The National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV is an award-winning museum that exhibits innovative design and an exceptional collection of more than 200 automobiles. Opened in 1989, the Museum features a variety of collectible vehicles, mostly from the late Bill Harrah’s world-famous collection, ranging from classic, vintage, and special interest automobiles to dynamic race cars, and rare and one-of-a-kind wonders.
The Museum is also home to one of the finest collections of horseless carriage in the world. Exhibits include authentic street scenes from the turn-of-the-20th century, special displays, memorabilia and spacious galleries of vintage cars. Visitors can enjoy self-guided audio or docent-led guided tours, theatre presentations, and storyboards of information, along with shopping in the Museum Store for gifts and mementos.
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Mission and Vision
The National Automobile Museum was established with the aim of educating and entertaining audiences about the history of automobiles and other vehicles through exhibits, special events and programs, and stories about the collections. The mission of the Museum is to collect and preserve rare and collectible automobiles for the education of future generations.
The National Automobile Museum was founded in 1989 following the death of Bill Harrah, who assembled the most extensive and most historically significant collection in the world with more than 1,400 vehicles. This incredible collection was donated to the museum on his death and celebrates his legacy today.
Exhibits / Collections
The National Automobile Museum features a collection of over 200 automobiles which are spread over four large galleries. Each gallery is themed, complete with faux shopfronts and props and showcases cars from certain periods in history – Gallery One displays cars from the 1890s and 1900s; Gallery Two exhibits cars from the period between 1910 and 1930; Gallery Three offers visitors a chance to see cars from the 1930s through to the 1950s; and the fourth gallery features cars from 1950 onwards, as well as racing cars and the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
The Museum also features a signature collection of cars owned by celebrities, including Elvis Presley's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado, Frank Sinatra's 1961 Ghia L6.4, John F. Kennedy assigned 1962 Lincoln Continental, and John Wayne's 1953 Chevrolet Corvette. Other significant automobiles in the collection include those used in famous movies such as the 1892 Philion Road Carriage, from The Magnificent Ambersons, the 1912 Rambler 73-400 Cross-Country, from the 1997 version of Titanic, and the 1949 Mercury Eight, driven by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause
The Golden DeLorean Collection at the Museum includes makes such as Ferrari, Bugatti, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Stutz, Rolls-Royce and Auburn, as well as a 24kt gold-plated DeLorean DMC-12s, and the only surviving prototype of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion car. Other extraordinary displays include a ‘Jerrari’ – a Jeep Waggoner that has been fitted with V-12 Ferrari engine and a one-of-a-kind Phantom Corsair.
The National Automobile Museum offers a variety of educational programs and adults, families and scholars, ranging from history symposiums for adults and educators, fun and educational activities and adventures for families and younger visitors, and lesson plans and field trips for classrooms. Family activities include scavenger hunts and the interactive and hands-on ‘Passport to Adventure, ’ and Science Saturdays offer exclusive events from the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada. Visitors who partake in these workshops can enjoy simulated journeys throughout the solar system, full-dome planetarium programs, hands-on workshops, live presentations, virtual reality headsets, and iPad interactive stations.
The National Automobile Museum is located on the corner of Lake and Mill Streets in downtown Reno on the Truckee River and is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Daily events at the Museum include theatre presentations on the hour, daily guided tours, and regular self-guided audio and smartphone tours. The Museum can be rented for special and private events and functions ranging from corporate meetings and receptions to sit-down dinners and weddings. The Museum’s 157-seat theatre is fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology for presentations, and amenities and services include professional staff to assist with planning, full service catering provided by Silver Peak Restaurant, Brewery and Catering, room for dancing, and free parking.
10 South Lake Street, Reno, NV 89501, Phone: 775-333-9300