Kalamazoo House B&B
447 W. South Street
Kalamazoo, MI, 49007, USA

Gilmore Car Museum -- prime SW Michigan attraction

We have had a number of guests who have visited Kalamazoo just to go to the Gilmore Car Museum because it was on their “bucket list” of the very best car museums anywhere. Others drive their own historic cars here to attend special events and gatherings.

Located in a beautiful country location about 25 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo, near Southwest Michigan’s Gull Lake, the Gilmore Car Museum began when Donald Gilmore’s expanding collection of vintage and classic cars needed a home. He and his wife Genevieve bought 90 acres of farmland at Hickory Corners and had a number of classic barns dismantled and rebuilt on the property to house the collection. They soon realized that the collection should be expanded and protected, and that was the beginning of what is now one of the premiere car museums in the country.

  • gilmore_museumapt1

Open year-round, the Gilmore Car Museum is actually a collection of collections. Besides being home to over 400 spectacular automobiles, the Gilmore Car Museum is the site of high-quality, independent special-interest collections:

      The Classic Car Club of America Museum
      The Franklin Collection
      The Tucker Historical Collection
      The Pierce Arrow Museum
      The Cadillac-LaSalle Club
      The Midwest Miniatures Museum
      The Model A Ford Museum (newest addition)

Actually, one of MY favorite collections at the museum is a room full of hundreds of hood ornaments - also called car mascots. They are fascinating to look at, and this video about Antiques Roadshow’s trip to the Gilmore Car Museum to see these “car mascots” is fascinating:

                  ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Video

  • Gilmore Car Museum hood ornament collection
  • Gilmore Car Museum showing cars and diner
  • Gilmore Car Museum 1929 Duesenberg at gas pump

And the site is worth a trip for other attractions as well. Today the campus includes 8 historic barns (compelling in their own right), a recreated 1930’s service station, a small-town train station, and a historic diner where you can take a break with a good lunch and some delicious ice cream.

Finding it:  For directions between the Kalamazoo House B&B and the Gilmore Car Museum, click on the "Local Area" tab above for a map.  Scroll to the bottom, and select Kalamazoo House B&B and the Gilmore Car Museum for detailed directions in either direction.