Few auto museums in the United States are as colorful or eclectic as the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. Founded in 1960, the family-run museum began life as a small dealership selling a handful of unrestored cars. Sixty years later, it has grown into a 35-acre attraction with exhibits ranging from classic automobiles to iconic vehicles from TV shows and movies—and many of them are for sale.
The Volo Auto Museum features 33 exhibits contained within five main buildings. As you’d expect, there are hundreds of classic autos, including early cars from the 1900s, the world’s most complete Duesenberg II collection, classic cars from the 1950s, and plenty of muscle cars. Vintage scooters, tractors, campers, and snowmobiles are also on show.
But you don’t have to be an automobile aficionado to enjoy the Volo Auto Museum. Alongside the more traditional auto exhibits are an array of instantly recognizable vehicles from film and TV, as well as cars once owned by the rich and famous.
Among these pop culture icons is one of the world’s largest collections of Batmobiles, which includes the original Batmobile from the 1966 TV series, the Michael Keaton Batmobile, and the tough-looking Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan movies.
Other famous TV and movie vehicles on show at Volo—and there are too many to mention them all here—include the custom chopper from Ghost Rider; the Flintstones family car; the Harrier Jump Jet used in True Lies (and later in The Avengers); KITT from Night Rider; the DeLorean from Back to the Future; Luke Skywalker’s Land Speeder; the Interceptor from Mad Max 2; and Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. They’ve even got the lifeboat from Captain Phillips.
The celebrity car exhibit, meanwhile, includes vehicles once owned by various stars, normally with some kind of story behind them. There’s Britney Spears’ 2006 Mercedes-Benz, for example, which gained notoriety on the streets of L.A. (and on TMZ). Another interesting exhibit is the “Trump Edition” limousine, which was designed to be the world’s most luxurious limo. Two prototypes were built, but then the project was scrapped. Donald Trump bought both cars himself, one of which now sits in the museum.
Other exhibits in the museum include military hardware, antique arcade machines, horse-drawn carriages, a carousel museum, and an antique jukebox collection. So if eclectic is what you like, it’s safe to say you’ll have a good time at the wide-ranging Volo Auto Museum.
Know Before You Go
The Volo Auto Museum is located at 27582 Volo Village Road in Volo, Illinois, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago. You can get there easily from Chicago by taking the Metra train from Union Station to Fox Lake (near Volo). The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages five to 12, $13.95 for seniors, and $12.95 for veterans and military with ID. Children under five and military in uniform can enter for free.