It’s easy to develop a passion for classic cars, but it can be difficult to keep fueling that fire as the years go on. While the odds are great that you could find a classic car show nearby during almost every weekend of the summer, what are you to do during the rest of the year? It turns out that there are a surprisingly large number of car museums in the United States.
Unfortunately, some of the world’s best classic cars live in private collections. But luckily, it’s becoming increasingly popular for private collectors to share their prized possessions with automotive museums for traveling exhibits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best automotive museums in the country to help you plan the stops on your next road trip.
The National Corvette Museum
The National Corvette Museum has the best collection of Corvettes in the world. After a decade of planning, the museum opened its doors in 1994 and has been a pride of Bowling Green, Kentucky ever since.
Though it caught attention in 2014 when a sinkhole swallowed eight Corvettes inside of the museum, they have since rebuilt the area and even some of the cars that were damaged. You can now visit an exhibit at the museum to learn more about that historic cave-in and even go on an interactive 3D tour of the sinkhole.
The Henry Ford
You can’t think of automotive history without thinking of Henry Ford. The Henry Ford car museum is the highlight of Dearborn, Michigan. Although filled with historic automotive innovations, the museum itself is also quite a historic place.
Ford dedicated the museum on October 21, 1929, the fiftieth anniversary of Thomas Edison’s successful lighting of an incandescent lamp. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and President Hoover gathered at the museum and Edison re-created his famous experiment while it was broadcast live over national radio. Today, you can walk through generations of cars and learn all about the changes they have gone through over the last 100 years.
The Revs Institute
If you’re a race car aficionado, start planning your trip to the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. The Miles Collier Collection on display at the museum is one of the best collections of classic racecars in the world.
The Revs Institute was founded in 2008 with an additional focus on academia. In 2011, they acquired the Ludvigsen Library, with over 7,000 automotive books and 300,000 historic photographs. It’s truly a must-see for any racecar geeks.
Antique Automobile Club of America Museum
The Tucker exhibit alone makes the trip to the AACA Museum worth it, but there are even more beauties to behold inside. Their Harley-Davidson exhibit shares the story of America’s best-known motorcycles. Plus, the DeLorean exhibit is sure to be a hit for Back to the Future fans.
Mullin Automotive Museum
A collection of marvelous French rarities, the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California is definitely a sight to see. They feature French vehicles mainly from the Art Deco period. Their Bugatti exhibit is their biggest and best.
But if you have a love for Talbot-Lagos, Delahayes, Renaults, or any other French classics, make sure to add this car museum to your list.
Larz Anderson Auto Museum
The Larz Anderson Auto Museum claims to be home to “America’s oldest car collection.” Located in Brookline, Massachusetts, automobiles in the museum’s permanent collection are displayed in the Carriage House on the grounds of Larz Anderson Park.
The Carriage House was built in 1888 and held Anderson’s own car collection throughout his life, and was opened to the public for tours in 1927. Today, you can learn about the “Golden Age” of automobiles in their exhibit featuring vehicles from 1915-1948.
If you’re planning a road trip in the near future, think about adding some of these wonderful car museums to your list of stops along the way. You never know what you might find inside!