15 Places Every Car Enthusiast Should Visit Before They Die
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana
Also known as the racing capital of the world, the home of the Indy 500 is now a national historic landmark as well. Constructed 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, midget cars and more.
Bonneville Salt Flats, Tooele, Utah
Covering 30,000 acres of densely packed salty earth, the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah are actually the remains of pre-historic Lake Bonneville. But for today’s auto enthusiasts, the Salt Flats are all about speed. Numerous land speed records have been broken here and anyone may bring their vehicle to the Bonneville Speedway for “Speed Week” in August.
Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Car fans can drive the Autobahn to Stuttgart, the birthplace of the modern automobile. There they can visit the impressive Mercedes museum (shown) as well as the Porsche factory.
North American International Auto Show, Detroit, Michighan
The annual Detroit Auto Show, held each January, is one of the biggest auto events in the world. Manufacturers unveil new models and concept cars in Detroit. Other large-scale auto shows abound across the U.S., most notably in New York and Florida.
Havana may be the single best locale in the world to ogle classic American cars. After the 1960 embargo, American manufacturers could no longer export to Cuba, but 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.
Tesla Factory, Fremont, California
Tesla’s new factory in Fremont, California is a technological marvel, currently open only to Tesla Model S, Model X and Roadster owners, however the company hopes to expand its tour program to a wider public in the future. In the meantime, if you’re one of the lucky few, you need to book your tour reservation at least three to four weeks in advance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
NASCAR’s most prestigious race, the Daytona 500 has been referred to as the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing. Thirty-minute tours of the Speedway are available to visitors, race schedule permitting.
Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
The Henry Ford which comprises the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn is the largest outdoor-indoor museum in the U.S. 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 popular culture. The Henry Ford is situated between the Ford Dearborn test track and some Ford engineering buildings.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
This public art installation along Interstate 40 in Amarillo, features ten Cadillac sedans from the 1949 through 1963 model years, buried nose down in the earth. Those in the know bring cans of spray paint to contribute to the automotive work of art.
NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, North Carolina
A relatively recent addition to car lovers’ must-see lists, Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010 and honors the greats of NASCAR racing. The Hall of Fame hosts events and exhibits as well as a driving simulator.
Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Since 1929, Monaco has been home to one of the most glamorous and prestigious motor races in the world. The Monaco circuit runs through the city streets of Monte Carlo and along the nearby harbor for the Formula One race each May. Grandstands are set up in key locations for viewing.
Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California
Occupying a full block on Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile, the Petersen Automotive Museum is among the largest car museums in the world. Its twenty-five galleries showcase one hundred cars, while another hundred cars remain in its “vault.”
Ferrari Factory and Museum, Maranello, Italy
Ferrari owners describe their visits to the company’s factory in Maranello Italy as a “religious experience.” Located not far from Modena, Italy, Ferrari has been producing cars here since the 1940s. The adjoining museum features sports cars as well as Ferrari memorabilia.
Carhenge, Alliance, New England
Like Cadillac Ranch, Carhenge is a large-scale outdoor art installation composed of vintage automobiles. With 39 vehicles arranged in a circle and spray-painted gray, the piece is supposed to replicate England’s Stonehenge.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Pebble Beach, California
Better known as the venue for an annual PGA tournament, the Pebble Beach Golf Course hosts the annual Concours d’Elegance each summer. The event showcases perhaps the best examples of collector cars in America and caps off Monterey’s annual Car Week the third week of August.