“Throughout the Modern History of America, cars have been a very integral part of the lives of people. It’s not just about the fun part of a car ride, it is much more than that. For a nation like America where Automobiles for long have been an integral part of the society, whether it is with Bike Clubs or Off Roading Clubs, Racing Clubs and various designer clubs, cars have always proven to be integral in the American Society and these machines deserve to get places dedicated to them because of how they affect our society.”
In this article, we are going to touch the very automotive loving spirit of America by featuring a list of the must-visit places American Car Lovers should go if they haven’t visited them already.
Below is a list of the best places you’ll go to as a car lover, these are all kinds of places from museums to parks to speedways and even racetracks all lined up to let the car-loving American in you experience the history and the culture you’ve been a part of for so long, because as they say there is more to the there’s more to the American Car Culture than cruising up and down the main street and here are the ten must-visit places that every car lover should visit before they die.
1. Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction
You don’t need a big hedge fund stashed in some place like the Bahamas to enjoy the Barrett Jackson Car Auction, you can just be there and enjoy the atmosphere while seeing classic cars roll out for hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions. It is an opportunity to update your list of famous classic cars with their new homes.
More Recently. Barrett Jackson has been famous for another thing and that is the auctioning off of the first production vehicle which fetches millions of dollars generally with the proceeds going to some non-profit fund or any other non-profit organization.
Just simply being there at this crazy space is enough fun for a car lover that he or she can remember for a lifetime.
2. Henry Ford Museum
What better place to explore the legacy of the American automotive industry on the society than the Museum dedicated to an automobile visionary himself. The Henry Ford Museum situated in the home of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan is one of the largest indoor-outdoor museums of its kind and features some of the most important pieces of an automobile in the history of the country.
Features at this museum include the Presidential Limousine of John F Kennedy, the bus in which the legendary Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving a seat to a white passenger, 1950s era Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and lastly the first ever produced Ford Mustang.
This museum dives deeply into American History and connects the people to who we really are as a society.
3. National Corvette Museum
Don’t get misled by the name, though this Museum is dedicated to the Corvette, it is still just more than any museum with features like an NCM Motorsport Race Track, which is a sprawling track inside the museum that hosts many events for amateurs and professionals alike.
The National Corvette Museum works closely with General Motors’ Bowling Green Plant in Kentucky where the Corvettes are manufactured. The Corvette owners can choose to get a tour of the same GM factory before getting the possession of their car in this very Museum, now how exciting is that for a car lover! That’s not it, the Museum is open to everyone and even non-Corvette owners can also enjoy the Museum just not perhaps as much as one with a Corvette.
4. Cadillac Ranch in Texas
The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas is a public art display often Cadillac cars all built between 1949-63 buried deep into the ground nose first. The models buried are all a heyday of tailgates and chrome plating when it was all a style statement and fashion. Situated on private land, this exhibit is open to the public who are encouraged to interact with these cars by spray paint, the concept is that you should leave something and add your own graffiti as a contribution to this art exhibit.
5. Indianapolis 500
Dubbed as the greatest spectacle in racing, this is a must-attend event for all the racing and car enthusiasts alike. This one is unlike any other racing event on the planet with attendance reaching to as much as a whopping 300,000 on the Memorial Day. What is even better is that you don’t specifically have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy the festivities because diminishing interest in the Indy Car hasn’t really affected the appeal of this race as a cultural event for all to enjoy.
Today, the race is all about the tradition of the event that has been there for so many years, the race day is planned to every second with extravagant pre and post-race ceremonies already planned and the famous bottle of milk ready inside the victory lane after conclusion of 500 miles, plus who doesn’t like these insane cars reaching speeds of around 200 miles an hour?
6. Bonneville Speedway
Bonneville Speedway is a speedway in name only, actually, it is a lonely place in the Bonneville Flatlands in Utah which has been a site to witness the making and breaking of various records over time. Registered as a historic place in the National Register of Historic Places, these salt flats are one of the only few places in the USA to see these cars reach insane speeds.
Every August During Speed Week hundreds of drivers come to these salt flats to test their luck and break world records across various categories, you can go and witness them but these days this event is not a sure shot because the salt flats are deteriorating and due to this reason the race can also be canceled.
7. Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum located in Los Angeles is the home of rare and classic cars manufactured by automotive manufacturers from all over the world. Known to have the best car collection in the world, the museum displays around hundred of these rare and classic cars at a time while the other half rest in the vaults which have a premium ticket for viewing. The Museum offers several galleries and from time to time runs exclusive exhibits dedicated to a certain time or company like the famous Porsche exhibit of this very museum where they displayed a 1939 Porsche 64 which is one amongst the 2 still in existence. This museum is a real treat to the eyes of people who really love classic and vintage cars.
8. Pebble Beach Concours d’elegance
Pebble beach is a must go event for all the car lovers out there, featuring both pre and post war cars that are otherwise seen either in museums or in private collections of super-rich individuals. The event is held at the end of the Monterey Car Week and owners compete in this event for awards ranging many categories but all of them compete for one single one Best of the Show Award that is only given to one car. This is a high-class event where the participants are just the ultra and super-rich, although it doesn’t mean that you can’t witness these classic machines on show.
Some of the highlights that can be seen at this prestigious competition are 1938 Phantom Corsair, 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Convertible Coupe, 1930 Bentley Speed Six, and many more forgotten classics.
9. Woodward Dream Cruise
Every year in the month of August, the suburbs of Woodward located just north of Detroit get filled with millions of car enthusiasts who want to race up and down the Woodward Avenue or at least watch others do so. Here, the passion sports machinery has turned this previously one-day event into a weeklong extravaganza where automotive enthusiasts from all over the world come and enjoy.
The origins of this event can be traced back to the vibrant ’50s and 60’s when carloads of youngsters as well as teenagers would race up and down this avenue. The times have changed and so has the importance of this event, today the event has turned into a major happening for the automotive calendar where people from all over the country come and enjoy with automakers, suppliers and other automotive companies participating. This is a must witness for all the car enthusiasts.
10. Daytona 500
The NASCAR equivalent of Indy 500, this one is called the “The Great American Race”. Often the first event of the calendar year, this race has been happening in February since 1959, that is the year of inception itself. As a direct successor of the Daytona beach and road course which was instrumental in the formation of NASCAR, this is a huge event in the racing calendar of US today. Being such a massive event for both enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts, just like a festival has made this event worthy of a place in this bucket list.
11. Detroit Auto Show
One of the biggest events in the calendar, the Detroit Auto show is amongst the first ones in the calendar year. Setting the tone for the rest of the year, this is an important and big auto show gathering hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. A part of the prestigious North American International Auto Show, this 2-week long extravaganza is a treat to the eyes of all those who come and attend this event.
You can always take a car from a car enthusiast but you can’t take the love of cars away from car enthusiasts, this love is shown all across America with all the stuff written above. These events and exhibitions and museums not only are for the enthusiasts of cars, but they also serve a purpose of preserving the iconic car culture of this nation which has been relevant for some time now.
It is recommended for you to go to these amazing spaces at least once in your lifetime.