After 13 years of operation, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the Chrysler campus in Auburn Hills is closing its doors today for good. Waning attendance meant the 55,000-square-foot museum couldn't meet its own costs, seemingly leaving the facility's 67 vintage vehicles and slew of displays without a home. The museum had been curated by the Chrysler Museum Foundation, a public entity.

Fortunately, Chrysler itself has stepped in to save the vast majority of the cars and trucks housed in the collection, and the newest additions to the automaker's stable will be curated by the Chrysler Foundation, the automaker's charitable arm. While ancient iron like a 1902 Rambler and a 1917 Willys-Knight 88-8 Touring are certainly worthy of a long look, the museum also housed some impressive pieces of the automaker's technological history.

Those include a 30-cylinder tank engine designed and manufactured in World War II. The 25-liter behemoth was comprised of five inline sixes mashed together and generated a modest 450 horsepower. The collection also includes plenty of muscle cars and a few gems from defunct brands like DeSoto, Plymouth and AMC.

While it is ceasing normal public visiting hours, the museum apparently won't be shuttering completely – it will be used for Chrysler functions and potentially open to the public in limited fashion for special exhibits.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      How sad to see this happening. We, as a nation, are losing so much of our precious history. For such a young nation that is despicable! The Europeans and Asians protect their history and use it to educate their youth. Too bad we don't seem to care about the educational value of our history here in the States.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        What's sad is that younger generations just don't care to take the time to learn about our history
          Fixitfixitstop
          • 1 Year Ago
          @S.
          Only because parents don't make it a priority to teach their kids. My father took me to a Harley-Davidson assembly line when I was 11. I would do the same if I had kids of my own, but I don't.
      chadrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Managed to make it there last Saturday and took over 500 photos. Managed to get some incredible 75% off deals on what was left in the gift shop. There was a decent, but still light crowd that day. They've had a 2-for-1 ticket coupon on their website this entire month, so admission was an extremely cheap $8. Sad to see this close, but at least it is still in Chrysler possession.
      scott3
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should just move these over to the Henry Ford Museum as they are a Museum that repsents all makes and models. Years ago they did a hell of a good job on Harly Earls cars. It was good the Earl GM cars were at the HF since I have not been able to get in the GM collection yet. Lets just pray they do not send these cars to Auction and spred out over private collections never to be seen again. Hell even the HF has one of the 300 SLR racers Benz could not retain.
        dondonel
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scott3
        Henry Ford Museum is hardly an auto museum. Chrysler Museum, though much smaller in size, has a significantly larger car collection. I've visited Chrysler museum every couple of years, and every time they had something new on display. It's sad to see it close for the public. It's probably going to became something similar to GM's Heritage Center, which has an awesome collection of cars but is difficult to visit by the public.
          scott3
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dondonel
          Well as of now it is more of a Auto Museum than the Walter P is now.
      timvfr750
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sad to see this. A lot of great history of the Chrysler family of cars there. I had the great pleasure of attending an event there in 2005 hosted by Chrysler. A great collection.
      gfviperman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sad .. have enjoyed a few visits there. The museum staff was always nice and helpful .. The gift shop always had some unusual stuff which left me light in the wallet.
      Tiberius1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where will Turbine Car #991247 end up??? Nice to see you AB folks at least got a corner of the windshield in two of the pics.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        audisp0rta4
        • 1 Year Ago
        I don't think they're going to destroy all their history...they're simply closing the doors to regular public exposure due to limited interest (or awareness more likely). Unfortunate nonetheless.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @audisp0rta4
          [blocked]
      omgcool
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope it's still something I can visit someday..
      Richard A. Hauser
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live not far away so I went at least once a year. I remember in particular the "Major Bowes" Custom Imperial CW that was on display. I hope Chrysler Employee Motorsport Association (CEMA) will still be held in the parking lot. Glad to hear the museum is not completely going away, but, I hope it can return (bigger and better, of course).
      breakfastburrito
      • 1 Year Ago
      our taxes were paying for Chrysler's museum? damn... I really wish we had more knowledge about where our money goes.
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        More of your taxes are going to arenas which are supposed to have hockey teams playing in them. A lot more taxes.
        spa2nky1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Directly from their website... "The Internal Revenue Service granted the Museum tax exempt status, effective February 1, 2008, the date of incorporation. The Museum relies on income from admissions, our gift shop, facility rentals and programs." Since many believe that tax cuts (a tax exemption in this case) isn't money spent...where do you get that tax money is supporting the Chrysler Museum Foundation...a non profit charity?
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Maybe you should do more research on the politicians you're electing (even to the small positions)
      VDuB
      • 1 Year Ago
      One problem is... it was located in MICHIGAN. The population of Michigan isn't really the museum type.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VDuB
        [blocked]
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VDuB
        Where do you live VDub [so I can never move anywhere near you and your ignorant kind]
          shelvis68comebak
          • 1 Year Ago
          @S.
          Hard to say where he lives but his posting record makes me think his paychecks might be coming from Germany.
      sinistro79
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't worry, it's going to reopen in a few months as a Fiat museum.
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