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Out and about

Car enthusiasts, families welcome to tour antique museum

Published:   |   Updated: September 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

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ODESSA - Pasco families are once again invited to "Cook's Antique & Classic Car Museum Tour" to view a collection of rare, vintage automobiles dating back to a 1915 Studebaker and representing every decade through the 1980s.

Owner Jim Cook will offer free tours of the museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Component General Inc., 2445 Success Drive, Odessa, where it is attached to his warehouse. He first opened his private collection to the public in 2011.

The open house will benefit the Foundation for Early Learning in Pasco and Hernando Counties Inc., raising awareness about the 501(c)(3) nonprofit group aimed at quality early childhood education.

Cook sits on the foundation's board and will be accepting donations to benefit the foundation's programs, which provide preschool teachers, home-schooling parents and other educators with ideas and materials.

Otherwise, admission and refreshments - including popcorn, ice cream, water, soda, cookies and cake - are free.

"We keep the event free for everyone because when you start charging for services, you limit families that can come," Jim Cook said, referring to families with multiple children or a limited budget. "Everyone should get to experience our history."

Cook grew up in Texarkana, Texas, did a stint in the military and then earned a degree in electrical engineering through the G.I. Bill.

His company, Component General, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-power electrical components.

Last year, 580 families visited Cooks' facility to experience the progress of American culture and hear the history behind automobiles from 1915 to 1986. As an additional treat, there is collection of antique radios, cameras and other items of interest from throughout the years.

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