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1966 red mustang inside Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

Learn the History of the Mustang at the Gale Halderman Mustang Museum

You'll be Ford by all that you learn when you visit this Tipp City museum.

1966 Mustang at Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City

Learn the History of the Mustang at the Gale Halderman Mustang Museum

By Nick Dekker

Posted On: Nov 7, 2022

Who knew that Ohio had such a strong connection to one of the most iconic cars in the country? In Tipp City you can reserve a time to tour the Gale Halderman Mustang Museum, a space dedicated to the history of the Ford Mustang and the culture that's grown up around it.

framed draft design fro 1964 mustang car from Gale Halderman

The museum bears the name of its founder, Gale Halderman, who in 1964 drafted the first design for the now-legendary look of the Mustang. Halderman worked for Ford for 40 years, having a hand in many of its vehicles in the late 20th century.

Over the years, Halderman collected cars and memorabilia, and dedicated a barn on his family's long-time Tipp City farm to storing and showcasing everything. The museum has since grown to multiple modern barns all connected together, and while Halderman passed in 2020, his daughter Karen has taken the reins.

two ford mustangs with racing stripes down front inside Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

The museum is open by reservation only, so to book a tour you need to reach out through their website. But the museum also hosts a number of public events featuring Mustangs and other vehicles; enthusiasts travel from all across the region to show off their classic cars. Keep an eye on the museum's Facebook page to learn more about these gatherings.

person in pink shirt standing behind model t car at Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

Vehicles in the museum itself sometimes rotate, as a few are on loan from different owners, but at any given time you'll find cars that span the years, so you get a good sense of how the Mustang has changed since its inception in 1964. On our last visit, we spotted 1965 and 1966 Mustangs, plus new models from the late 70s, the 90s, and the 2010s. They even have Model T and Model A Fords!

wall of ford car memorabilia at Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

In addition to the cars, every square inch of wall space is dedicated to memorabilia, from model cars to posters, historic photographs to toys, vintage signs to some of Halderman's pieces from his career at Ford. You could spend hours browsing through it all. Karen also helpfully talks you through important pieces as she takes you through the museum.

exhibit case of cameras at Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

On top of that, Halderman was an avid collector of cameras, and one long room near the front of the barn features glass cases filled to overflowing with vintage cameras, recorders, and other equipment. You could spend a day-long visit just in that room!

1965 red mustang ford car at Gale Halderman Mustang Museum in Tipp City Ohio

The nondescript white museum barn is a must-visit for any car aficionado. It offers a fascinating look at automotive history, and how one Ohioan contributed some of the century's most iconic designs.

For more motorsports and unique museums, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.

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