Just a few blocks west of the gigantic new football stadium being constructed just off the Las Vegas Strip as the future home of the Las Vegas (nee Oakland) Raiders is one of the tourist destination’s best-kept secrets.
It’s the Nostalgia Street Rod Museum, where the Goldstrom family displays as much of its collection of street rods, semis, tractors and a trove of non-automotive collectibles as will fit in several buildings.
Sheri Goldstrom manages the museum, though she’d prefer spend her time like she used to, driving one of her father’s semi tractors to haul debris and deliver goods within the Las Vegas Valley.
“I’m a trucker at heart,” says the mother of three daughters and grandmother to their four children (and with a fifth on its way).
She also notes that only about 60 percent of what her parents have collected is on display in the museum’s buildings. Most of the cars are Fords that represent the favored brand of her 85-year-old (and still collecting) father, Art. But there also is a room that displays several Chevrolets, favored by her mother, Shirley, who died four years ago.
“My Mom was an amazing woman,” Sheri said.
Also amazing is the scope of the items Shirley Goldstrom collected. One of the museum’s largest buildings is filled with Shirley’s collection, or at least as much as will fit in the gymnasium-sized structure. One entire wall is covered with signed football memorabilia. Another showcases framed photographs autographed by Hollywood and TV stars. A third is full of baseball artifacts. Another features musical entertainers.
And on the floor are more displays — guitars, vintage sewing machines, Cabbage Patch dolls, some vintage gambling machines, and so much more that you could spend hours just trying to take it all in.
But this is, after all, the Nostalgia Street Rods Museum and Art Goldstrom’s collection is among the best in the world, and again is displayed in large rooms with as much to see on the walls as is parked on the floors.
For car folks, the museum is a must-see when visiting Las Vegas, but there is one thing to note: While the museum is open from 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and on weekends by appointment, all visitors — basic adult admission fee is $20, with group and local-resident discounts — are assigned a tour guide. The reason is partly security and partly the fragile nature of some of the artifacts on display.
But don’t fret. The tour guides not only will enhance the experience, but will be patient with your reluctance to move on to the next building.