2 Costumed historians look at an antique car

Saturday, June 9, 2018 – Sunday, June 10, 2018

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

Cost: Included with daytime admission, a season pass, or Village membership

Old Sturbridge Village salutes the history of transportation in New England. Beginning with the Village’s annual antique car rally, dozens of automobiles from 1946 and earlier will be displayed on the Village’s common on Saturday, June 9. There will be an assortment of pre-1946 cars representing a variety of makes and models including steam engine cars. On Sunday, June 10, there will be antique carriages in the Village. Throughout the weekend, guests can take wagon rides or a boat ride (additional fee applies to the boat rides).

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

See schedule for Saturday, June 9

See schedule for Sunday, June 10

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.