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 normally the only “Motor Town.” In the initially 50 % of the 20th century, hundreds of auto marques ended up made in dozens of metropolitan areas and towns across America’s industrial heartland.

Despite the fact that Auburn, Indiana, no more time provides cars, the town’s automotive history is, you may possibly say, a serious Duesy. And the town nonetheless celebrates — in a big way — its heritage as just one of the prime producers of luxurious motor autos in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a a few-hour generate from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn now is home to a few planet-class automotive museums. 

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You don’t require to be an enthusiast of antique vehicles to be entirely dazzled by the collections on screen in Auburn. And the properties in which the museums are housed are practically as interesting as the vehicles they have.

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

Auburn Wire Duesenberg Car Museum

The Auburn Twine Duesenberg Automobile Museum ( is focused, as the identify would counsel, to the Auburn, Twine and Duesenberg styles generated in Auburn by the Auburn Car Organization.

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

The headquarters was completed in 1930 in the art deco-style, a model that also educated the design of the streamlined, motorized beauties the firm offered to discerning auto potential buyers.

The creating, alone a National Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be well worth traveling to even without having the dozens of classic cars — some a person of a variety — that are on exhibit on the showroom flooring, just as they would have been when the constructing 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 come across a wide variety of other displays on the three amounts of the headquarters creating, such as the place of work of enterprise president E.L. Wire.

Cord, an automotive visionary, took regulate of Auburn Automobile in 1926 and purchased Duesenberg a calendar year afterwards. In the course of Cord’s tenure, Auburn produced some of the most legendary automobiles of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other displays incorporate the Early Auburns Gallery, showcasing cars built by the enterprise from 1903 right up until Cord’s ascension and a display screen of other early cars 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.

National Automobile & Truck Museum

The Nationwide Car & Truck Museum ( is situated specifically driving the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in the previous support and experimental buildings of the Auburn Automobile Business.

The structures, as when they were designed, are additional utilitarian than the ornate headquarters creating, but they are the excellent area to display the museum’s eclectic selection.

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

Amongst the hundreds of autos are a huge selection of vans and engines designed by Global Harvester and Navistar common autos of the 1950s muscle mass vehicles of the 1960s and 1970s, an precise 1948 roadside diner moved within the museum, and quite a few prototypes and a person-of-a-sort automobiles.

Also inside the bigger museum is the collection of the Countrywide Automotive & Truck Product & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and design cars, such as a substantial display screen of antique pedal autos. 

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

Ford V-8 Basis

The Early Ford V-8 Basis built its countrywide museum ( in Auburn since of the other automotive museums now located there, reported museum Government Director Joshua Conrad. 

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

The centerpiece of the museum is a freshly opened wing, which include a part resembling a lesser edition of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Honest. The primary rotunda was later moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, the place it served as a business visitor middle until eventually it burned in 1962.

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

Nowadays, the original Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes site visitors to the museum. The inside of of the new constructing reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford seller showroom and shows reps of each individual Ford product for sale that calendar year.

People can even acquire a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom expertise, understanding about the characteristics critical to a variety of purchasers of the era, and which vehicle would very likely charm to every single buyer.

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 or truck, which appears as new as the day it rolled off the manufacturing facility flooring, shines with an practically heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, with no treatment, each individual image a visitor can take of a car or truck can develop into an accidental selfie.

The museum includes several other displays and galleries, like a big assortment of early Ford tractors.

Site visitors who want even more old-car ordeals can time a pay a visit to to coincide with just one of Auburn’s a lot of automotive-concentrated functions, 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 once-a-year Auburn Twine Duesenberg Festival (, held around Labor Working day weekend, draws in 1000’s of visitors from all around the planet to a vast assortment of antique automotive events which include parades, swap-satisfies, cruise-ins and a substantial and renowned classic car auction.

For far more information and facts about other items to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, visit

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