Visitors to the Auburn museum will have to decide for themselves which is more beautiful -- the building or the cars.

AUBURN, Ind. — Detroit was not often the only “Motor City.” In the very first fifty percent of the 20th century, hundreds of car marques had been developed in dozens of metropolitan areas and cities across America’s industrial heartland.

Whilst Auburn, Indiana, no longer produces vehicles, the town’s automotive background is, you may say, a real Duesy. And the town continue to celebrates — in a large way — its heritage as one particular of the prime producers of luxurious motor motor vehicles in the 1920s and 1930s.

Just a 3-hour drive from Columbus in northeast Indiana, Auburn currently is home to 3 environment-class automotive museums. 

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You never require to be an enthusiast of antique automobiles to be entirely dazzled by the collections on exhibit in Auburn. And the buildings in which the museums are housed are virtually as interesting as the autos they incorporate.

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

Auburn Wire Duesenberg Auto Museum

The Auburn Twine Duesenberg Automobile Museum ( is focused, as the identify would suggest, to the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg styles created in Auburn by the Auburn Automobile Organization.

The museum is positioned in the original automotive showroom inside what was the company’s entire world headquarters.

The headquarters was accomplished in 1930 in the art deco-design and style, a fashion that also knowledgeable the design and style of the streamlined, motorized beauties the company offered to discerning auto prospective buyers.

The developing, itself a National Historic Landmark, has been restored to its deco luster and would be worthy of traveling to even with out the dozens of classic cars — some 1 of a form — that are on display screen on the showroom ground, just as they would have been when the building 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 site visitors will come across a wide variety of other displays on the 3 amounts of the headquarters constructing, which include the business of business president E.L. Wire.

Wire, an automotive visionary, took manage of Auburn Car in 1926 and obtained Duesenberg a 12 months afterwards. In the course of Cord’s tenure, Auburn produced some of the most legendary cars of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Other displays include the Early Auburns Gallery, showcasing automobiles developed by the corporation from 1903 until finally Cord’s ascension and a exhibit of other early vehicles 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.

National Vehicle & Truck Museum

The National Auto & Truck Museum ( is located immediately guiding the Auburn Twine Duesenberg Museum in the previous service and experimental structures of the Auburn Auto Corporation.

The structures, as when they ended up constructed, are extra utilitarian than the ornate headquarters setting up, but they are the best place to display screen the museum’s eclectic selection.

An art deco chandelier is one of many original ornaments decorating the former Auburn Automobile headquarters.

Amongst the hundreds of cars are a massive selection of trucks and engines created by Global Harvester and Navistar traditional vehicles of the 1950s muscle cars and trucks of the 1960s and 1970s, an actual 1948 roadside diner moved within the museum, and a lot of prototypes and just one-of-a-variety autos.

Also within the larger museum is the collection of the National Automotive & Truck Product & Toy Museum, with hundreds of toy and model autos, together with a huge screen of antique pedal cars and trucks. 

Even the hood ornaments are works of art at the Auburn museum.

Ford V-8 Basis

Early Ford V-8 Foundation developed its national museum ( in Auburn since of the other automotive museums previously located there, reported museum Govt Director Joshua Conrad. 

The museum is focused to 1932–53 Ford cars, which also mirror significantly of the art deco aesthetic of the age.

The centerpiece of the museum is a newly opened wing, like a segment resembling a lesser edition of the Ford Rotunda pavilion at the 1933 Chicago World’s Good. The authentic rotunda was later on moved to Ford’s Dearborn Michigan Headquarters, wherever it served as a firm visitor middle 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 original Ford Rotunda marquee welcomes website visitors to the museum. The inside of of the new building reproduces an upscale 1936 Ford vendor showroom and shows representatives of each and every Ford product for sale that year.

Guests can even consider a self-guided stroll for a 1936 showroom knowledge, understanding about the functions essential to numerous potential buyers of the period, and which car or truck would most likely appeal to each purchaser.

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

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Each car or truck, which appears to be as new as the day it rolled off the manufacturing facility flooring, shines with an virtually heavenly gleam. The surfaces are so reflective that, without having care, every picture a visitor takes of a vehicle can grow to be an accidental selfie.

The museum contains a number of other displays and galleries, such as a massive assortment of early Ford tractors.

Visitors who want even much more outdated-auto ordeals can time a take a look at to coincide with 1 of Auburn’s a lot of automotive-centered activities, these kinds of as the Third 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 Wire Duesenberg Competition (, held around Labor Day weekend, draws in hundreds of visitors from close to the environment to a huge range of antique automotive functions which includes parades, swap-satisfies, cruise-ins and a massive and renowned basic car auction.

For extra details about other points to see and do in Auburn and DeKalb County, visit

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