Drive Into The Past Courtesy Of American Vintage Car Museums

The American love affair for the automobile began shortly after Henry Ford rolled out his legendary Model T in 1908. The passion has never died. While this is evident in the number of new makes and models produced each year, the proof is also found in the many classic and vintage car museums found throughout the United States.

Just about every region of the country has its own classic car museum where old models are put on display likes works of art for people to marvel at. The following is just a sampling of the places automobile lovers may want to consider visiting to see legendary machines of the past:

•The Northwest Vintage Car Museum – Located in Salem, Oregon, this museum is dedicated to educating people about the heritage, history and evolution of motorcycles and automobiles through the years. Although still in the formation stage and fund raising for construction, the museum sponsors a number of events and shows throughout the year. You have obtain a schedule searching for museum using your search engine. Once the museum is able to raise enough money for construction, it plans to house a large collection of automobile memorabilia, automobiles and educational materials.
•The Antique Auto Museum at Hersey – Found in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this museum exists to help educate visitors about automotive history. The dream for the museum began to take shape in 1993 when a million capital campaign was launched. By 2002, groundbreaking on a 71,000-square-foot facility was able to take place. Today, the museum boasts a professional staff of curators and houses a display area that includes representations of 80 years of automotive history.  The permanent collection includes a 1936 Ford Cabriolet, a 1926 Pierce Arrow and even the Lakeland bus used in the movie Forrest Gump, among other prize vehicles. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum plays host to car shows and other exhibits.
•Petersen Automotive Museum – Nestled on bustling Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, this museum was founded in 1994 thanks to a million donation from Margie and Robert E. Petersen to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. The Petersen museum boasts 300,000 square feet of space dedicated to exhibiting not only automotive history, but also to illustrating the impacts autos have had on American life and culture. The venue boasts more than 150 classic and rare motorcycles, trucks, cars, race cars and more. Permanent exhibits include a gallery of celebrity cars, a display dedicated to alternative power-driven vehicles and one focused on racing cars. The museum also plays host to a variety of traveling exhibits throughout the year.  Some of the more famous cars in the collection include Herbie the Love Bug, The 1965 Hannibal 8 from the movie The Great Race and the 1971 De Tomaso owned by Elvis Presley.

The impact of the automobile on American culture is hard to deny. Museums dedicated to the history of the automobile serve as constant reminders that Henry Ford ignited a passion that still burns strongly today.

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