May 29, 2024


General Line

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 first half of the 20th century, hundreds of automobile marques ended up made in dozens of metropolitan areas and towns throughout America’s industrial heartland.

Though Auburn, Indiana, no for a longer period makes cars, the town’s automotive background is, you may say, a serious Duesy. And the town continue to celebrates — in a large way — its heritage as one particular of the prime producers of luxury motor cars in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a 3-hour drive from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn today is household to a few world-course automotive museums. 

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You never want to be an fanatic of antique cars to be completely dazzled by the collections on display in Auburn. And the structures in which the museums are housed are nearly as intriguing as the motor vehicles they consist of.

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

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

The Auburn Twine Duesenberg Car Museum ( is devoted, as the name would recommend, to the Auburn, Wire and Duesenberg products made in Auburn by the Auburn Auto Enterprise.

The museum is found in the authentic automotive showroom inside of what was the company’s environment headquarters.

The headquarters was done in 1930 in the artwork deco-design, a style that also informed the design of the streamlined, motorized beauties the organization bought to discerning vehicle buyers.

The setting up, itself a National Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be really worth checking out even with out the dozens of traditional cars — some one of a type — that are on exhibit 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 people will come across a variety of other displays on the three stages of the headquarters making, like the business of corporation president E.L. Cord.

Twine, an automotive visionary, took command of Auburn Automobile in 1926 and procured Duesenberg a 12 months afterwards. Through Cord’s tenure, Auburn developed some of the most legendary cars of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other displays contain the Early Auburns Gallery, featuring cars and trucks designed by the enterprise from 1903 right until Cord’s ascension and a display of other early cars and trucks designed 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 Car & Truck Museum

The Countrywide Automobile & Truck Museum ( is located specifically guiding the Auburn Twine Duesenberg Museum in the previous provider and experimental properties of the Auburn Vehicle Business.

The structures, as when they ended up created, are far more utilitarian than the ornate headquarters setting up, but they are the great area to exhibit 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 large collection of trucks and engines created by Global Harvester and Navistar classic vehicles of the 1950s muscle cars and trucks of the 1960s and 1970s, an actual 1948 roadside diner moved inside of the museum, and a lot of prototypes and a single-of-a-sort motor vehicles.

Also within the much larger museum is the collection of the Countrywide Automotive & Truck Product & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and design automobiles, together with a substantial 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 crafted its nationwide museum ( in Auburn since of the other automotive museums previously located there, mentioned museum Govt Director Joshua Conrad. 

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

The centerpiece of the museum is a recently opened wing, such as a portion resembling a scaled-down edition of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Truthful. The original rotunda was afterwards moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, where by it served as a company visitor centre right up until it burned in 1962.

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

Nowadays, the unique Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes people to the museum. The inside of of the new setting up reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford vendor showroom and shows representatives of each individual Ford design for sale that year.

People can even choose a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom knowledge, learning about the features critical to different prospective buyers of the era, and which vehicle would probable charm to just about every buyer.

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

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Each individual vehicle, which looks as new as the day it rolled off the manufacturing unit flooring, shines with an just about heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, without care, every picture a visitor takes of a auto can come to be an accidental selfie.

The museum incorporates many other displays and galleries, which includes a massive selection of early Ford tractors.

Website visitors who want even much more outdated-car or truck experiences can time a check out to coincide with a single of Auburn’s several automotive-concentrated situations, these kinds 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 annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival (, held more than Labor Day weekend, appeals to thousands of visitors from all around the globe to a wide selection of antique automotive occasions which include parades, swap-satisfies, cruise-ins and a substantial and renowned vintage vehicle auction.

For extra information about other issues to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, pay a visit to

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


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