Directions: Driving History

Directions: Driving History

Whatever your taste in vehicles may be, there is an automotive museum that will satisfy your interest.

Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo, MI, a 45-year-old non-profit organization, has begun construction on a museum expansion that will more than double the size of its current facilities, provide year-round public operations and establish it as a premier automotive history destination. For more information, visit Underhood and type Gilmore in the Enter Search Term function.When you see a classic car on the road, do you see a bit of automotive history, a work of art or just a contraption that provides a means of getting from one place to another?

For me, I like the historic aspect of classic and antique vehicles. I find it interesting to learn about some of the simple technology and ingenuity that was used in vehicles from 100 years ago that has evolved into the super-powered, computer-packed machines we drive today.

Others may share a fascination of vehicles from a certain era — like the fans of the cars from the 1950s, when cruising to the local sock hop or drive-in was the Saturday night event.

For others, they may view vehicles as roving Mona Lisa’s — great works of art created with precision lines, the finest materials and special attention to details. Some vehicle enthusiasts may find that they are turned on by the classic Italian vehicles — such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, while others find it’s the American muscle cars of Ford, Chevy and Mopar that get their engines running.

Whatever your taste in vehicles may be, there is an automotive museum that will satisfy your interest.

One of the great perks of being an automotive trade journal editor is the museums we get to visit during our travels — whether it’s The Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI, or the Don “Big Daddy” Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, FL, or the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati Museum in Las Vegas — there is always something to be learned and enjoyed.

And, the museum curator’s will appreciate you taking the time to visit their exhibits. I’ve found that many of these curators are extremely proud of their displays and to have you as a guest. Once you get to talking with them, don’t be surprised if they make you feel like you’re part of the museum family.

And, to stay up-to-date on upcoming-featured exhibits or special events, sign up for a museum’s e-newsletter. They pretty much all offer that service these days.

As you begin to plan your upcoming vacations, I urge you to add an automotive museum visit as part of your itinerary. I’m sure that you’ll find a visit to an auto museum will be worth the drive. 

If you know of an automotive museum near you or have a favorite one that you have visited,
e-mail me at [email protected]  and we will feature it on

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