Ropkey Museum shuts down

RAMCoverAs of the end of July, 2017, the Ropkey Museum in Crawfordsville Indiana has permanently closed its doors.  Housing one of the largest collections of military vehicles in the country, the museum was the work of Frederick Noble Ropkey Jr.  Mr. Ropkey, a tank platoon commander during the Korean War, passed away in November 2013, leaving the museum to his wife Lani.  After keeping the museum open for four years following his death, Mrs. Ropkey has decided it is time to close the museum.  According to an article from the Crawfordsville Journal Review, the contents of the museum are being shipped to other museums across the country.

Journal Review article excerpt:

Fred Ropkey’s favorite World War II-era Sherman tank will soon roll out of the building housing his renown collection of restored military vehicles, but a “for sale” sign doesn’t tell the entire story of closing the Ropkey Armor Museum.

It’s the story of a Marine who took a single scout car and built the world’s largest private collection of military tactical vehicles. And it’s the tale of a city girl who followed her husband to the countryside, taking on his passion for preserving Armed Forces heritage.

Now almost four years after Fred’s death, his widow, Lani, feels she has honored his commitment.

The museum hosted its final visitors last weekend and Lani is moving home to Indianapolis, where she’s ready to find her own life’s passion.

Read the full Journal Review article here.

To view photos of the Ropkey Museum collection, check out this SmugMug gallery by photographer Paul Hannah.


  1. I was lucky enough to visit before he died. You could tell it was a labor of love.


  2. One of the finest collections, in a beautiful intimate setting. It will be missed.


  3. My dad knew fred, when I went there a few years ago they talked for an hour while i walked around and looked, Fred pretended to throw a snake st me from one of the trucks because i asked why it had a “danger, snakes” sign on it.
    I miss that place.


  4. Peter Nash says:

    Me and three fellow Brits were there in July 2013, he wanted to know whether we had come to ‘steal’ his exhibits. Typical Military Style humour.
    We were told he had cancer then.

    RIP Fred


  5. Jack Cahill says:

    I was a crew member that belonged to the Huey Gunship The Cobras . where is the Huey going ? I’m sad to see it close. I was planning to come over next week.


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