An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Michigan Car Culture in Summer 2014

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang! Why not celebrate this milestone by hopping in the car and exploring Michigan’s automotive past and present this summer? We put together this list of automotive attractions and events happening around the state to help guide your trip. So, start your engines and see how car culture runs deep in Pure Michigan.

For more information on Michigan automotive attractions and events, visit michigan.org.

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Do you plan to attend any Michigan auto events this summer? 

Celebrate the Ford Mustang’s 50th Anniversary at The Henry Ford

Did you know that the Ford Mustang celebrates its 50th Anniversary this month? Today, guest blogger Lish Dorset tells us how to join in on the celebration at The Henry Ford Museum. 

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

This year, it’s all about the Mustang at The Henry Ford. If you’re a fan of classic cars, there’s a lot to be excited about this year as the Ford Mustang turns 50. Launched in April 1964, the Mustang was the first of the American pony cars and instantly became an American icon, creating a loyal fan base right from the beginning.

If you’ve been to Henry Ford Museum, you know that we have two very special Mustangs within our collections. The 1962 Ford Mustang I Roadster Concept Car and the 1965 Mustang Serial Number One are visitor favorites within Driving America and help tell the story of the early days of this classic car. As part of the year-long celebration of all-things Mustang, we’ve put these two important vehicles on the road as part of our THF OnWheels Tour so that car lovers across the country can see these two classics up close.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Our Mustangs first went out on the road this past January at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. As part of Ford’s presence at the show, guests were greeted by these two icons as the company told the story of the car’s history in their exhibit inside Cobo Hall. The cars’ next stop was to Las Vegas and North Carolina for the Mustang 50th Anniversary Celebration in mid-April.

Where can you see our Mustangs back here in Michigan? At this year’s Motor Muster at Greenfield Village. We’re expecting a great Mustang turnout this summer, so it’s definitely an event not to miss.

It’s been a lot of fun so far this year helping celebrate the anniversary of this fantastic car. Whether it’s downloading a wallpaper for your phone or keeping an eye on our blog for updates from our curator of transportation, there’s almost always something Mustang-related to share here at The Henry Ford.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Our biggest gift to Mustang fans is our THF OnWheels Mustang #1 Fantasy Sweepstakes. Now through September 30 you can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience with our Mustangs as well as a trip to Detroit for the 2015 North American International Auto Show. It’s the ultimate in VIP experiences for VIP Mustang fans.

To keep up to date with automotive happenings at The Henry Ford, make sure to subscribe to THF OnWheels, our enthusiast channel for car lovers. From feature stories to event information, it’s a one-stop-destination for the car news you need. And it’s a great resource for fueling your love of Mustang this year.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her family. She learned how to drive in a 1994 Ford Mustang, much to her mother’s objection.

For more information on the Mustang’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, watch the video below:

Celebrate Michigan Car Culture at these 5 Awesome Auto Attractions

The North American International Auto Show will be at the Cobo Center in Detroit from January 18-26, 2014!  To gear up for this grand automotive event, celebrate Michigan car culture by taking a trip to a number of other awesome automotive attractions across the state.  Below are just a few of these attractions you won’t want to miss.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford Museum:

The Henry Ford boasts four one-of-a-kind attractions and 200 acres, including Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, that will bring you through the ages. Notable treasures such as John F. Kennedy’s Limousine, Rosa Parks bus, and Abraham Lincoln’s chair and experience such as Model T Rides and an assembly plant walking tour make your visit to The Henry Ford truly unique.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour: Within the Henry Ford Museum is the Ford Rouge Factory Tour – a self-guided five-part experience. Visitors can expect to take a 360-degree look at how automobiles are made, see five historic vehicles made at the Rouge or hop in a new F-150.

Greenfiled Village: Entering Greenfield Village takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s past. Greenfield Village houses 83 authentic, historic structures including Noah Webster’s home – where he wrote the first American dictionary, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, and the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. Visitors can ride in a genuine Model T, watch baseball from the 1860s and get an inside look at the experiences that shaped our country and our state.

Automotive Hall of Fame:

Located next door the The Henry Ford, The Automotive Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving automotive history  by celebrating the men and women of the industry. Features includes honorees of the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Soichiro Honda Atrium with a 3-story glass pyramid ceiling, a 65-foot long mural painted depicting the impact of the automobile on the world, and galleries showcasing early days of the automobile, the rise of the auto industry, and how it has changed our daily lives.

Gilmore Car Museum:

Photo courtesy of The Gilmore Car Museum

The Gilmore Car Museum located near Kalamazoo is regarded as one of the top car museums in the nation. The museum features over 250 cars and motorcycles from across the decades.  The Gilmore Car Museum began in 1963 as the hobby of Donald S. Gilmore after his wife gave him an antique car for his birthday. Today, his hobby has grown to include historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and nearly three miles of paved roads. Be sure to visit the restored 1941 Silk City Diner or stop in for a bite at the museum’s very own George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner.

Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame:

This unique museum located in Novi, MI showcases all forms of motor sports including race cars, trucks, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and boats. The Motorsport museum houses over 40 racing and high performance vehicles.  The collection is constantly changing showcasing photographs of racing personalities and manufacturers, racing videos, driving simulation, games, driver uniforms and memorabilia displays.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House:

Photo courtesy of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Photo courtesy of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Take a step inside the home of one the American auto industry’s most well-known figures. The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House lets visitors experience the story of the Ford family in a historic mansion rich with art and antiques spanning the centuries. Located along Lake St. Clair, visitors can explore 87 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds and view Mr. and Mrs. Ford’s personal cars.

Car culture runs deep in Pure Michigan. These are just a few of Michigan’s car culture museums and attractions throughout the state. For more information on these attractions, NAIAS 2014 or other auto-related events, visit michigan.org/events. 

Have you visited any of these automotive attractions in Michigan? Tell us about your experience!