Celebrating Indiana’s automotive heritage

Kokomo played an integral part in Indiana’s evolution as a major player in the automotive industry. So in honor of the state’s Bicentennial year, the city is putting Indiana’s deep automotive heritage on full display.

In September, visitors will be given front-row seats to the state’s four-wheeled history with two car shows in one weekend during “Kokomo Salutes Indiana’s Automotive Heritage 1894-1964.”

Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic

First up will be the Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Highland Park. Visitors can explore magnificent motorcars from the Classic Era. On display in a beautiful park setting will be Haynes, Apperson, Stutz, Marmons and more. The event will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and there’s no admission fee.

1923 Haynes Speedster

Grand Indiana Bicentennial Motor Muster

Stay till Sunday, Sept. 11, because you won’t want to miss the Grand Indiana Bicentennial Motor Muster. This event will feature unique and historically significant Indiana-built cars, including Classics from 1915 to 1948, as well as special interest cars through 1976. The free event is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Jackson Morrow Park.

Historic Kokomo Tours

While you’re in town, take a Historic Kokomo Tour and get to know the city’s full history. As part of the city’s Bicentennial festivities, guided tours will be offered daily Sept. 8-10 and will give visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history.

On the tour will be the magnificent Seiberling Mansion. Built in 1891 by industrialist Monroe Seiberling, the late-Victorian mansion is home to multiple exhibits highlighting the history of Howard County.

Next on the tour will be the Elwood Haynes Museum. Haynes was not only an automotive pioneer in Indiana but the nation as well. In 1894, he developed America’s first car. His former residence in Kokomo now houses a collection of his possessions and inventions, including stainless steel and multiple alloys. The exhibit also features his automobiles.

Last but not least will be the Kokomo Automotive Museum and its stunning collection of more than 100 vintage and classic cars, including Haynes, Apperson, Maxwell and Chevy. The museum’s exhibits are an ode to America’s love affair with the automobile.

The guided tours will be offered at both 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily. To purchase tickets, call the Kokomo Automotive Museum at 765-454-9999.

VW Cruise In 2011

Need more cars in your life?

The City of Firsts Volkswagen Club is hosting the 12th annual Roger S. Wright Oktoberfest Volkswagen Cruise-In on Saturday, Sept. 24, in Kokomo’s Foster Park. The free event boasts everything Volkswagen — cars on display, parts swap meet and all manner of Volkswagen merchandise.

There will also be food vendors and a free concert by Hotel California, a Salute to the Eagles. Learn more at www.cityoffirstsvw.com.

Find more information about Kokomo at www.visitkokomo.org.