The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan houses a one-of-kind collection of the Chevrolet Corvair, Tucker, Hudson and Kaiser-Frazer cars and displays. The National Hudson Museum is found here and is represented in a fully preserved 1930s dealership.
A visit to the museum gives you a chance to comprehend the evolution of the automotive industry and the influence of the most significant marques of the decades on what we drive now. The aim of the museum is to preserve, promote and showcase the four auto brands that have grown here in Ypsilanti, a commercial and manufacturing centre that unites these brands.
The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum hosts the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum and General Motors Hydra-matic. The displays feature the Ford Motor Company Generator Plant, Motor State which held patents on power convertible tops, and local car dealerships. Thus, the importance of the city as an important industrial centre that united all these marques is evident.
One of the spotlights of the museum is #92, a 1952 Hudson Hornet race car owned by NASCAR champion Herb Thomas. In general Thomas won 43 NASCAR races and drove these cars to his second National Championship in 1953. The hudson race car became the prototype of Doc Hudson in the film CARS.
The history of the museum dates back to the 1927 when Carl L. Miller opened the Hudson Sales and Service franchise. In 1955 the dealership was renamed Miller Motors and Rambler was added to the product line. By 1958 the dealership managed to sell 1,969 cars including Hudsons, Terraplanes, Essexes, Ramblers and Metropolitans. It was Jack, Carl’s son, who became in charge of the dealership that year and preserved it in its original condition.
The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum was formed in 1995 when Paul “Skip” Ungrodt, Jr and Peter B. Fletcher bought Miller Motors where Jack was hired as curator till 2013.
The museum possesses a huge store of archives as well containing different aspects of history starting from 1927.