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4 Car Museums in Ohio

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While Detroit gets most of the glory for being the home of historic American automakers like Buick and Chevrolet, neighboring Ohio has plenty of car history of its own. Cleveland native Alexander Winton invented the first “horseless carriage,” which was the predecessor to the modern automobile. Dayton, Ohio, was home to inventors such as Charles F. Kettering, whose self-starting motor helped get rid of the pesky hand crank of earlier automobiles. Here are four car museums in Ohio that pay homage to the state’s storied automotive history.

Carillon Historic Park

Carillon Historic Park Cadillac
Classic Cadillac at Carillon Park
Photo: The News Wheel

Carillon Park is an open-air collection of historical houses, airplanes, bicycles and cars just south of downtown Dayton. The park houses numerous historical cars, including a 1908 Stoddard-Dayton, a 1910 Speedwell, and a 1910 Courier. In addition to cars, you can find the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, which was the world’s first practical airplane.

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Canton Classic Car Museum

Canton Classic Car Museum
Photo: Joanna Poe

Founded in 1978 by Marshall Belden, Sr., the Canton Classic Car Museum features 40 classic cars, including a 1901 Oldsmobile, a 1911 Ford Model T, and a 1970 Plymouth Super Bird. Back in the early 20th century, there were 7 vehicle models built in Canton, such as The Holmes (one of which resides in this museum). The Holmes, built from 1917 to 1922, was advertised as being America’s most comfortable car, as well as the first ever full-size air-cooled car.

National Packard Museum

1936 Packard Convertible Coupe National Packard Museum
1936 Packard Convertible Coupe at the National Packard Museum
Photo: David Ellis

The National Packard Museum is located in Warren, just northwest of Youngstown. The Packard brand originated in Warren, and this museum follows the story of the Packard family and the Packard car brand. The museum features vehicles like the 1903 “Old Pacific,” the 1936 Business Coupe, the 1939 TWELVE Sedan, and the 1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible.

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Snook’s Dream Cars

Bill Snook was a car fanatic who collected and restored classic cars since the age of 16. Snook’s Dream Cars in Bowling Green, owned and operated by Bill Snook’s son, houses models from the 1930s to the 1960s, from brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac, MG, and Lotus. The museum is also home to a recreated 1940s Texaco gas station.

News Sources: Dayton Daily News, New York Times