Museum Highlight: Gem on the Indiana Prairie

Indiana’s love affair with the automobile is on full display at the Kokomo Automotive Museum in Howard County.

Landmarks on Wheels

Founded in 1998, the Kokomo Automotive Museum displays an eclectic collection of over 100 landmarks on wheels celebrating not only America’s, but Indiana’s, love affair with the automobile. Indiana-built cars in the collection range from a replica of Elwood Haynes’ 1894 “Pioneer” to a 1997 GM EV-1 electric car.

This 1923 Haynes Model 75 tourister was restored in the 1970s. The larger of the Haynes series for 1923, the four-passenger car is the “face” of the Kokomo Automotive Museum, purchased through a grant from the Howard County Community Foundation. Haynes was out of business by 1925. (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

The museum’s Kokomo/Howard County Gallery of Automotive Innovations features 13 authentic Haynes-Apperson, Haynes, and Apperson cars, while the Indiana Gallery shows the best and brightest from throughout the state: Cole, Marmon, Premier, Cord, Lark, Hawk, and even a tiny Crosley to remind us not all Indiana-built cars are chrome-plated classics.  The remainder of the museum gives visitors a full step back in time with chronologically displayed classic cars, muscle cars, fabulously finned beauties of the 1950s, a 1950s diner, a 1900s workshop, and a 1920s gas station.

The very original 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan with just 11,750 miles drives like a dream! (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

Planning a visit? Consider the museum’s annual “Evening of Fun and Fortune” coming up April 27 and preview the cars that will be for sale at the Hoosier Classic Collector Car Auction on April 28 – a sale in excess of 75 collector cars of all kinds, from Ford Model Ts to modern muscle like the Dodge Hellcat.

The Kokomo Automotive Museum is located on the north side of Kokomo inside the Kokomo Event and Conference Center and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am to 4 pm.

Indiana Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) member Donn Wray owned the 1937 Cord 812 Westchester for 30 years . An early series 1936 car that was unsold and renumbered for sale in 1937 and since certified as having its original engine and transmission. (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

This 1941 Lincoln Continental, restored for Indiana CCCA Member Art Isles, is considered the classic Lincoln design. (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

All six power windows and AC still work on this 1959 Cadillac Series 60 Special, a 30,000 mile car that has been in Kokomo its entire life. (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

The collection’s 1964 Studebaker GT Hawk is one of the last built before production ended in December 1963. (Photo courtesy of Kokomo Automotive Museum.)

Jeff Shively is an Indiana Automotive Board Member and serves as Director of Development at the Kokomo Automotive Museum.

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