Actually, the Gilmore isn’t a single car museum—it’s a big, beautiful campus with lots of great automotive attractions. Mac’s Motor City Garage pays a visit.
When MCG visited the Gilmore recently to do a feature on the new American Legends exhibit starring famous Midwestern hot rods, it was a perfect opportunity to take in the rest of the facility and do some catching up. Unlike a lot of museums, the Gilmore isn’t a static, unchanging edifice. It’s a vibrant and growing enterprise, and with each visit there are more things to experience.
Tucked away in little Hickory Corners, Michigan in the southwestern corner of the state, the Gilmore sits on 90 acres in a storybook setting, with eight large red barn-like buildings spread around the grounds to house the museums and displays. They include:
+ The Heritage Center/Main Museum: Here you’ll find the front entrance and admission to all the collections. The main museum houses American passenger cars, taxis, big Classics including Duesenbergs, and also includes a rotating gallery for exhibits like the American Legends hot rod show.
+ The Steam Barn, which features rare autos, mostly American, from the 1890s to 1915.
+ The Franklin Collection, an entire wing devoted to America’s great air-cooled cars, including engine displays and a bare Franklin chassis with its amazing wooden frame.
+ The Model A Ford Museum, a more recent addition to the Gilmore complex, is set up like an old-time Ford dealer with antique service equipment and neat cutaway displays. Vintage Ford heaven.
+ The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Museum features the big Capital-C Classics the club is noted for: Auburn, Lincoln, Cadillac, and more.
+ On the grounds, an authentic vintage Shell service station and a real 1941 stainless steel diner that serves lunch every day from 11 AM to 4 PM.
+ The Carriage House, where Cadillacs and LaSalles are currently housed, and another entire building devoted to classic motorcycles.
…and much more—too much to describe here. And there’s more on the way. A Lincoln Museum and a Cadillac-LaSalle Museum, both of them major undertakings we hear, are also in the works. The Gilmore also hosts a number of major events, including the Corvair International Meet this month and the Relix Riot traditional hot rod show each August. The campus is the perfect setting for any kind of collector car show or meet.
To learn more about the Gilmore and plan your visit, head over to the official website. Meanwhile, you can check out just a few of the great cars and attractions in the gallery below.