Near my home in the Midwest there are many auto museums to visit, but other parts of the United States have some awesome museums with classic cars as well.
Here’s a look at nine of the nation’s top auto museums (in no particular order).
1. Northeast Classic Car Museum
Norwich, New York
For nearly 25 years, the Northeast Classic Car Museum has shared the history of automobile production in New York State, including the Pierce-Arrow automobile. Other exhibits show vehicles from the end of the 19th century. There are nearly 200 vehicles on display, including Duesenbergs, Studebakers, and the world’s largest collection of Franklin models. You can also check out the museum’s collection of tractors and motorcycles.
2. Gilmore Car Museum
Hickory Corners, Michigan
For a unique experience, head to Hickory Corners, Michigan, about a 30-minute drive north of Kalamazoo. The Gilmore Car Museum is home to one of the largest car collections in the United States, with over 300 classic cars on display. Travel back in time admiring everything from early cars and 1950s jalopies to hot rods and muscle cars. Revisit the Dust Bowl era with cars and trucks from the 1920s and 1930s. Discover a dark chapter in American history on the Green Book Tour, which chronicles how people of color must have traveled across the United States During the segregation.
3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Arguably the country’s most famous auto race, the Indianapolis 500 is a Memorial Day weekend staple. Located on the track grounds, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum tells the story of motor racing from its beginnings to the present day. A visit to the museum offers a real walk through history, with vintage racing cars from each racing year. Besides the Indy-style cars, you’ll find racing outfits, engines, and other cool items related to the Indy 500. And you’ll see other racing cars, including NASCARs and off-road vehicles. For an additional fee, you can take a tour of the race track.
4. National Automobile Museum
With 200 classic cars on display, the Reno National Automobile Museum will brighten up any car lover’s day. It is home to automobiles that were once owned by celebrities like Lana Turner, Al Jolson, Mary Pickford and Sammy Davis Jr. V Special Extension Coupe. Some of the museum’s cars have appeared in films such as Titanic and Rebel without cause. The museum is also home to the 1907 Thomas Flyer, which won the 1908 New York to Paris Race. The National Automobile Museum hosts special exhibitions throughout the year.
5. Lane Motor Museum
A 1955 MG TF led to the establishment of the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. As a teenager, Jeff Lane restored the classic car. It was the start of a collection that he would end up donating to the museum that would bear his name. Since 2002, the Lane Motor Museum has housed the largest exhibition of European cars in the United States – from the more familiar Volkswagen Beetle to a 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider. Visitors will see rare cars like a 1922 British ABC, one of the 1,500 units produced. It’s a large collection, and not all of the items are on display at the same time, you might want to come back soon.
6. National Corvette Museum
Bowling Green, Kentucky
In addition to housing beautiful Corvettes, the National Corvette Museum is perhaps best known for its 2014 sinkhole. On the night of February 12, 2014, a sinkhole engulfed eight of the classic sports cars. Instead of scrapping damaged vehicles, the museum created an exhibit – the Corvette Cave-in – showing the damaged Corvettes. If you prefer your sports cars in pristine condition, you’ll love exploring the museum’s other exhibits featuring the Corvette. the Skydome generations The exhibit features one Corvette from each generation, so you can see the Corvettes of your parents and grandparents. the Nostalgia zone features vintage Corvettes in displays that resemble Route 66 and a historic downtown. Since multiple Corvettes are on loan, you will be able to see different cars on a future visit.
7. Petersen Automobile Museum
Los Angeles, California
The next time you’re in Los Angeles, skip the beach and check out vintage cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum. There are over 150 cars, motorcycles and trucks on display in 25 galleries. You will enjoy seeing vehicles such as roadsters, hot rods, classic racing cars and even a DeLorean. The museum collection includes over 400 vehicles and a guided tour of the vault with vehicles from the early 20th century is a must. Founded in 1994, the Petersen Automotive Museum is housed in a modern art building on Wilshire Boulevard.
8. Collection of classic cars
Located on the original American transcontinental road, the Classic Car Collection has 250 cars, of which 125 are on display. You’ll see everything from early Ts models to cars from the 1990s. The Classic Car Collection features vehicles in nostalgic settings, such as a 1950s downtown, drive-in drive-in, and old gas station. The collection was obtained when the owner decided it was time to find him a home, as his children did not want to keep the cars together. The opportunity to showcase vintage cars along the Lincoln Highway worked well for local organizers. As the vehicles turn, you can see classics like a 1965 Corvette Stingray or a Ford Thunderbird.
9. LeMay-America’s Car Museum
Tacoma, Washington State
As you approach the LeMay-America Automobile Museum in Tacoma, you’ll notice that the entrance looks like the grille of a vintage automobile. Inside, you’ll get over 300 vehicles – just 10% of the collection – spanning over a century of driving. Across four levels of exhibits, you’ll see the first firefighting vehicles, solar-powered experimental cars, a 1940s police paddy wagon, and a pair of DeLoreans. Explore the 1930s through a series of antique Packards or travel through the 1950s seeing classics such as Cadillacs and Pontiacs. The museum uses a service garage as a tribute to its founder, Harold LeMay. The garage is based on that of the home of the longtime car enthusiast. The LeMay collection was once considered the largest in the world by Guinness World Records. As you visit, look for the cars used in the movies, including a vehicle at the foot of Les Flintstone.
Pro tip: You’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes when visiting these museums, as you’ll spend an hour together enjoying the exhibits. All museums are wheelchair accessible.