We are housed in the original factory buildings of the Auburn Automobile Company. Featuring over 100 cars and trucks of all years, a vintage vehicle toy gallery and automotive library.
NATMUS is located in the former factory buildings of the Auburn Automobile Company:Service Building: This building was built in 1923 and was used for test – driving automobiles, factory service and distribution of parts to distributors and dealers all over the world. If a person lived near Auburn and wanted his automobile serviced at the factory, this would be done in the Service Building. When the 810-812 cords were test driven and guaranteed to do over 100 M.P.H., they were tuned, prepared and tested from the Service Building. Each car was provided with a plaque signed by race driver, Ab Jenkins, indicating how fast the car had been driven at the factory. L29 / Experimental Building: This building was built in 1928-29 and was the first new building that E.L. Cord constructed after he assumed management of the company. Intended for the assembly of the L29 Cord, the upper level of this building was actually used to prepare the L29s for shipment after they were assembled on the Auburn” line. The lower level was used for experimental cars and the construction of prototypes. The first one hundred 812 Cords were hand built on the lower level. Fred Duesenberg, Gordon Buehrig, Alan Leamy, Herb Snow and other prominent designers, engineers, and builders used the lower level for their creations.
AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY WAS MADE IN THESE BUILDINGS!
The L29 Cord was the first production front wheel drive automobile in America. The 810-812 cord was a revolutionary design that changed automotive history. It was the first car with unibody construction, concealed gas cap, disappearing headlights, and displayed many other innovations.
It is the mission of NATMUS to exhibit cars that have been built in the tradition of the Auburn Automobile Comapny. These include outstanding examples of postwar cars. Trucks exhibited range from 1907 to modern concept trucks. The truck heritage of the City of Auburn and its McIntyre Company, which built a full range of trucks from 1907 until about 1915, is recognized.
Both buildings are also significant from an architectural standpoint. The Service Building is built with a lattice arch roof system that provides a 70 foot clear span using 2” x 6” lumber. The L29 / Experimental Building features Monitor windows, which provide maximum natural light. When the windows are open by pulling the chains, an early type of “air conditioner” results in that air is pulled from side windows through the Monitor windows – to provide fresh air and a slight breeze.
National Automotive & Truck Model & Toy Museum
A museum within a museum, NATMATMUS features toy and model cars and trucks ranging in age from 1894 to the present. Additional exhibits of toys and models are located in showcases throughout the museum.
The Eckhart Building located near the entrance of NATMUS is where Eckhart buggies were made. As the Auburn Automobile Company evolved, the earliest cars were built in this building. The transition from buggies to automobiles is interpreted in the Eckhart Building. It is open for special events.
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