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Best Automotive Museums – Virtual Tour

Automotive Museums - Virtual Tour

Automotive Museums – Virtual Tour

Automotive Museums explore the history of automotive-related transportation and sport. These museums celebrate Automotive Industry milestones and Sporting achievements and its famous people.

The word automotive comes from the Greek “autos” (self) and Latin “motivus” (of motion), referring to any form of self-powered vehicle. This term first came into use regarding automobiles in 1898.

A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle, commonly wheeled, that does not operate on rails and is used for the transportation of people or cargo.

The vehicle power is provided by an engine or motor, usually an internal combustion engine or an electric motor, or some combination of the two.

There are several vehicle classes covered Automotive Museums, which include cars, buses, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, light trucks, and regular trucks.

Virtual Tour of Automotive Museums

Highlights Tour of Automotive Museums

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is intrinsically linked to the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400.

The museum’s exhibits also display other forms of motorsports, passenger cars, and automotive history.  

On display are over 70 cars with only a portion of the total collection exhibited at any one time. The museum’s cars are sometimes loan for exhibitions to other museums, historical car shows, and events.

The museum’s collection includes trophies, plaques, helmets, gloves, driver’s suits, and racing paraphernalia.

Exhibits include photographs, paintings, the history of Speedway, the evolution of the racetrack, and memorabilia.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum – 360 Virtual Views

Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum began as a private collection in 1988. The museum opened in 1994 with a focus on vintage motorcycles and the history of motorcycles from around the world.

In 1997 the Barber Museum participated in “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit that showcased in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Following the popular success of that exhibit, Barber set out to create a unique facility complete with a track.

In designing the complex, Barber consulted with world champion racers, and in 2003, the Barber Museum was relocated to the Barber Motorsports Park.

Today the museum contains over 1,600 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars. It is the largest motorcycle museum in the world, as well as the most extensive collection of Lotus race cars.

The motorcycle collection includes bikes dating from 1904, and they originate from 16 countries and represent over 140 different marques.

Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

Automotive Hall of Fame

The Automotive Hall of Fame is a museum that highlights and recognizes the people who have contributed significantly to automotive history. It was founded in 1939 and has over 800 worldwide honorees.

The Hall of Fame includes award recipients from advertising, dealerships, designers, racing, engineers, mechanics, drivers, executives, inventors, and union officials. It consists of the automotive industry, suppliers, dealers, and support.

The Automotive Hall of Fame the following different awards: Hall of Fame Induction Award, Industry Leader of the Year Award, Distinguished Service Citation, Young Leader, and Excellence Award.

The Automotive Hall of Fame facilities contains automobile history artifacts, a theater, and space for public events, meetings, and other exhibits.

The Hall of Fame inductees include the founders of Benz, Bugatti, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Daimler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, and Toyota among others.

Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum is located along Museum Row in Los Angeles, and it is one of the world’s largest automotive museums. The museum’s exhibitions cover the History, Industry, and Artistry of the Automobile Industry.

The museum has over 100 vehicles on display in 25 galleries. Another half of the collection is kept in a vault located on the basement level of the building. Age restrictions and an admission fee premium are in effect to view the vault collection.

The first floor focuses on automotive artistry with a collection of extravagant automobiles. The second floor is focused on industrial engineering covering design and performance. Displays include racing, motorcycles, hot rods, and customs.

The top floor chronicles the history of the automobile with an emphasis on the American car culture.

The building’s façade features a stainless-steel ribbon assembly made of 100 tons of 14-gauge type steel and 140,000 custom stainless-steel screws.

Petersen Automotive Museum – 360 View

NASCAR Hall of Fame

California Automobile Museum houses a collection of over 150 classic cars, racers, trucks, and early automobile models. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to preserve and exhibit the history of the automobile.

The Museum was founded in 1983 as the Towe Ford Museum, displaying the most extensive collection of Fords in the world. In 1997, the Museum was renamed to the Towe Auto Museum, as it began showing vehicles of all makes and models.

In 2009, the name of the Museum was changed to the California Automobile Museum to reflect its expanded mission.

The cars on display represent a cross-section of vehicles driven in the USA over the last 120 years.

Many of the automobiles are on loan from private exhibitors and collectors, allowing for a continually changing presentation on the story of the automobile.

NASCAR Hall of Fame – 360 Virtual Tours

California Automobile Museum

California Automobile Museum houses a collection of over 150 classic cars, racers, trucks, and early automobile models. The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to preserve and exhibit the history of the automobile.

The Museum was founded in 1983 as the Towe Ford Museum, displaying the most extensive collection of Fords in the world. In 1997, the Museum was renamed to the Towe Auto Museum, as it began showing vehicles of all makes and models.

In 2009, the name of the Museum was changed to the California Automobile Museum to reflect its expanded mission.

