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4 Car Museums in Indiana

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Indiana has a longstanding automotive history dating back to the very beginning of the car industry. Learn more about Indiana’s car and racing heritage at these four museums.

Auburn Cord Dusenberg Automobile Museum

Auburn Cord Dusenberg Museum
Photo: Carl Grant

When you think about the start of the U.S. automotive industry, chances are you picture automakers who still make cars to this day, like Cadillac. But there were plenty of automakers who were successful in the early 20th century and no longer exist today. One such automaker was Auburn, which made cars from 1900-1937 in Auburn, Indiana.

The present-day Auburn Cord Dusenberg Automobile Museum is located inside Auburn Automobile’s 1930 national headquarters. It features more than 120 vehicles, from original horseless carriages to modern-day sports cars. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends. It’s only closed three days a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

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Kruse Museums

Kruse Automotive and Carriage Museum
Photo: pepplerchristine

While you’re in Auburn, also check out variety of museums within the Kruse Museums.

  • The Automotive and Carriage Museum has a vast collection of cars through the ages, such as antique carriages and aerodynamic race cars.
  • The Monster Truck Hall of Fame features a rotating display of four famous monster trucks.
  • The Northeast Indiana Racing Museum features on the history of automobile racing in the Auburn and surrounding areas.

Famous cars on display include the Batmobile, the General Lee, KITT from Knight Rider, and several British royal carriages. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Studebaker National Museum

Studebaker National Museum
Photo: Jim Grey

South Bend was the birthplace of Studebaker, which built its first automobiles back in 1902. While the manufacturer was defunct in 1967, its history is intricately tied to the history of South Bend, which is now home to the Studebaker National Museum.

The museum features a myriad of classic Studebaker vehicles, including the 1931 President Tourer, 1953 Commander Starliner Hardtop, and 1963 Daytona Convertible. President Lincoln’s carriage is also part of the museum’s permanent collection, as is the 1935 Commander Roadster that appeared in the movie The Color Purple. Visit the Studebaker National Museum Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or Sunday from noon-5 p.m. The museum closes on Mondays from November to March.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum building
Photo: The News Wheel

Indianapolis is home to one of the most famous motor speedways in the country and is known as The Racing Capital of the World. To learn more about the speedway’s rich racing history, stop by the Museum and Hall of Fame. Here you’ll see a huge collection of motor car racers, narrated bus tours of the racetrack, and you can even sign up for a VIP grounds tour. The Museum and Hall of Fame are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in March-October, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in November-February, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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