Hostetler’s Hudson Collection has received a 90-day reprieve from the possible auctioning off of what many consider to be the nation’s best collection of cars produced by the historic American automaker.
A group known as the Friends of the Shipshewana Hudson Automobile Museum were granted a 90-day extension last week, town manager Bob Shanahan told ClassicCar News.
“They’ve asked for a 90-day extension and it was granted,” Shanahan said. “They are trying to put together in more detail a comprehensive financial plan to relieve the town and the Hudson museum board from the fiscal responsibility of running the museum.”
The museum was based on the Hudson collection of the late Eldon Hostetler, who died last year. His widow, Esta, died in May 2017. Almost immediately, there was talk of closing the museum and selling off the cars, especially with the loss of some $150,000 a year in support from the county’s innkeeper tax.
Shipshewana is a community of less than 1,000 residents in northwestern Indiana but has built a strong tourist industry based on its Amish and Mennonite heritage.
Without that money, the museum would be hard-pressed to remain open based on its annual income of less than $25,000 from visitor admissions. Meanwhile, the car collection has been appraised at more than $4 million.
“The cars were given as a legacy gift to this community, and it is my intent, and my belief and my hope that we can keep those cars here in the town of Shipshewana,” Friends leader and local business owner Joanna King told the Goshen (Ind.) News.
But, she added, “We do not want the museum to be a tax burden to the residents of Shipshewana.”