Antique Automobile Museum, Hershey
Antique Automobile Museum, Hershey, known as the “AACA Museum”, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and is housed in a stunning structure. In the case of the AACA, the focus is less on the building, though, and much more about the CONTENTS! The ‘one of a kind in the world’ collection is more than just showing off remarkable transportation The Museum hosts educational programs and community events as well as special exhibitions, all tied to the collection.
Here at Annville Inn, we tell our Guests the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum at Hershey is a stunning collection of beautiful SCULPTURE. Each classic automobile is a work of art, pleasing to the eye. Each unique piece of rolling stock art both tells a story as well as leaves space for the viewer’s interpretation. Your Innkeeper’s husband, Craig, was Director of Hershey Gardens in the early 2000’s. He arranged for the AACA to place some of the automobiles in the Gardens at strategic spots. “A Gardens visitor would be following one of our pathways, turn a corner and wow! Right in front of them, a work of perfectly executed and astonishing art. A metal sculpture in the form of a spectacular automobile from yesteryear was theirs to enjoy. Beautiful art, beautiful nature.” he explained.
We tell our guests the Antique Automobile Club of America’s spectacular museum features three levels. It houses (on the lower level) the largest collection of busses under one roof in the world. That isn’t the only “world” worthy fact. Astonishing automobiles with fascinating histories are on display. There are nearly 300 vehicles in the collection. Whether you enjoy racing automobiles, or harken to the days of Cords, Sterns-Knights, Pierce-Arrows, Packards, there is something for you to enjoy at the AACA. There are even pop culture vehicles (ever hear of the AMC Pacer? We not only once owned a Pacer, we also had an AMC Gremlin. We also wore bell bottoms at the time!)
Automobiles in Unique Settings
After a delicious breakfast at Annville Inn, many guests pay a visit to the AACA Museum. We tell our Guests to note that each automobile is in running order. Yet, you won’t see a drop of oil or spot of grease anywhere in the entire facility! Hollywood has used many of the vehicles in movies. For example, many recognize the bus that Forest Gump leaves in at the end of the movie. You will find it in the bus exhibition. The cars and busses aren’t merely “lined up.” Each vehicle is shown in an environment not unlike its own era. For example, you will find 1950’s convertibles at an actual outdoor movie theatre. You’ll see Model A & T Fords at an early day gas station. Exemplary staging, graphics, and recreation of entire buildings are tied to the era of the vehicle (such as an early day diner restaurant).
Antique Automobile Museum, Hershey’s World Ranking
The AACA Museum at Hershey ranks among the Top Automotive Museums in the world. It has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as an Affiliate Museum. The Museum is home to the Cammack Tucker Collection, the world’s most extensive collection of Tucker Automobiles and memorabilia. We are especially proud of the AACA’s Smithsonian affiliation because Craig was with the Smithsonian for a number of years. He served on the Sr. Management Team of a new Smithsonian Museum in DC and supported a Smithsonian Museum in Manhattan, NYC.
Be inspired by the Antique Automobile Museum of America, and check our Website’s Annville Inn Travel Guide for area scenic byways to do your own “motoring about” tour. Go in your automobile, bicycle or on foot on the hundreds of local forest and mountain trails that surround the Inn. Or perhaps you’d enjoy visiting a winery, vineyard, art museum or want to attend an Amish Mud Sale this spring.
Our Travel Guide lists several hundred ideas for visitors to the beautiful Lebanon Valley, Hershey, Harrisburg and Lancaster. Guests enjoy all our Inn has to offer from the large swimming pool, three acres of botanical gardens (including over 500 roses), outdoor hot tub, our spa, and of course, their fabulous Guest Room. All of our Guest Rooms feature fire places, king or queen beds, and some have Jacuzzis and private entrances. Of course, everyone here at the Inn relishes Rosalie’s amazing breakfasts!
Brief History of the Museum
Following feasibility and planning studies, the initial concept of a collector’s museum expanded. The new vision focused on presenting America’s intriguing automotive heritage to the public. The Museum launched a $12 million capital campaign dedicated to building a world-class museum.
Bringing the museum to life
With dedicated leadership, the vision of a world-class automotive heritage museum in Hershey became a reality. The 71,000 square foot museum, officially named the AACA Museum at Hershey, opened on June 26, 2003.
Continuing the Vision
Today the AACA Museum at Hershey displays vintage automobiles in unique settings. Visitors stroll through eight decades in time while traveling from New York to San Francisco. It’s a trip down “memory lane” as iconic settings reveal vehicles from generations of American motoring.
The Antique Automobile Museum at Hershey features exhibitions (permanent and changing), supported by educational programs for school and community audiences. The AACA Museum embraces the role of the collector in preserving automotive heritage. It is unique in that all the cars on display from the renowed collection have been donated or offered for display by car experts and enthusiasts.