Drive Through History at Swigart Auto Museum

Properly known as the William E. Swigart Jr. Antique Automobile Museum, located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the Swigart Auto Museum is a cozy little museum preserving American automobile history.

It all began over a hundred years ago. W. Emmert Swigart became fascinated with automobiles and understood already the impact cars would have on our lifestyles and culture. In fact, he began collecting select automobiles in 1920. Getting in on the ground floor, so to speak, of collecting cars allowed him the opportunity to obtain some of the first cars built in America.

What I liked best about this museum — about any museum, really, is its quirkiness. You’ll find one-of-a-kind vehicles alongside a Herbie, of Herbie Movies fame. Seeing it brought back sweet memories of my childhood, of heading to the movie theater to watch Herbie with my friends.

Did you know electric cars were built back in 1908? The Swigart Auto Museum has a few displayed.

A Building Collection

The museum’s collection contains automobiles and carriages dating back to 1896. You can see between 30 to 35 automobiles on display. Thus, the Swigart Auto Museum offers a nice mix of cars and and auto memorabilia from its collection. In fact, you’ll be able to a Stanley Steamer, a DeLorean and Tuckers.

In addition to the cars, you’ll find other memorabilia, bicycles, toys, tons of other car-related items, like license plates from every state, advertising swag, car horns and hood ornaments. Weirdly, I was kind of fascinated by the display of car badges — little signs indicating the motorist belonged to an automobile club.

Sure, there are certainly bigger car museums in Pennsylvania, but you get a lot of mileage out of your entry fee, and as some say, “the Swigart Auto Museum oozes with local charm.”

Know Before You Go

The museum closes each winter, to rotate out the autos on display and to deep clean the museum.

Getting there: 12031 William Penn Hwy, Huntingdon, PA
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October.
Website: William E. Swigart Jr. Antique Automobile Museum

If you love automobiles, you’ll want to visit these two other automobile museums:

Check out other things to see and do near Raystown Lake:

Two travel writers clown around with Herbie!