Best-selling author Clive Cussler was an archaeologist and deep sea specialist known for adventure novels, thrillers, and non-fiction books about dozens of underwater shipwrecks he personally explored. He was also the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Short biographies of Clive Cussler can be found at biblio.com/clive-cussler and at numa.net/clive-cussler-2. He also maintained a Facebook page for approximately 300,000 followers.
Known especially for his adventurous Dirk Pitt character, popular books by Clive Cussler are listed here: cusslerbooks.com/clive-cussler-books.php.
Clive Cussler had a home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, for many years and passed away in 2020.
A vintage car enthusiast since childhood, Cussler founded the Cussler Museum in Arvada, Colorado, to showcase his beautiful car collection to the public, May-September. It is the only automotive museum on our list of literary landmarks nationwide and is conveniently located near Denver.
Though not originally from Colorado, Cussler adopted it as his home and selected it for his museum based partly on this memory: “…when driving through the Colorado countryside, my wife, Barbara, said, ‘Look! There’s a 1946 Ford club coupe like I had in high school.’ The car was sitting in the front of a farm with a For Sale sign on it. I paid $400 for it and drove it home, where my son and I restored it in the street. This was the first car of my collection. It still sits among the more exceptional additions that came through the years.” You can read more of his thoughts about car-collecting at cusslermuseum.com/message.
Many vintage car fans live or visit this region and stories are a natural part of car collecting. The Rocky Mountain Car Club has more than 600 members. The above photo of a 1929 Chevrolet was shot in New Mexico when the proud owner offered our film-maker a whirl. The car is the same type as one owned by the grandfather of the owner of this vehicle.
Vintage car restoration has escalated in popularity and has been the focus for television reality shows, such as FantomWorks and daily rentals through Driveshare.
On the Path
The Cussler Museum is the fifth stop on the Colorado Author Adventures Trail.