Spend a Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum

Roy Mackenzie | August 11, 2016

Driving up the long entrance way of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum feels like entering a fairytale.  The museum, housed in a former carriage house built in 1888, looks like an enchanting castle, almost as though you’re about to walk through time – and in someways you do.  The museum houses cars that date back to 1899; you get to experience the evolution of cars (and bicycles) first hand.  And with out pass, you can spend a day with the Larz Anderson Auto Museum for FREE.

I walked into the Larz Anderson Auto Museum to see a wide view of shiny, colorful cars, what you’d expect at a car museum.  But then I walked in deeper, and really got a sense of the collection, the stories it had to tell, the evolution.  The oldest car I could find dated back to 1899, it literally looked like an old buggy they used to attach to horses before the car was invented.  Except, instead of having the reins to be attached to the horse, there was a steering wheel.  It must’ve felt like magic to the people back in the late 1800s/early 1900s to be able to drive a buggy without a horse.

Just to be able to walk around and look at how the people of the early twentieth century got around was intriguing.  To see the car space, the engines, even the horns – it reminds you how far we’ve come.  But, they also have bicycles on display, which I particularly found interesting.  I never actually saw one of those bikes with the giant wheel up close before and I never really understood how people could ride them.  But then seeing it, I realized that bike doesn’t actually have a chain on it like bikes today do, meaning the person biking had to use pedal the giant wheel and use the full force to propel themselves forward.  It’s kind of like a unicycle but with a second wheel attached to provide balance.  But that’s the beauty of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum: you actually get to experience how people used to travel.

Larz Anderson has many lawn events and functions they hold throughout the year, so it’s more than just walking around and looking at old cars.  Their lawn events are held almost every Saturday and Sunday from May-October, and features many vehicles from many different time periods.  Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply want to learn more about our past, spending a day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum is simply worth it.