The cars on display represent a cross-section of vehicles driven in the USA over the last 120 years.

Many of the automobiles are on loan from private exhibitors and collectors, allowing for a continually changing presentation on the story of the automobile.

California Automobile Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

Hellenic Motor Museum

The Hellenic Motor Museum is a car museum in Athens. The museums’ collection consists of 300 cars, of which about 110 are displayed. The museum offers other facilities such as a Formula 1 simulator, and a road safety program.  

The museum is located in central Athens on the three top floors of the Athenian Capitol shopping mall.

Hellenic Motor Museum – 360 Virtual Views

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is an industry and technology museum centered on Toyota’s history. Toyota started as a textile firm and evolved into an automobile leader.

The museum is housed in an old red-brick textile factory, and the exhibits start with textile technologies and then introduces the history of Toyota cars.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology – 360 Virtual Views

Harley-Davidson Museum

The Harley-Davidson Museum exhibits cover the more than 100-year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The museum’s complex contains more than 450 motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s history.

The museum opened in 2008, in a historically industrial area of Milwaukee. In 2006, the groundbreaking ceremony included a burnout celebration using a Harley-Davidson XL883R Sportster, instead of with the traditional golden shovel.

The museum’s galleries displays are based on historic Harley-Davidson items that tell the company’s story and history, using motorcycles, photographs, posters, advertisements, clothes, trophies, video footage of motorcycling, and interactive exhibits.

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s corporate archives are also housed on the museum’s grounds.

Harley-Davidson Museum -360 Virtual Views

AACA Museum

The AACA Museum is an automotive museum dedicated to the preservation of American automobile history. The museum displays over 130 cars, buses, motorcycles, and automobile collectibles in settings from the 1890s to the 1980s.

The museum was formed in 1993 with a mission to preserve all forms of historical motor vehicles. The museum opened in 2003, with roughly 70 cars displayed in the scenery and set designs that complement the period in which each vehicle was manufactured.

Its significant collections include the Tucker Collection of 48 Tucker automobiles and the Museum of Bus Transportation collection.

The Museum of Bus Transportation showcases its collection of classic buses, of which about 33 buses are on display in the AACA Museum.

AACA Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum displays historic automobiles. The museum’s unique collection of vintage cars and vehicles demonstrate the outstanding creativity and imagination in their history and engineering.

The museum includes pioneering front-wheel drive and rear engine cars from the 1920s and 1930s. The vehicles were chosen based on the engineering achievements that made them an essential part of the evolution of the automobile. 

The collection includes rare early front-wheel-drive cars, Tatra rear-engine cars, Rear-engine Mercedes-Benz, Citroën cars, and a full-scale working replica of the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle, the Fardier (wheeled cart) of Nicolas-Joseph Cugno, in 1770.

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

BMW Museum

The BMW Museum focuses on BMW’s automotive history with the presentation of about 120 exhibits. The museum shows BMW’s technical developments and features engines and turbines, aircraft, motorcycles, and vehicles in many variations.

In addition to historical BMW models, the museum offers a futuristic look using conceptual studies from recent years.

The museum uses headphones, custom lighting, and exhibition design to present a unique museum experience. Visitors are guided through the exhibits with slideshows and smaller, in-depth exhibits which are located on “islands” inside the facility.

After “looping” from the ground floor to the upper floor, there are individual exhibits, a small cinema hall, and interactive exhibits that further explain BMW’s technology. 

BMW Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

British Motor Museum

The British Motor Museum holds the World’s most extensive collection of historic British cars. The museum has over 300 classic cars on display from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.

The museum is located on the site of the former RAF Gaydon airfield in South Warwickshire, which was home to the Rover Group’s design, technology, and testing ground.

The British Motor Museum offers research services, and its archive houses the historical records of many of the major car manufacturers.

Owners of classic cars can use their Vehicle Identification Number and engine numbers to research the original production records for their vehicle if available.

British Motor Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

Škoda Auto Museum

The Škoda Auto Museum focuses on Škoda Auto’s history, which has an unbroken record of over 125 years, starting in 1895. The Museum is located in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, next to its large production facility.

The Museum focuses on the evolution of Škoda products, brands, and the industry, with exhibits of historic cars, artifacts, and the presentation of its critical historical stages.

The Evolution Exhibit highlights the first bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, first car with the performance of seven hp, and other important examples of technology and designs.

The Tradition Exhibit displays vehicles from different eras, Škoda’s participation in motorsport, logo development, and the personalities and the events associated with the Škoda brand.

Škoda Auto Museum – 360 Virtual Tours

Automotive Museums – Video Tour

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum

Virtual Tour of Transport Museums

Petersen Automotive Museum

California Automobile Museum

A Tour of Specialist Museums

Harley-Davidson Museum

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“Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.”
– Mario Andretti

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Photo Credit: JOM

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