Driving America Exhibit Henry Ford Museum Michigan
The Henry Ford Museum, formerly known as the Edison Institute Museum is a traditional museum reflecting Henry Ford's love of farm tools, home appliances, furniture and industrial machines. The Driving America section of the museum shows the impact of cars on America. In addition to the cars, I enjoyed the old neon signs for McDonald's and Holiday Inn.
There is a lot more to the Driving America Exhibit than just the history of Ford, but the photos I have included here are are famous Ford's. The top photo is the 1896 Quadricycle, the first automotive invention of Henry Ford, created while he was still working for Thomas Edison. The next two photos are of some cool looking vintage Fords, the 1958 Edsel Ford and the 1905 Ford Model B. The bottom photo shows the 1965 Lotus-Ford race car. This 1965 Indianapolis 500 winner featured a Lotus chassis powered by a specially designed Ford V-8 engine.
We are taking a look at "The Henry Ford" from the perspective of a car museum but it is much more than that. "The Henry Ford" from the way their website lists it, is a large indoor and outdoor history museum complex. It is a bit confusing because some people look at it as a single museum. There is the Henry Ford Museum, the Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, and they also have an IMAX movie theater.
We first visited the Henry Ford in 2015, and returned in 2016. Many places I visit I look at with the attitude of been there, done that. The Henry Ford complex is like the Smithsonian complex in Washington, no matter how much you take in, you can always return and realize what you missed on your last visit.
You need to look at the entire complex and plan out your visit. You really need at least two full days to take it all in. Greenfield Village is a large outdoor collection of buildings laid out much like an amusement park. I would allow one full day for Greenfield Village, and spend the second day at the Henry Ford Museum and take in the Ford Rouge Factory Tour where they currently build the Ford F-150 pickup trucks.
The Henry Ford is located in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. If you are in the Detroit area you should also plan to visit the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the first home of the Ford Model T.
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is covered in our next section here at AlteredAutomotive.