Car museums in Auburn, Indiana, display classic vehicles

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 Metropolis.” In the initial fifty percent of the 20th century, hundreds of car marques had been developed in dozens of cities and towns across America’s industrial heartland.

Even though Auburn, Indiana, no for a longer time generates cars, the town’s automotive historical past is, you may possibly say, a real Duesy. And the city still celebrates — in a huge way — its heritage as 1 of the top producers of luxury motor vehicles in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a 3-hour generate from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn nowadays is home to a few earth-course automotive museums. 

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You never will need to be an enthusiast of antique vehicles to be completely dazzled by the collections on display screen in Auburn. And the properties in which the museums are housed are practically as interesting as the cars they contain.

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

Auburn Wire Duesenberg Car Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Car Museum ( is devoted, as the title would propose, to the Auburn, Twine and Duesenberg types made in Auburn by the Auburn Auto Enterprise.

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

The headquarters was completed in 1930 in the art deco-model, a model that also knowledgeable the design of the streamlined, motorized beauties the enterprise marketed to discerning auto consumers.

The constructing, alone a Nationwide Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be value going to even without having the dozens of basic automobiles — some a person of a sort — that are on display screen on the showroom ground, 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 website visitors will find a range of other displays on the a few levels of the headquarters setting up, which includes the place of work of organization president E.L. Twine.

Cord, an automotive visionary, took manage of Auburn Automobile in 1926 and purchased Duesenberg a calendar year later. Throughout Cord’s tenure, Auburn created some of the most legendary cars of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other displays involve the Early Auburns Gallery, showcasing autos developed by the company from 1903 until eventually Cord’s ascension and a screen of other early cars built 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 Auto & Truck Museum

The Nationwide Automobile & Truck Museum ( is found straight powering the Auburn Wire Duesenberg Museum in the former provider and experimental buildings of the Auburn Automobile Company.

The constructions, as when they were being designed, are additional utilitarian than the ornate headquarters building, but they are the excellent location to exhibit 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 vehicles are a massive collection of trucks and engines created by Intercontinental Harvester and Navistar classic cars of the 1950s muscle mass vehicles of the 1960s and 1970s, an genuine 1948 roadside diner moved inside the museum, and many prototypes and just one-of-a-variety autos.

Also inside of the bigger museum is the assortment of the Countrywide Automotive & Truck Model & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and model vehicles, which include a huge display screen of antique pedal automobiles. 

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

Ford V-8 Basis

The Early Ford V-8 Basis designed its national museum ( in Auburn simply because of the other automotive museums currently located there, mentioned museum Executive Director Joshua Conrad. 

The museum is dedicated to 1932–53 Ford motor vehicles, which also reflect significantly of the artwork deco aesthetic of the age.

The centerpiece of the museum is a freshly opened wing, which includes a area resembling a lesser model of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Reasonable. The initial rotunda was later moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, in which it served as a enterprise visitor 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.

Today, the primary Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes people to the museum. The within of the new building reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford seller showroom and shows representatives of just about every Ford product for sale that yr.

People can even get a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom working experience, mastering about the features essential to different buyers of the period, and which automobile would most likely attraction to each and every buyer.

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

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Each car, which appears as new as the working day it rolled off the manufacturing facility flooring, shines with an virtually heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, with no treatment, just about every photograph a visitor requires of a car or truck can turn into an accidental selfie.

The museum consists of various other displays and galleries, which includes a large selection of early Ford tractors.

Guests who want even much more previous-motor vehicle encounters can time a pay a visit to to coincide with one particular of Auburn’s numerous automotive-centered gatherings, these kinds 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 once-a-year Auburn Twine Duesenberg Festival (, held more than Labor Day weekend, draws in thousands of website visitors from around the environment to a extensive selection of antique automotive occasions like parades, swap-satisfies, cruise-ins and a big and renowned vintage car auction.

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

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