Summer is a great time for a trip to one of the many great car museums across the country. These are 10 of our favorites.
1. Petersen Automotive Museum
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Cars: 300+
Special Exhibit: Cars of Film and Television – Features iconic vehicles from movies and shows.
Most Interesting Vehicle: Thelma and Louise Thunderbird
The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the world’s largest automobile museums. The updated futuristic building features red and polished steel ribbons outside with a remodeled interior. Located along Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, the extensive collection features a number of rotating exhibits, currently including a Porsche exhibit, a Tesla exhibit and a Film and TV exhibit.
2. National Corvette Museum
Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Number of Cars: 80+
Special Exhibit: 70 Years of Corvette – Celebrating Corvette’s history from 1953 to the present.
Most Interesting Vehicle: “Before” models of each Corvette that was swallowed in the Skydome Sinkhole event in 2014.
The National Corvette Museum celebrates the legacy of what many call “America’s Sports Car,” the Chevrolet Corvette. The museum is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, right next door to NCM Motorsports Park and the Corvette-producing GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Visitors can see cars and interact with multimedia galleries featuring the design, engineering, history and culture of the Corvette.
3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Number of Cars: 300+
Special Exhibit: Winners Gallery – More than 25 Indy 500 winners spanning the 107-year history of the race.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1911 Marmon Wasp (Winner of the First Indianapolis 500)
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum houses more than a century of motorsports history. The museum is part of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex, home of the Indianapolis 500 and one of the oldest tracks in the world, first opening in 1909. The origins of the museum date back to 1956 when Wilbur Shaw’s winning Maserati racer went on display to speedway visitors. Since then, the collection has grown from 12 to over 300 cars and ranks as one of the top sports attractions in the country.
4. LeMay – America’s Car Museum
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Number of Cars: 300+
Special Exhibit: 75 Years of Porsche – A retrospective of Porsche’s most iconic cars.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1994 Flintmobile from The Flintstones
LeMay – America’s Car Museum celebrates the car collection amassed by the late Harold LeMay, a prominent Tacoma businessman. At over 3,000 vehicles, the Guinness Book of World Records listed it as the world’s largest private collection back in 1997. The LeMay museum is now home to more than 300 of the vehicles and features an open storage gallery making more cars available to visitors, in addition to those on display in current exhibits.
5. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Location: Leeds, Alabama
Number of Cars: 650+
Special Exhibit: The world’s “best and largest” motorcycle collection.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1964 Ferrari F-158
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is located just outside Birmingham, Alabama, on the same campus as Barber Motorsports Park. Not only is Barber one of the top motorsports destinations in the Southeast, it’s also home to an impressive collection. Barber hosts one of the largest collections of vintage bikes, including 97 Harley-Davidsons and 1,000+ other classics on display at any one time. The museum also hosts an extensive collection of Lotus cars and other unique vehicles.
6. AACA Museum at Hershey
Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania
Number of Cars: 150+
Special Exhibit: Tucker Automobiles – 48 automobiles, engines, mechanicals and automobilia from Tucker historian and collector David Cammack.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1896 Ford Quadricycle
The AACA Museum at Hershey is affiliated with the Antique Automobile Club of America, and is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of motor vehicle history in immersive all-ages displays. Exhibits include a trip back in time along historic Route 66, with over 200 vehicles spanning eight decades. Besides cars, the museum also features historic buses, trucks and motorcycles, and includes a large collection of Tucker automobiles and BMW motorcycles.
7. Henry Ford Museum
Location: Dearborn, Michigan
Number of Cars: 130+
Special Exhibit: 3 Main Parks – Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1967 Ford Mark IV
The Henry Ford Museum is located right alongside the Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn, Michigan campus. The museum aims to take visitors on a journey through the dawn of industrialization in America, with museum exhibits, outdoor displays and recreations of historic buildings, such as the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and Nikola Tesla’s laboratory. Interesting vehicles include the 1928 Ford Model A Touring Car owned by Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Limousine and the Rosa Parks Bus.
8. Lane Motor Museum
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Number of Cars: 150+
Special Exhibit: One of One – A collection of custom-made curiosities.
Most Interesting Vehicle: Replica of Buckminster Fuller’s ill-fated Dymaxion car
The Lane Motor Museum was founded by Jeff and Susan Lane as a home for their one-of-a-kind collection of cars and motorcycles. The museum features one of the largest collections of European vehicles in the US, including unusual microcars, amphibious vehicles, military vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, prototypes and more. A few highlights include a 1957 Renault Regal MKIII Convertible, a Reliant Ant and a propeller-powered 1932 Helicron.
9. Mullin Automotive Museum
Location: Oxnard, California
Number of Cars: 140+
Special Exhibit: Bugatti Collection – Large collection of historic Bugatti vehicles.
Most Interesting Vehicle: 1922 Bugatti Type 23
The Mullin Automotive Museum displays the personal automobile collection of the businessman and philanthropist Peter W. Mullin. The collection focuses on French cars built during the 1920s and 30s that feature Art Deco styling. The museum has a large collection of Bugattis, as well as examples of Citroens, Delahayes, Saoutchiks, Talbot-Lagos, Voisins and more.
10. National Automobile Museum
Location: Reno, Nevada
Number of Cars: 200+
Special Exhibit: Speed Exhibit – Featuring early cars built to push automobiles to the limit.
Most Interesting Vehicle: The Golden DeLorean
The National Automobile Museum displays automobiles from the personal collection of the late casino magnate William F. Harrah. The museum hosts over 200 cars from the 1890s to the 1980s. Exhibits include the Thomas Flyer Exhibit, the Speed Exhibit, and Cars of the Stars, featuring Elvis Presley’s 1973 Cadillac Eldorado and Frank Sinatra’s 1961 Ghia L6.4. The museum also hosts the very first in a production run of three 24K-gold-plated DeLoreans purchased by entrepreneur Sherwood Marshall and donated to the museum.
Protecting Your Car
Take a trip to any car museum and you’ll quickly realize that a lot of care goes into protecting cars there. When you’re driving your car on track, it’s smart to protect it, too.
Insurance from Lockton Motorsports can help protect your most prized possession from the risk of damage when you’re participating in HPDE, track day and time trial events.
Visit us at LocktonMotorsports.com to learn more.