ELIZABETH, Colo. — In a country as big as America, some of the niftiest things can go unnoticed. One man turned a childhood moment into a museum and proved you don't have to leave a small town to dream big.
Terry Gale is no stranger to driving around and that may seem obvious by the hundreds of cars on his property. Rambler Ranch all started with a single vehicle.
“Here’s a picture of my dad’s car. That’s the day I drove it to Denver. I was probably around 25-ish," Gale said. “Sitting out there, all rusty, out for 18 years outside, to the beautiful piece of art that it is today.”
Gale’s dad's car could have ended up in a landfill, but instead, it started one of the world’s greatest automotive collections hiding in rural Colorado.
“Nowhere in the world is there a museum for this company," Gale said. “Well, I thought, 'Here’s something I can do that no one in the world has done.'”
Unlike any other car museum, Rambler Ranch takes the experience a step further.
“I appreciate vintage things and older things because I think we’re such a disposable society today," Gale said.
The museum in Elizabeth, Colorado, boasts a collection of Nash Motors Company vehicles, but also 60 other vehicle manufacturers, appliances, memorabilia, and even fashion.
“It’s a shock to everybody that comes out here," Gale said. “When they come here, they always say, 'You’ve got to see it to understand it.'”
There are surprises at every corner, including an incredible wardrobe and vintage collection. It was all waiting for the right creative director and that's when Daniel Green stepped in.
“Terry had a lot of mannequins on display, but they were not up to par with the way his cars were being displayed," Green said. “I came on a tour at the ranch. I saw a lot of creative possibilities here.”
He has brought big Hollywood glamour to the forefront of Rambler’s ranch.
“The creative process is simple. It’s play, you know, simply play, experiment. You can’t go wrong and with being creative. There are no wrong answers," Green said. “We are in the wardrobe department at the Rambler Ranch behind the scenes. You gotta check out my wig room in here. This is where I get weird a little bit. I get weird everywhere.”
Each piece and creation brings these mannequins to life, which creates a more realistic setting for the cars.
“With a little bit of styling, perhaps a little bit of hairspray, and sort of bridge the world of car and fashion, because they happened in the same moments quite often," Green said.
“The dress on this mannequin is the actual dress she wore when she was crowned Miss America," Gale said. “Those are the little details that just give me goosebumps to think about."
Daniel never realized glamour and glitz could exist like this in rural America, but now he knows it can.
“You just think you have to go to Hollywood to produce, to make it big or to achieve your dreams. But you can kind of make your dreams happen anywhere. It’s what you do with what you have," Green said. “I never imagined that I would be out in the rural countryside of Colorado, living my mini Hollywood dream. I never saw it coming, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
He’s a huge reason why this eclectic oasis wows visitors over and over.
“This wow, just like, it gives me goosebumps to think about it, actually. That does it for me too, when I see their enthusiasm," Gale said.
“To show personality through what someone chooses to wear I think is powerful and it creates such dynamic. You can just like get a sense of somebody the way they are presenting themselves and that is the same with these characters here," Green said.
Most of the time the buildings are quiet, but the stories are much louder than you can imagine.
“Anything can happen anywhere," Green said.