The Newport Car Museum opened less than a year ago, but it’s already got the engines revving of car enthusiasts all over the country thanks to its extraordinary collection of vehicles. Just how impressive is this homage to the automobile? It’s hosted more than 15,000 visitors since June of 2017, and was recently crowned a “Best New Attraction” by USA Today. Here’s a closer look at why you should put the pedal to the medal and get yourself to the Newport Car Museum on your next visit to the Ocean State.
Seven Decades of Driving Design
All car lovers know that automobiles are more than just that. Rather, they’re works of art. This is embodied nowhere better than at the Newport Car Museum, home to a private collection of 60-some automobiles representing more than a half-century worth of innovation. Beginning in the 1950's and continuing into present times, the museum features something for everyone, including separate exhibits for Ford/Shelbys, Corvettes, world cars, fin cars, and Mopars.
Says the museum of its cars (and the people whose creativity and ingenuity brought them to life), “They reflect a time when artists who likely would have been the great sculptors in the Renaissance Age became stylists, designers and industrial engineers for the Big Three American auto manufacturers and leading European companies such as Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and BMW, perhaps enjoying more creative freedom than will ever be experienced by their counterparts today.”
Fantasizing about taking one of these beauties out for a spin? The Newport Car Museum’s six race track simulators offer the next best thing.
Beyond the Cars
But the cars aren’t the only thing worth seeing at the Newport Car Museum. Interior design devotees will also revel in the museum’s unique setting and awe-inspiring decor. Located in a once-abandoned missile manufacturing facility on the Raytheon campus in Portsmouth, the 114,000 square foot building has been transformed through the vision of museum funders Gunther and Maggie Buerman.
Starting with a palette of brilliant colors influenced by the cars themselves and integrating sleek mid-century modern furniture by legendary designers including Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll Bassett, Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner, the museum itself is as striking as the car collection it houses. Always fancied seeing in person Arne Jacobsen’s iconic “Egg Chair” or Studio 65’s lips-shaped, Marilyn Monroe-inspired, “Bocca Sofa”? You’ll find these and other cult classics waiting for you at the Newport Car Museum.
Finished your visit to the Newport Car Museum, but still in the mood for more automotive amazement? Head to the nearby Audrain Automobile Museum for even more exotic offerings or learn more about our favorite things to do in Newport during the winter. You will be amazed at how much there is to do no matter what month it is in Newport.