Visit These Epic Car Museums Virtually While You're Trapped Indoors
Got internet? Tour some of the world’s best car collections using only your device.
Many of us are stuck at home. Yet, even if we could leave the house without fear of contracting something contagious, we'd be SOL, as most of the world's biggest attractions have been closed. That includes the majority of car museums. But since we live in the 21st Century, you can still visit these beloved institutions through interactive and virtual tours. Here are the best car museums you can visit virtually while waiting things out in your homes:
Easily one of the best car museums in the world, and one on many enthusiasts' bucket lists, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, gathers the brand's most iconic and influential sports cars, race cars, and one very important tractor in a stunningly designed building that's an attraction in itself. The museum's virtual tour lets you explore the masterfully displayed collection inside and take in all the architectural beauty outside.
Also located in Stuttgart is the just-as-stunning and just-as-closed Mercedes-Benz museum. Not to be outdone by Porsche, Mercedes's museum has its own architecturally impressive building, as well as a massive car collection that's presented in a dynamic and engaging way. Take the museum's virtual tour here. If you have a VR headset, Mercedes offers a number of 360-degree videos on its YouTube channel.
The Lamborghini museum in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, offers a virtual tour via Google Street View. Virtually wandering through the halls may not cure coronavirus, but seeing all that glorious Italian sheet metal should help keep the quarantine blues at bay.
National Corvette Museum
Bowling Green, Kentucky, is hallowed ground for diehard Corvette fans. Not only is it home to the plant that builds the Corvette, but it's also the site of the National Corvette Museum. Thanks to the magic of Google Street View, anyone can make a virtual pilgrimage to the museum. You can also take a 360-degree tour of the massive sinkhole that swallowed eight classic Corvettes in 2014.
Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen has always been a world-class car museum, but in 2015 it got a makeover to match the quality of the automotive artifacts housed inside. The renovations completely transformed the atmosphere of the museum. This Google Street View tour of the pre-renovation Petersen, however, is a nostalgic stroll through memory lane. The cars in the collection haven't changed, though. Click here to see a list of what the museum has on exhibit, and if you'd like to peek inside the Petersen's prized "vault," which stores its rarest race cars, movie cars, and icons of car culture, you can still do that while the museum is closed. For $3, you can take a livestreamed hour-long digital vault tour led by collection manager Dana Williamson. Also, catch the Petersen's series of educational livestreams it plans to broadcast throughout the duration of L.A. school closures.
Lane Motor Museum
If you love weird and quirky cars, then the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is the perfect place to virtually visit. With an eclectic collection that includes obscure French classics, oddball microcars, and a replica of the revolutionary 1933 Dymaxion, the Lane Motor Museum is almost guaranteed to have a car you've never seen or heard of before. Get ready to start scratching your head and browse the collection yourself by clicking here.
Ferrari has two museums celebrating its work in Italy: one next to its factory in Maranello and another in Modena. Both can be accessed virtually through Google Street View—just be prepared to see a lot of red.
Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world—it even has a city named after it. So it should come as no surprise that the Japanese brand has an impressive museum. Located in Nagakute, Japan, the Toyota Automobile Museum not only tells the story of the company founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, but of the automobile itself. As such, the museum doesn't just showcase classic Toyotas. In fact, you'll be treated to Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes, Fords, and much more. If you're hankering to see some vintage Japanese sheet metal, you'll find plenty of that, too. Take the virtual tour here.
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