September 23, 2023


Automotive to Us

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 normally the only “Motor Town.” In the to start with fifty percent of the 20th century, hundreds of auto marques had been made in dozens of towns and cities throughout America’s industrial heartland.

Whilst Auburn, Indiana, no extended provides automobiles, the town’s automotive heritage is, you may say, a true Duesy. And the city nonetheless celebrates — in a huge way — its heritage as a person of the major producers of luxurious motor motor vehicles in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a 3-hour push from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn nowadays is house to three world-class automotive museums. 

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You do not need to be an enthusiast of antique cars to be fully dazzled by the collections on display screen in Auburn. And the structures in which the museums are housed are approximately as intriguing as the autos they contain.

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

Auburn Wire Duesenberg Car Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Vehicle Museum ( is dedicated, as the name would suggest, to the Auburn, Twine and Duesenberg styles generated in Auburn by the Auburn Auto Company.

The museum is found in the primary automotive showroom in what was the company’s entire world headquarters.

The headquarters was done in 1930 in the artwork deco-fashion, a design and style that also informed the layout of the streamlined, motorized beauties the company offered to discerning vehicle potential buyers.

The creating, itself a Nationwide Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be value traveling to even with out the dozens of common vehicles — some one particular of a type — that are on display on the showroom ground, 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 people will locate a wide variety of other shows on the a few degrees of the headquarters building, including the workplace of business president E.L. Twine.

Cord, an automotive visionary, took handle of Auburn Vehicle in 1926 and ordered Duesenberg a yr later on. All through Cord’s tenure, Auburn made some of the most iconic automobiles of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other displays contain the Early Auburns Gallery, showcasing autos developed by the organization from 1903 until eventually Cord’s ascension and a exhibit 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 Automobile & Truck Museum

The National Automobile & Truck Museum ( is situated right at the rear of the Auburn Twine Duesenberg Museum in the former company and experimental structures of the Auburn Automobile Corporation.

The structures, as when they were being designed, are extra utilitarian than the ornate headquarters developing, but they are the ideal spot to show 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 autos are a massive selection of trucks and engines created by Global Harvester and Navistar classic cars of the 1950s muscle mass autos of the 1960s and 1970s, an true 1948 roadside diner moved within the museum, and numerous prototypes and a person-of-a-type cars.

Also within the larger sized museum is the collection of the National Automotive & Truck Product & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and model automobiles, such as a massive display screen 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 Basis crafted its countrywide museum ( in Auburn due to the fact of the other automotive museums currently located there, stated museum Executive Director Joshua Conrad. 

The museum is dedicated to 1932–53 Ford vehicles, which also mirror a lot of the artwork deco aesthetic of the age.

The centerpiece of the museum is a newly opened wing, which include a section resembling a lesser edition of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Honest. The first rotunda was afterwards moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, the place it served as a corporation visitor centre 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 inside of of the new making reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford vendor showroom and displays associates of just about every Ford product for sale that calendar year.

Website visitors can even choose a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom encounter, studying about the attributes essential to various consumers of the era, and which vehicle would likely enchantment to each individual consumer.

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

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Each motor vehicle, which appears as new as the working day it rolled off the manufacturing unit flooring, shines with an nearly heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, with out care, each individual photo a visitor takes of a automobile can turn out to be an accidental selfie.

The museum contains many other displays and galleries, together with a large collection of early Ford tractors.

Readers who want even additional previous-car or truck experiences can time a visit to coincide with a single of Auburn’s numerous automotive-centered occasions, these 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 Cord Duesenberg Festival (, held around Labor Working day weekend, appeals to 1000’s of people from all around the globe to a huge wide variety of antique automotive gatherings which include parades, swap-fulfills, cruise-ins and a substantial and renowned basic car auction.

For additional information about other matters to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, check out

Steve Stephens is a freelance vacation writer and photographer. Email him at [email protected].