said he wants to eventually get it restored and put it in a room themed around the TV series.

The museum

While Fischer still collects cars, he also has a dream of what to do with the cars he already has.

“I’m looking to build a museum,” he said. “It will be called the Decade Museum, and ’50s Diner.”

He added that the diner would be attached to the museum to help bring a bit of profit for bills and other expenses. The museum itself would be non-for-profit, with investors owning the building.

Inside the museum, there would be 10 different decades on display, each with items from the era, some vehicles and a TV screen showing major stories that happened during those years.

The decades would also have a pathway based on what was walked on at the time, such as gravel (a synthetic kind) or concrete.

“I already have more than half of the inventory for the museum,” Fischer said.

For his ‘29 Olds, he has something special planned.

He plans on building an Oldsmobile Showroom to display the Oldsmobiles, complete with an authentic 1929 reception desk, plastic plants and more. The showroom would feature some cars in the shop and even a part shop, where Fischer would actually sell parts to interested buyers.

Currently the plan of the museum is still in the early stages, as Fischer is trying to figure out good spots for the museum.

On a national level, he knows that it would have to be located in a destination location, such as Branson, near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or other locations that draw a crowd.

However, locally, there could be a place as close as East Peoria.

“If local, I haven’t researched it enough yet, but there is a place here that would work, and it’s the old Wal-Mart down in East Peoria,” he said. “That building is almost big enough. I don’t know who the people are that own that thing, but it is available for lease.”

His biggest goal with the museum is to make sure it runs at least until he is gone, although he would love to see it run forever.