See Classic Cars at The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Indiana

My husband and I usually take the backroads when traveling for pleasure. But after spending a lovely week in Michigan recently, we headed down I-69 to see the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, the “Home of the Classics”.

The museum is housed in the former Auburn Automobile Company headquarters and factory showroom, an elegant 1930s Art Deco building that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was here that luxurious and sporty Auburns and Cords–and later, Duesenbergs–were designed and sold to the rich and famous in the 1920s and '30s.

The building's first floor — the old showroom — now displays classic Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs, just as it did decades ago. The restored room still features the original lighting fixtures and other ornate architectural details.

The cars are so shiny, you could use them as mirrors. Next to each auto is a sign noting its year, make and model. Some of the signs also include interesting bits of information, such as who owned the car, how many of that particular model were made or something unusual about it.

There are eight different exhibit galleries in the museum, featuring 115 vintage cars. The second floor, once used for corporate offices, now displays Cadillacs, Studebakers and Rolls-Royces, among other vehicles representing the golden age of automobiles.

We heard that the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival over the extended Labor Day weekend is a fun time to visit. Collectors come from all over to proudly display their restored automobiles and share stories about their cars.

Highlights include the Parade of Classics, a vintage car procession that winds through downtown Auburn, on Saturday… an antique show and quilt exhibition… arts and crafts booths… a collector's car auction… and other special events for young and old alike. It has us revved up for a return visit!

Before You Visit

Auburn is in northeast Indiana on State Highway 8, just east of I-69 and 20 miles north of Fort Wayne.

The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students (grade school to college) and $23 for a family pass. For more information call 1-260/925-1444.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival begins the Thursday before Labor Day and ends on Labor Day (Aug. 29-Sept. 2 in 2002). There's an admission fee for some of the events. To learn more, call 1-260/925-3600.

More to See

Adjacent to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum is the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS), featuring more than 100 vintage cars and trucks, as well as model cars and trucks. It's housed in the restored Auburn Automobile Company factory buildings and is open daily, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4.50 for adults and $2 for youths ages 5-12. For details call 1-260/925-9100.

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