Group Delphi and Early Ford V-8 Museum exhibit fabricator and museum designer

Early Ford V-8 Museum


In 1932, Henry Ford introduced the most cost-effective V-8 engine ever produced to the American market. Since that time, the early Ford V-8 vehicles have become prized possessions of collectors everywhere. Joe Floyd is one such collector. In 2017, Joe decided to donate his collection of 17 1936 Ford cars to the Early Ford V-8 Museum in Auburn, Indiana — a space that honors the history of these groundbreaking vehicles.

The expansion The Early Ford V-8 Museum committed to expanding its exhibit space by an additional 20,000 square feet to accommodate the influx of cars and the new quarter-scale replica of the infamous Ford Rotunda — a massive, gear-like structure debuted at the World’s Fair in 1933. In 2018, curators approached Group Delphi to design and build an exhibit environment worthy of such historical significance. All great experiences start with a great story, so we curated a thoughtful interpretive master plan to guide the planning, design, and fabrication process.
The Grand Reopening Every element of the newly expanded museum, including custom-designed and produced large-scale graphic elements, was thoughtfully designed to transport visitors back in time. In the rotunda exhibit space, a car sits elevated on a turnable, mimicking the scene a tourist would have encountered at the World’s Fair nearly 100 years ago. Also featured is the ever-popular Ford-O-Scope, an interactive motion-picture player customers used to watch clips of Ford cars and their features at dealerships. As Joe Floyd himself got up to give a speech at the reopening ceremony, he thanked all who came and reminisced about the time he spent collecting.
Welcome to Floyd Motors As visitors pass over the threshold, they are welcomed into a gallery featuring Floyd’s cars, their polished exteriors glimmering under the lights above. The open space features three galleries categorized as passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and parts. Art deco design elements like faux porcelain steel, metal dimensional letters, and a palm tree fill the environment with the futuristic yet tropical aesthetic that was considered so chic at the time. In the center of exhibit sits a space reminiscent of a salesperson’s office from the era.
“When I was getting ready to retire, my wife asked me, well what are you going to do? Well, I said, I’ve always liked working on old Fords. Maybe I’ll do something with that.”
- Joe Floyd

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