Car Museums Around the World

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Travel Features >> Car Museums Around the World

Car Museums Around the World

January 03, 2013

I never really understood people’s fascination towards cars until I watched Pixar’s animation movie, ‘Cars’. Before that, and maybe sometimes even now, I scoffed when others would draw in a quick breath and mutter “wow” at a passing Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar or the like.
This new found fascination for cars led me to research spots considered Mecca for car lovers. Believe me, if you love cars, have an insatiable need for speed and the will to travel far and wide to ogle cars, check out these fabulous car museums from around the world.

Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Inside the Mercedes-Benz Museum, one gets an opportunity to revisit the car’s lineage, dating back 126 years, in an open space which includes a soaring floor-to-ceiling entrance hall and 178,000 square feet of display space. There are seven Legend Rooms that trace the history of the automobile and the five Collection rooms that showcase the collection of the brand.

Porsche Museum, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany
The Porsche Museum enthrals you with its ‘floating’ exhibition hall; in fact, the museum building itself is considered to be an architectural feat. The museum also houses a Central Department which offers all the historical and contemporary knowledge about Porsche that one would ever need! It presents the fascinating thrill and diversity of the Porsche brand to visitors from all over the world. Interestingly, there were over 1.2 million visitors to the museum last year.

Volkswagen Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany
The Volkswagen Museum - a £270m Autostadt, was opened in 2000, next to Volkswagen headquarters. The massive 250,000 square meter complex features lakes, parks, marketplaces, streets and even its own train station. Top that! In addition to that, there are also various types of entertainment, world restaurants, and an events centre.

Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, USA
It is home to more than 200 historic vehicles grouped in a sequence of era dioramas and proudly boasts of many celebrity and movie cars as well. Auto enthusiasts will revel in the displays of the different aspects of the automobile industry and will find the exhibits really interesting.

National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA
This museum has the largest collections of Corvette cars on display – over 70 of them. It also houses the only 1983 model of a Vette. Here, along with providing a view into the ‘heart of the beast’, there are guided factory tours as well.

Studebaker National Museum, Southbend, Indiana, USA
A famous exhibit at this museum is the 1835 Conestoga Wagon, which is the vehicle John Studebaker built around 1835 to move his family from Pennsylvania to Ashland, Ohio. Also on display is the carriage used by Abraham Lincoln, a 1934 Bendix and numerous last models from Studebaker's.

Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, USA
This museum is a huge shrine to the car and its impact on America. It also features a drive-in theatre, walking routes, the Kennedy presidential limousine and the chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in during the production of ‘Our American Cousin’ at Ford's Theatre when he was assassinated on April 14, 1865.

Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum, Modena, Italy
This place entwines the historic with the futuristic with a building resembling a sports car’s bonnet, - air vents and all. Showcasing the evolution of the legendary vehicle, the museum visitors revisit the history of the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Maserati vehicles.

Mille Miglia Museum, Brescia, Italy
An automotive expedition to Italy should unquestionably embrace a stop in Brescia to take in the Mille Miglia Museum. An edifice to commemorate and pay homage to Italy’s legendary thousand-mile open-road survival race, held from 1927–1957, the museum is famed for showcasing mechanical creations from brands like Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, and BMW.

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
While technically not a museum, this deserves a spot on any list that has anything to do with cars! It is the world’s largest and only indoor Ferrari themed park. Its iconic red roof, inspired by the Ferrari GT body, spans 200,000 square meters, carrying the largest Ferrari logo ever created. The indoor area covers 86,000 square meters – large enough to fit seven football fields. Ferrari World features more than 20 rides and attractions designed to tell the Ferrari story, from the world’s fastest roller coaster, to advanced racing simulators and driving and scenic experiences. Whether you’re with friends or family, Ferrari World will appeal to all.

To be honest, even someone like me, completely ignorant of cars and their makers, would be bowled over by any of these museums or theme parks. So, if you do get the chance to visit any of these places, grab it by the horns!

- Contributed by Nupur Kaudan

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