Gilmore Car Museum Michigan Awesome Automotive Adventure
The Gilmore Car Museum is more than a collection of cars, it is a large campus of automotive history. Of the many museums I have visited, not just automotive but any type of specialty museum, the Gilmore Car Museum is one of the best. Anyone who enjoys antique autos or learning a bit about American history will absolutely love the Gilmore Car Museum.
The Gilmore Car Museum started out as a private collection owned by Donald S. Gilmore, retired chairman of the board of the Upjohn Company. Gilmore joined the Upjohn Company in 1929 and served as chairman and chief executive officer from 1953 to 1961. Gilmore began collecting vintage automobiles in the 1960s. To accommodate his collection Gilmore acquired 90 acres of land in southwestern Michigan in a small town known as Hickory Corners.
Gilmore Car Museum campus does more that just show you the cars, it gives you a real feel for the history of the auto in America. The Museum’s 90-acre Historic Campus contains one main building and several smaller buildings housing specialty collections.
The Gilmore Car Museum has a restored 1930s Shell Gas Station and an authentic 1940s diner on the ground that serves sandwiches and snacks. Sadly, the place is very small and was always full on our visit the the museum, so we did not get to go inside.
One of my favorite specialty areas on the campus is the re-creation of a 1928 Ford dealership. It is the largest public museum dedicated to the Model A Ford. The 13,000-square-foot specialty museum includes a service bay and gas pumps, and a service and parts department that makes you feel like you have traveled back in time. Inside you will find a few rare examples of the famed car, including Thomas Edison’s Model A, a school bus, mail truck, and tow-truck.
On our mid west road trip heading east from Chicago, we stopped at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, before moving on to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. Both of these museums have very nice displays built around the autos and in many cases give you a feel for the era of the auto you are viewing.
When originally planning a mid west road trip to Chicago I did not know of the Gilmore Car Museum, and never heard of Hickory Corners, Michigan. I am sure glad I found it!
Hickory Corners, Michigan is roughly 90 miles north of South Bend, Indiana. There is really nothing else in Hickory Corners, it is in the middle of a corn field. Battle Creek, Michigan, is about 20 miles east of Hickory Corners, that's where we spent the night.