Charlotte Harbor Gulf Islands. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

Charlotte Harbor Gulf Islands. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

Some road trips happen on foot. Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, does for certain.

That’s southwest Florida, the southernmost friendly little town in the string of Gulf Islands framing Charlotte Harbor.

Plenty to share about harbor cruises and bicycle touring, fresh seafood and stellar cuisine, kayaking and nature adventures — but focus on road tripping first.

237 high-performance highly polished GM vehicles gleam throughout the 99,000 square feet of this museum.

Rumble seat open in the 1933 Chevrolet Roadster, so connecting me to my dear departed Mother who told so many stories about her rumble seat years.

Rumble seat 1933 Chevy. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

Rumble seat 1933 Chevy. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

I cried a smidge, gazing at that car. How desperately I wanted to be able to ask her if the tires on the1926 roadster next to the rumble seater matched her father’s – the one they stuffed grass into to pump it up when the tire went flat.

Take the kids on this road trip to share generational stories with real-deal examples.

Leave ‘em there too perhaps because Muscle Car City embraces this mission: “Inspire the kids to love cars.”  Owner and collector Rick Treworgy initiated a youth mentoring program involving youngsters with museum tasks relating to his vehicles.  Call first.

Memories belonged to me when I found the 1966 Pontiac GTO. That’s my high school graduation year.

The fire truck from by birth year, 1948, seemed more old-fashioned than I felt good about, but this walking road trip turned into a personal life-history time line.

80 years of makes and models

80 years of makes and models. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

Family stories resonated with other people too. Heard Dads saying to sons, “That’s what I drove when your mom and I married.” Grandfathers to youngsters, “I used parts like that to repair my cars.”

RVing road trip families ought to picture themselves in the 1928 vehicle called a gypsy wagon: stained glass windows, red oak body and a sign declaring it to be “a piece of art you can drive.” 15 miles per gallon top speed.

For $48,888 I could have bought a 1957 Thunderbird convertible like my Uncle Bill drove in my New Jersey hometown.

Eras of hood ornaments

Eras of hood ornaments. Photo credit: Christine Tibbetts / Blended Family TravelingMom.

Do your kids know about running boards? Maybe on a pickup truck with oversize tires? At Muscle City Car, I was tempted to do a photo shoot of running boards on shiny green Cadillacs and other luxury cars.

The collection spans 80 years of classic cars and hot rods, not all on display at the same time.

Allow several hours even if you don’t have a life-long love affair with cars. Family memories guaranteed to surface.