Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum – Auburn, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

Auburn, Indiana

A singular collection of hand-built art deco cars are held in a building with style to match. 


Sitting on a gleaming hatch-work wooden floor that could have served just as well in a swanky 1920s ballroom, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum collection is a stunning set of antique cars that were all made by hand in an era when style trumped utility.

Looking like cars that drove right out of The Great Gatsby, the ornately-styled cars produced by the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg car manufacturers were expensive, but lovely art deco showpieces built by hand in the early 20th century. Despite the lack of grim economic conditions of the 1920s and 30s in America, this trio of car manufacturers and their various subsidiaries designed and built some of the more luxurious and iconic autos of the day. They were known for long, sweeping curves and angles that shape over the wheel wells and the hood. These form features were often accented by shining art deco flourishes such as bold hood ornaments and angular geometric molding. And even in an age of increasing automation, the cars were still made by hand.

The building that the combined company used as an office and a showroom was specially designed to be an art deco jewel in and of itself. The exterior is brickwork covered in geometric shapes while the interior was decked out in gleaming architectural flourishes that perfectly matched the opulence of the vehicles on display.

Today the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is all that remains of the iconic car manufacturers who stopped production in the 1930s. Their former showroom building now holds the museum which contains around 130 of the cars from the era, still in pristine condition.    

Know Before You Go

Downtown Auburn on 7th St. / Highway 8

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