A new automotive museum has just opened next to the Motor City.
The Automotive Hall of Fame, a single-level building with lots of tinted glass and a pyramid-shaped central skylight, was financed by the automobile industry and opened in August in Dearborn, Mich. It is not, contrary to expectations, a collection of rare cars behind velvet ropes.Instead, it focuses on the people behind the machines: the inventors, business people and factory workers of the global auto industry. Through photographs, film, information panels and vintage sound recordings, the six-gallery museum tells the stories of Henry Ford, the German car builder Carl Benz, the Toyota founder Eiji Toyoda and Walter Chrysler.
Just five cars are on display, but each complements the exhibits. There's a reproduction of an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first car ever made. A 1931 Cord L-29 was one of the most beautiful and expensive cars of its time, and a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere represents flamboyant American styling. A 1965 Honda Formula One race car and a 1912 Flanders 20 are also part of the collection.
The Automotive Hall of Fame is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October; then it will be closed Mondays. Admission is $6; $5.50 for those over 62; $3 for children ages 5 through 12, and free for those under 5.
The address is 21400 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Mich.
For more information, call the museum at 1-888-298-4748 or 313-240-4000.
- Robyn Meredith