2 Costumed historians look at an antique car

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Times: The Village is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: Included with standard daytime admission, a season pass, or Village membership. SAVE $2.50 per Adult, Senior, or Youth standard daytime admission ticket by purchasing your tickets online instead of at the door! Cannot be combined with other discounts.

Buy Daytime Admission Tickets

When Old Sturbridge Village first opened in 1946, it wasn’t just a walking Village, it was a driving Village! Every June, the Village salutes its early heritage with an annual Antique Car Rally featuring dozens of automobiles from 1946 and earlier.

If you are interested in participating with your antique automobile or carriage, please contact Jim O’Brien.

Classic Cars Evoke America’s Post-World War II Drive-Through Culture

Car in Village - sometime in the 1940sToday people are often surprised to learn that when Old Sturbridge Village first opened in 1946, it wasn’t just a walking Village — it was a driving Village. Visitors could actually drive their cars into the Village and tour by auto, motoring past the Blacksmith Shop and around the Common to view its historic stores, shops, homes, and churches.

What seems odd now was perfectly normal in post-World War II America. During the war, gasoline was rationed, and automobile production ceased as factories turned out Jeeps, planes, and tanks. After these wartime deprivations, there was pent-up demand for all kinds of consumer goods — especially cars. The country embraced the drive-through culture, and Americans loved their new automobiles.

Auto-touring at Old Sturbridge Village was short-lived, however, due to rising attendance at the Village, and ceased in 1949. But OSV visitors still love antique and classic cars, and the Village salutes its early heritage by hosting its annual Antique Car Rally for autos from 1946 and earlier.