9 Places Car Enthusiasts Need to Visit Before They Die

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Speedway, Indiana

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, and formerly the home of the United States Grand Prix. Located 10 miles west of downtown Indianapolis, the Speedway is also a national historic landmark.

Built in 1909, the Speedway, just outside the city limits of Indianapolis, features a museum with a collection of race cars – IndyCars, NASCAR, Formula One, Sprint, and more. Also on the grounds is the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort, which originally opened as the Speedway Golf Course in 1929.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. To plan your trip, visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website.

North American International Auto Show

Detroit, Michigan

Held every January, the annual North American International Auto Show is one of the biggest auto events in the world. Manufacturers unveil new models and concept cars in Detroit.

In 1899, William E. Metzger helped organize the Detroit Auto Show, only the second of its kind. The next year, he helped stage the New York Auto Show in New York's Madison Square Garden. Since 1907, the auto show was held annually except 1941-1953. In 1987, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association proposed for the show to become international. It is estimated that the auto show generates a revenue of over $500 million to the local economy.

You can buy tickets to the 2018 auto show on the NAIAS website.

Henry Ford Museum

Dearborn, Michigan

The Henry Ford is comprised of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, it is the largest outdoor-indoor museum in the United States.

Initially built to house the pioneering auto industrialist’s collection of historic paraphernalia, the museum now contains a wide variety of items related to antique machinery, industrialization, and pop culture.

For information about hours and ticket prices, visit the Henry Ford Museum website.

Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo, Texas

Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture installed along Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. It features ten Cadillacs from the 1949-1963 model years. They are buried nose-down in the earth and are covered in bright spray paint.

Created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels, those who visit can bring their own paint can contribute to the art.

Admission is free and visitors are encouraged to visit during daylight hours. Cadillac Ranch is located at 12601 W Interstate 40, Amarillo, TX.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Charlotte, North Carolina

The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010 and cost $160 million to build. It honors the greats of NASCAR and features the NASCAR Plaza, a 20-story office building, annual events, exhibits, as well as a driving simulator.

To plan your trip, visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame website.

Ferrari Factory and Museum

Maranello, Italy

Located close to Modena, Italy, Ferrari has been producing cars here since the 1940s. The adjoining museum features sports cars as well as Ferrari memorabilia.

You can find tour schedules, ticket prices, and more on the Ferrari Factory and Museum website.

Havana, Cuba

After the 1960 embargo, American manufacturers could no longer export to Cuba, and as a result, many Cubans have gone to great lengths to update and maintain their pre-1960 cars. An estimated 60,000 of those vehicles are still on the road today and are the passion projects of many proud Cubans.

U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from traveling to Cuba unless they qualify for one of the 12 general licenses for travel by the Department of Treasury’s Office. Be sure to consult the U.S. embassy’s website before planning travel to Cuba.

Mercedes-Benz Museum

Stuttgart, Germany

The Mercedes-Benz Museum covers the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand and the brands associated with it. Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz brand and the international headquarters of Daimler AG.

Car fans can drive the Autobahn to Stuttgart, the birthplace of the modern automobile. There they can visit the impressive Mercedes museum as well as the Porsche factory. The museum provides visitors with free audio tours in a variety of languages. In 2007, the museum was visited by 860,000 people.

To purchase tickets and view tour information, visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum website.

Petersen Automotive Museum

Los Angeles, California

The Petersen Automotive Museum takes up a full block on Los Angele’s Miracle Mile. It is one of the largest car museums in the world.

The museum has more than 100 vehicles on display in 25 galleries. The remaining half of the collection is kept in a "vault," located on the basement level of the building.

To plan your trip, visit the Petersen Automotive Museum website.

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