The National Automobile Museum is located along the Truckee River near the Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Most of the cars found in the museum’s collection are from Bill Harrah’s massive collection that is comprised of classic cars that have influenced the American society. Bill Harrah is also the owner of Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino that contributed to his success.
The Harrah Collection used to be the largest collection of classic cars, iconic race cars, horseless carriages, and other unique vehicles that had historic significance. The collection was not only large, the quality of each car was also outstanding. Before the collection was distributed, it had around 1,400 vehicles.
Harrah died in 1978 and by 1980, most of Harrah’s assets were bought by Holiday Inns including his casinos, hotels, and the huge collection. The car community strongly insisted that the collection should be distributed and sold to the public. Holiday Inns decided to sell most of the cars individually in 3 large auctions and kept 175 key cars that were then donated to the National Automobile Museum.
At present, the National Automobile Museum as 200 cars in its collection which are displayed timely street scenes. The museum’s tour makes you feel like you are travelling through the 20th century. Some of the notable cars include an 1892 Panhard & Levassor Voiturette, 1917 Monroe M-3 roadster, 1938 Phantom Corsair Experimental six-passenger, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. There are also some cars that have starred in films such as the 1949 Mercury was driven by James Dean in the movie, “Rebel Without a Cause”.
1907 Thomas Flyer which is included in the National Historic Vehicle Register
The collection also includes the iconic 1907 Thomas Flyer that became the champion of the 1908 New York to Paris auto race which earned its placed on the National Historic Vehicle Register. Displayed together with cars are advertising signs of these classic cars. There are also some car emblems, car badges, vintage gas pumps and clothing that match each cars timeline. Most of the clothing featured are from the late 19th century up to the early 20th century.
The museum also features some interactive displays such as the antique “ooga” horn and the classic hat and coat that can be worn by guests for a photo shoot with the antique car.
The National Automobile Museum is open from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10 am – 4 pm on Sundays. They are only closed during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The museum tour takes around 2 hours and they allow same-day re-entry.
1938 Cadillac five-passenger touring sedan
1941 Lincoln Zephyr
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