Car museums in Auburn, Indiana, display classic vehicles


Visitors to the Auburn museum will have to decide for themselves which is more beautiful -- the building or the cars.

AUBURN, Ind. — Detroit was not often the only “Motor City.” In the initial 50 percent of the 20th century, hundreds of auto marques were being manufactured in dozens of cities and cities across America’s industrial heartland.

Although Auburn, Indiana, no more time provides cars, the town’s automotive background is, you could possibly say, a real Duesy. And the city even now celebrates — in a large way — its heritage as a person of the top rated producers of luxury motor autos in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a 3-hour generate from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn right now is property to three planet-class automotive museums. 

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You don’t require to be an enthusiast of antique vehicles to be fully dazzled by the collections on screen in Auburn. And the structures in which the museums are housed are nearly as interesting as the vehicles they consist of.

Classic vehicles are lined up along the showroom window at the Auburn museum.

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Auto Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Auto Museum ( is devoted, as the name would counsel, to the Auburn, Wire and Duesenberg designs manufactured in Auburn by the Auburn Vehicle Company.

The museum is situated in the initial automotive showroom in just what was the company’s world headquarters.

The headquarters was concluded in 1930 in the art deco-model, a model that also knowledgeable the structure of the streamlined, motorized beauties the company sold to discerning automobile customers.

The setting up, alone a Countrywide Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be worthy of viewing even without the dozens of typical automobiles — some one of a kind — that are on exhibit on the showroom floor, just as they would have been when the setting up was new.

Now the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, this art deco beauty was once the headquarters of the Auburn Automobile Company

In addition to the showroom, museum readers will find a wide range of other displays on the three amounts of the headquarters constructing, such as the place of work of company president E.L. Twine.

Cord, an automotive visionary, took regulate of Auburn Vehicle in 1926 and obtained Duesenberg a calendar year later. For the duration of Cord’s tenure, Auburn manufactured some of the most legendary vehicles of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other shows involve the Early Auburns Gallery, showcasing cars constructed by the enterprise from 1903 until Cord’s ascension and a display screen of other early cars crafted in other Indiana factories.

Hundred of classic vehicles like this 1931 GMC owned by a local Shell Oil distributor are displayed at the National Auto & Truck Museum.

Nationwide Vehicle & Truck Museum

The National Auto & Truck Museum ( is positioned instantly driving the Auburn Twine Duesenberg Museum in the previous services and experimental buildings of the Auburn Automobile Corporation.

The buildings, as when they have been created, are additional utilitarian than the ornate headquarters constructing, but they are the excellent position to exhibit the museum’s eclectic selection.

An art deco chandelier is one of many original ornaments decorating the former Auburn Automobile headquarters.

Amid the hundreds of cars are a significant selection of trucks and engines crafted by International Harvester and Navistar typical autos of the 1950s muscle cars and trucks of the 1960s and 1970s, an real 1948 roadside diner moved inside of the museum, and several prototypes and 1-of-a-kind vehicles.

Also in the greater museum is the selection of the Nationwide Automotive & Truck Model & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and design cars, together with a big display of antique pedal autos. 

Even the hood ornaments are works of art at the Auburn museum.

Ford V-8 Foundation

The Early Ford V-8 Foundation designed its nationwide museum ( in Auburn mainly because of the other automotive museums previously located there, reported museum Executive Director Joshua Conrad. 

The museum is committed to 1932–53 Ford automobiles, which also replicate significantly of the art deco aesthetic of the age.

The centerpiece of the museum is a newly opened wing, together with a section resembling a scaled-down variation of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Honest. The first rotunda was later on moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, the place it served as a company visitor center until it burned in 1962.

A 1936 Ford Deluxe Convertible Sedan gleams in the Ford museum as it would have in the showroom.

Right now, the unique Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes visitors to the museum. The within of the new constructing reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford vendor showroom and shows reps of each individual Ford model for sale that calendar year.

Guests can even acquire a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom experience, understanding about the capabilities critical to many customers of the period, and which car or truck would probable charm to each individual customer.

A father and son from a classic Ford campaign ogle a 1953 beauty at the Ford museum.

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Each and every car, which appears to be like as new as the day it rolled off the factory floor, shines with an pretty much heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, with out care, just about every photo a visitor can take of a vehicle can develop into an accidental selfie.

The museum contains a number of other displays and galleries, like a substantial assortment of early Ford tractors.

People who want even more outdated-motor vehicle encounters can time a stop by to coincide with 1 of Auburn’s several automotive-focused occasions, this sort of as the Third Thursday Cruise-Ins held on the DeKalb County Courthouse Sq..

This rainbow of classic Fords is one of many displays at the Ford museum.

And the yearly Auburn Cord Duesenberg Pageant (, held about Labor Working day weekend, draws in 1000’s of website visitors from about the globe to a broad wide range of antique automotive gatherings like parades, swap-fulfills, cruise-ins and a substantial and renowned classic auto auction.

For much more facts about other matters to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, take a look at

Steve Stephens is a freelance travel author and photographer. E mail him at [email protected].


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