4 Auto Museums in North Carolina Worth Visiting
Ever since Henry Ford made automobiles cheap enough for anyone to afford, cars have been an important part of the American culture. You can find classic and modern collections all across the United States. There are more than a few in North Carolina alone just waiting for you to stop by.
The North Carolina Transportation Museum
Located in Spencer, northeast of Salisbury, the North Carolina Transportation Museum is primarily dedicated to trains. The building that houses it was originally a way station midway between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and it helped breathe life into the state’s early years. With the decline of train travel, locals repurposed the building as a transportation museum, and it has since become one of the biggest in the country. In addition to steam and diesel locomotives, the Transportation Museum also holds vintage airplanes, antique and classic cars, and even a few old-fashioned wagons.
Richard Petty Museum
Located a few miles south of Greensboro in Randleman, the Richard Petty Foundation operates a museum dedicated to the history of one of the first big families in American stock car racing. The Richard Petty Museum has several buildings dedicated to both the racing history of Richard Petty and the corporate history of Petty Engineering. Along with many of the race cars driven by the Petty clan, the museum has many of the vintage cars collected by family members. There’s also an area for kids to design their own race cars.
Bennet Classic Antique Auto Museum
The Bennet Classic Antique Auto Museum is in Forest City, a town located a few hours west of Charlotte. This museum is relatively new, but it already has an extensive collection of over 70 classic cars and trucks, including a Model T, a ’48 Mack truck, an old Forest City fire truck, and several classic muscle cars. The museum takes its name from the brothers Bennet, who started collecting cars several decades ago. They decided to open the warehouse doors and let everyone enjoy the pieces of car history they gathered.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame
Located in the heart of Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a great place even if you only have a passing interest in NASCAR and American stock racing. The centerpiece is the Hall of Honor, where all the famous names of NASCAR have a spot, but the hall also includes a theater, a café, a gift shop, and several exhibits like the Heritage Speedway and Glory Road. It honors and displays some of the most famous stock cars and race tracks in NASCAR history as well as celebrating the colorful personalities of the drivers.
Whether you’re a fan of NASCAR, a lover of classic vehicles, or just a family looking for a way to spend a weekend afternoon, you can find plenty of car museums in North Carolina that are worth visiting. Car lovers live all throughout the state, and the museums they fund are a great way to see living pieces of history.
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