E3 Spark Plugs’ Top Picks for Great Automotive Museums

Hey car buffs – Looking for something different to do with your vacation time this year? E3 Spark Plugs offers its list of three must-see automotive museums.

Johnny B. Goode guitar car, a favorite exhibit at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois - an E3 Spark Plugs' top pick for great auto museums.

Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan: Named one of the nation’s top five car museums, the Gilmore Car Museum features eight historic barns full of vintage cars, including an authentic London double-decker bus and a collection of vintage pedal cars you might remember from your own childhood; a mammoth collection of hood ornaments and name badges; and a re-created 1930s service station. When you get the munchies, stop by George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner for a Chicago style hot dog, frozen custard and some 1940s nostalgia. Until moving nearly 800 miles in 2004, the 1941 diner served up tens of thousands of cups of coffee to locals and weary travelers for nearly sixty years in its original Meridian, CT locale.

Volo Auto Museum, Volo, Illinois: This family-friendly museum offers 30 acres of attractions and activities for every age. In addition to a history-rich vintage car collection, kids will get a kick out of the Hall of Fame collection, which includes a zany mix of car creations inspired by storybook and cartoon characters such as Cinderella, Buggs Bunny and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, plus entertainers Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin. A favorite at the Volo Auto Museum is the 24-foot-long guitar-shaped Johnny B. Goode car, a tribute to the “Father of Rock & Roll” Chuck Barry. There’s also a full section dedicated to military history, and a collection of famous cars featured in television shows and films available for rent to businesses and charities.

International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum, Talladega, Alabama: It was around long before Will Farrell donned a Ricky Bobby race suit and thanked Baby Jesus for PowerAde. And it features an awe-inspiring collection of automobiles and memorabilia from throughout racing history. Among the vehicles on display at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum are Indy cars driven by Andy Granitelli and Billy Vukovich; a #3 Goodwrench Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt and the No. 33 Skoal Bandit Monte Carlo that Harry Gant drove in his final race. Other items include hundreds of trophies, uniforms, helmets and artwork from nearly every type of motorsport. And hardcore racing fans love the track tours, running all year except during race weeks in April and October.

Do you have a favorite automotive attraction not on the E3 Spark Plugs’ list? Leave us a comment. And if you’re planning a road trip of any sort, be sure to pick up a set of fuel- and cash-saving E3 car spark plugs, truck spark plugs or motorcycle spark plugs first.