It wouldn't be a Jalopnik Automotive Amerigasm without a nod to the places that make American automotive history so great. Eddie Izzard may joke that he's from "Europe, where the history comes from," but the relative young age of the auto industry means our automotive history is as old and rich as anyone's...and of course, more American. Whether you have plans for the Fourth of July weekend or not, there's no better way to celebrate our country's freedom than by enjoying the freedom to drive somewhere and overspend at the gift shop. Below is our list of ten great American automotive pilgrimages for those that worship at the altar of wheeled transportation.
10. The National Corvette Museum (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
Nothing says America like the Corvette, and no place better preserves the spirit and history of the classic American sports car than the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, near the production site of the Corvette. Get a look at historic Corvette models, learn about the production history and get your own Corvette specially detailed (if you have one). It's like Mecca, but less crowded. [Corvette Museum]
9. Auburn - Cord - Duesenberg Museum (Auburn, Indiana)
Believe it or not, there was once an automotive operation in the U.S that wasn't based in Detroit. The Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana preserves the unique story of these three companies, all important in their day. The museum also remembers the seven other brands of cars produced in Auburn. The Gallery of Classics shows off cars from the "classics era" that competed to be the cream of the cream. [ACD Museum]
8. Jay Leno's Garage (Secret Location, California)
When Jay Leno does something interesting or noble with cars, like rescuing a Duesenberg, the resulting cars end up in the Big Dog Garage, which houses cars powered by turbines, steam and the engine out of a Patton tank. Though not exactly on the map, we totally think it would be worth it to just show up and beg to be let inside (you could also break a window, but then you might damage a car). We hear the Popular Mechanics boys know where it is, go ask them. [Jay Leno's Garage]