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 wasn’t often the only “Motor City.” In the 1st half of the 20th century, hundreds of automobile marques have been manufactured in dozens of cities and towns throughout America’s industrial heartland.

Despite the fact that Auburn, Indiana, no lengthier generates vehicles, the town’s automotive historical past is, you could possibly say, a authentic Duesy. And the city continue to celebrates — in a significant way — its heritage as one of the leading producers of luxurious motor autos in the 1920s and 1930s.

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

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You don’t want to be an enthusiast of antique automobiles to be entirely dazzled by the collections on exhibit in Auburn. And the properties in which the museums are housed are just about as interesting as the autos they consist of.

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

Auburn Wire Duesenberg Auto Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Car Museum ( is devoted, as the name would recommend, to the Auburn, Wire and Duesenberg types created in Auburn by the Auburn Car Organization.

The museum is positioned in the initial automotive showroom in what was the company’s environment headquarters.

The headquarters was finished in 1930 in the artwork deco-model, a design and style that also knowledgeable the style of the streamlined, motorized beauties the business offered to discerning automobile potential buyers.

The creating, alone a Nationwide Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be worth viewing even without the need of the dozens of traditional cars — some one of a form — that are on show on the showroom floor, just as they would have been when the making 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 guests will locate a range of other displays on the three concentrations of the headquarters making, like the workplace of enterprise president E.L. Wire.

Cord, an automotive visionary, took regulate of Auburn Car in 1926 and obtained Duesenberg a 12 months later. All through Cord’s tenure, Auburn manufactured some of the most legendary automobiles of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other shows involve the Early Auburns Gallery, featuring vehicles constructed by the organization from 1903 till Cord’s ascension and a show of other early autos constructed 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 Nationwide Car & Truck Museum ( is located straight behind the Auburn Twine Duesenberg Museum in the previous assistance and experimental buildings of the Auburn Vehicle Business.

The structures, as when they have been designed, are more utilitarian than the ornate headquarters developing, but they are the excellent area to show the museum’s eclectic assortment.

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

Amid the hundreds of motor vehicles are a significant collection of vans and engines built by Global Harvester and Navistar traditional automobiles of the 1950s muscle automobiles of the 1960s and 1970s, an true 1948 roadside diner moved inside the museum, and a lot of prototypes and a single-of-a-kind cars.

Also inside the larger sized museum is the collection of the National Automotive & Truck Model & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and design vehicles, which include a massive show of antique pedal vehicles. 

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

Ford V-8 Basis

The Early Ford V-8 Basis built its nationwide museum ( in Auburn for the reason that of the other automotive museums now located there, stated museum Executive Director Joshua Conrad. 

The museum is dedicated to 1932–53 Ford automobiles, which also reflect a lot of the art deco aesthetic of the age.

The centerpiece of the museum is a freshly opened wing, which include a segment resembling a scaled-down variation of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Reasonable. The authentic rotunda was afterwards moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, exactly where it served as a organization customer center until finally it burned in 1962.

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

Currently, the unique Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes guests to the museum. The within of the new setting up reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford vendor showroom and displays reps of every Ford model for sale that calendar year.

Website visitors can even acquire a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom practical experience, mastering about the functions essential to numerous purchasers of the era, and which car would probably attraction to every single purchaser.

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

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Each and every motor vehicle, which looks as new as the day it rolled off the manufacturing facility flooring, shines with an almost heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, devoid of treatment, each picture a customer normally takes of a automobile can develop into an accidental selfie.

The museum involves numerous other displays and galleries, which include a substantial selection of early Ford tractors.

Guests who want even more outdated-car experiences can time a take a look at to coincide with a single of Auburn’s lots of automotive-centered occasions, this sort of as the 3rd 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 Twine Duesenberg Pageant (, held more than Labor Working day weekend, appeals to countless numbers of site visitors from all over the world to a broad wide range of antique automotive activities which include parades, swap-fulfills, cruise-ins and a significant and renowned typical automobile auction.

For more data about other matters to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, go to

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

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