Asking car buffs to pick their favorite collector vehicle is like asking them to choose between their children: It’s virtually impossible because they love them all for different reasons.
Here in the Motor City, you can check out all of your favorites at a number of car museums — and even one of the world’s largest automotive special events. When there isn’t a Detroit auto show in town, check out one of our seven favorite car museums. Enjoy the ride!
1. The Henry Ford
Whether you are interested in experiencing the museum, factory, village, Giant Screen Experience or all four, The Henry Ford is known as the place of “amazing inventions, daring visionaries and living traditions that span three centuries of American life”. The Goldenrod, the Kennedy Presidential Limousine and Rosa Park’s bus are only three of many popular automobile-related exhibits.
2. Ford Rouge Factory Tour
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is one of four options presented to visitors upon arrival at The Henry Ford. It is a self-guided, five-part experience that includes the Legacy Theater, Manufacturing Innovation Theater, Observation Deck Tour, Ford F-150 truck Assembly Plant Walking Tour and Legacy Gallery.
3. GM Showroom
Located in the GMRENCEN, the GM Showroom is a free, 40,000-square-foot display space showcasing the most current GM vehicle models, as well as interactive kiosks and videos discussing GM initiatives, products and services.
4. Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Besides being the historical home of the Ford family, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is currently featuring the Women Who Motor exhibit, which includes films, vintage advertisements and artifacts like Clara Ford’s driver’s permit and duster. Inspired by Eleanor Ford’s request for hat room, the exhibit highlights women and their large influence to the history and industry of automobiles.
5. Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Tour
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, also known as the birthplace of the Model T (as well as Models B, C, F, K, R, N and S), is recognized as one of the most “significant automotive heritage sites in the world”. It is typically open for tours by appointment only; however, during the auto show dates, it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
6. Meadow Brook Hall Tour
If you are interested in how the automotive aristocracy lived, you need to visit the Dodge-Wilson 88,000-square-foot home located at Meadow Brook Hall. For tour information, visit their website.
7. Automotive Hall of Fame
The Automotive Hall of Fame includes everything from the birth of the automobile to motorsports to tech visionaries. Located in Dearborn, it is for anyone who wants to “discover the driving spirit that accelerated our lives.”
8. Detroit Historical Museum
America’s Motor City exhibition at the Detroit Historical Museum tells the “fascinating stories of both how cars built metro Detroit and how metro Detroit built cars, as well as why Detroit became the Motor City”. Beginning with the Automotive Showplace exhibit at its entrance, it is a must-see for Detroiters, as well as those visiting. Tour information is available online.
9. Giant Uniroyal Tire
An eight-story tire gets everyone’s attention, and that is why the Giant Uniroyal Tire is a popular automobile-related attraction in metro Detroit. Now located in Allen Park, it was originally created in the ’60s as a Ferris Wheel attraction for New York World’s Fair, one on which Jacqueline Kennedy and her children rode. Even after several renovations over the years, it continues to “welcome visitors and residents back to the Motor City” since it is located near the Detroit Metro Airport.
Read more about attractions in Detroit.
- The Henry Ford
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124313-982-6001 Highlight on map | More Details
- Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236313-884-4222 Highlight on map | More Details
- Automotive Hall of Fame
21400 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124313-240-4000 Highlight on map | More Details
- Detroit Historical Museum
5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-833-1805 Highlight on map | More Details
- Detroit Metro Airport
2500 World Gateway Place, I-94 at Merriman Road, Detroit, MI 48242734-AIR-PORT (24 Highlight on map | More Details