The Franklin Auto Museum’s 1904 Model A
Published January/February 2014

History on Display

Visit these five Arizona auto museums

BYKara Philp
The world of collector vehicles is a broad and eclectic one, with automotive fervor in every classification imaginable. From classics and muscle cars to champion race cars and vehicles driven by political and entertainment icons, all of these (and more) can be found on display in Arizona. Here are five museums that preserve automotive culture and history — each in their own unique way — through their collections. 
Golden Era Museum, Coolidge
Take a trip down memory lane at this museum, which houses 10 classic cars, cast-iron toys from the 1920s, wind-up toys from the 1930s and 1940s, and a collection of antique trains.
Contact: 297 W. Central Ave., 480-948-9570
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (weekends January – May)
Admission: Adults, $6; children, $2
This museum celebrates art cars — a mobile art form — through the preservation of the more than 20 cars in its collection as well as rotating exhibitions. Here you’ll see many forms of art, from unique paint jobs and eccentric themes, to cars covered in materials such as plastic figurines, brass, or jewels. 
Contact: 450 E. Eighth St.; 520-805-1850
Hours: By appointment only.
Admission: Donations accepted. 
Created in 2005, but only open to the public since 2012, this museum’s collection of more than 65 cars on display represents decades of automotive history, and is “dedicated to the preservation of collectible and rare automobiles for educational purposes.”
Contact: 17641 N. Black Canyon Highway; 602-971-4753 
Hours: Thurs – Sat, noon – 5:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 
Relive 40 years of Penske Racing through the collection of vintage (and winning) Indy and NASCAR race cars, racing memorabilia, and trophies on display.
Contact: 7125 E. Chauncey Lane; 480-538-4444
Hours: Mon – Sat, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun, noon – 5 p.m. 
Admission: Free
This collection of classics showcases the timeline of Franklin automobiles. In addition to producing these luxury vehicles, the H. H. Franklin Manufacturing Co. is credited with the first 4-cylinder air-cooled car and the first 6-cylinder engine.
Contact: 1405 E. Kleindale Road; 520-326-8038
Hours: Wed – Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Oct. 17 – Memorial Day)
Admission: $5
KARA PHILP is an associate editor at Highroads.  
For More Information
To learn about insuring your classic and collector cars with AAA Insurance, call 1-800-298-6066 or visit
Martin Auto Museum’s 1961 Corvette
Martin Auto Museum’s 1961 Corvette
A selection of Penske Racing  Museum’s collection
A selection of Penske Racing Museum’s collection
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