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The Facts Click HERE for PDF download

History

  • The Gilmore Car Museum started as the hobby of Kalamazoo Businessman Donald Gilmore in 1963 when his wife gave him an antique car as a restoration project. Gilmore was the Chairman of the Upjohn Company at the time
  • Opened to the public as a non-profit museum in July 31, 1966 with 35 cars on display

Grounds

  • Situated on 90-landscaped acres in rural southwest Michigan
  • Museum collection is housed in recreated factory building from the turn of the century and within a historic campus of several historic buildings, which include eight restored 19th century barns, an authentic operating 1940s diner, a recreated 1930s Shell gas station and train depot from the 1890s. Recreated auto dealerships include a Franklin dealership from the around 1918, a Model A Ford dealership from 1928 and currently being built are a 1930s Lincoln and a 1948 Cadillac dealership
  • There are nearly three miles of paved roadways, on which antique cars, as well as the Museum’s London Taxi, Checker Cab, Model T, or the London Double Decker bus can often be seen traveling
  • Since 2004, the Museum has invested over $15 million toward infrastructure and expanding its campus by nine new structures, bringing the museum total to nearly 200,000 square feet. It also added a highly regarded high school mentoring program and created an automotive research library / archive open to the public
  • George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner, an authentic 1941 diner, opened for business on site in 2005
  • Automotive Heritage Center – the newest building opened in 2012, is 32,000 square feet and fashioned after a turn of the century factory

Exhibits

  • Today, nearly 300 vehicles from all eras are displayed with a total combined collection of over 400 automobiles.
  • The oldest car on exhibit is an 1899 Locomobile Steam Car
  • The one of-a-kind enlarged movie set from the 1967 Disney feature film, “The Gnomemobile”, and a 1930 Rolls Royce were personal gifts from Walt Disney
  • There are over 100 vintage pedal cars on display
  • The Museum houses one of the largest displays of automotive mascots and name badges in North America, with more than 1,500 items on display

Museum Collections on the Historic Campus

  • Classic Car Club of America Museum
  • Pierce-Arrow Foundation Museum
  • The Tucker Historical Collection and Library
  • Midwest Miniatures Trust Museum
  • The Franklin Collection at Hickory Corners
  • Model A Ford Museum (opened May 18, 2013)
  • Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum (building began September 2013)
  • Cadillac-LaSalle Club Museum (broke ground late September 2013)

Accolades

  • Considered one of the “Top three car museums in the nation” by the experts – OLD CARS WEEKLY, ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE and CAR COLLECTOR magazines
  • Hailed as “Michigan’s #1 Historic Auto Site” – TRAVEL MICHIGAN
  • Named the “#1 Cool Collection” in Michigan – AAA LIVING MAGAZINE
  • Listed on “the ‘bucket list’ of must see auto museums” – AUTOWEEK MAGAZINE
  • Declared “Beyond any argument, this is one of the world’s great car collections” – HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS
  • The Gilmore Car Museum exhibits have created an “entertaining lesson in 20th-century popular culture” – WALL STREET JOURNAL
  • “One of the most unforgettable automobile museums on this continent” – OLD AUTOS MAGAZINE - Canada

Planning a Visit

  • The Museum is open year round, the Historic Campus and buildings are open from April 1 through November 30
  • Admission ranges from free for children under 6 to $12 for adults 18 and over, with special pricing for youth, seniors, and AAA members as well as groups
  • Educational school groups and active military are free
  • To get the most of a visit, it is suggested to allow a minimum of three hours for exploring
  • There are two dining options on the campus, the authentic 1941 Blue Moon Diner (which include sandwiches and frozen custard) or during the winter months, the Heritage Cafe
  • All buildings are wheelchair accessible (a limited number of wheelchairs are available on site)
  • The Gilmore Car Museum is a public, 501(c)3 non-profit educational institution, dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the automobile in America
  • The Gilmore Car Museum is just twenty minutes from I-94 and US-131, located midway between Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, and Lansing, Michigan
  • More than 80,000 guests, from all over the world, visit the Museum annually